all around greens

Nostoc commune.

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In the first photo it’s swollen by water, in the second sun has dried it.

It’s a cyanobacterium able to fix nitrogen known as star jelly, witch’s butter, mare’s eggs, fah-tsai and facai (that is part of the food served at the Lunar New Year in China).

It initially appears like a small, hollow gelatinous, green or brown,  ball that becomes  flattened and convoluted and appears like a gelatinous mass.

It’s cosmopolitan and survives in any conditions: from polar regions to arid areas.

After few rainy days it appears, but a single sunny day dries it fastly.

In not rigth conditions it remains dormant till water starts to be available again and soaks it again so to allow it to grow. The dry colony is able to resist either to heat and to frost. This is possible because it doesn’t produce oxygen while it’s dormant.

It’s eaten in the Philippines as a green salad.



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