Creature Feature: Pungent Slippery Jack

The Pungent Slippery Jack (Suillus pungens) or aa-chu (mushroom in Tolowa) is a fungus found exclusively in California.
 
Though technically edible, these mushrooms taste awful (described as “harsh, nauseating, and weakly acidic.”) They have a strong smell that ranges from sweet and pleasant to pungent.
 
They form symbiotic relationships, usually with Monterey and bishop pines–they are able to transfer nutrients from the roots of their host to themselves.
 
Source: Suillus pungens–wikpedia
Photos: J. Maughn on Flickr