The newly discovered Spongebob Squarepants mushroom, named after the world’s most famous cartoon sponge, was formally described in 2011. This species belongs to the relatively new Spongiforma genus that was first described from Thailand in 2009 (1).
The Spongebob Squarepants mushroom is recognisable by its reproductive spore-bearing organs, or basidiomes, which are small, rubbery and sponge-like. The basidiomes are pale whitish-orange on the outer surface and deep orange inside, with small but deep cavities that are lined with spore-producing tissue. They are around 30 to 50 millimetres in diameter and 20 to 30 millimetres tall. The spores themselves are reddish-brown with a bumpy surface (1).
Lacking a stem, the Spongebob Squarepants mushroom instead has a narrow, branched central column that is attached to a rough, root-like aggregation of filaments, or hyphae, which stretch out to gather food and nutrients (1).
The odour of the Spongebob Squarepants mushroom is said to be either slightly fruity, or strongly musty (1).