(pl. house fungi)
Terms discussed: dry rot (pl. dry rots), wet rot (pl. wet rots)
House fungus is the Russian term for fungi that attack the substance of your house, particularly the dry rot, Serpula lachrymans, and wet rot, Coniophora puteana. They had a tremendous impact in Russia and Britain after World War II, when so many people had to leave their homes for extended periods of time. The Coniophora species need for wood to remain moist if they are to attack it, and are mostly a problem underground (with mine timbers and suchlike); but once a Serpula has established a base, it can transport water from that location, through rhizomorphs, and attack wood which is otherwise dry. Both Ramsbottom and a couple of Russian books I've seen have spectacular pictures of Serpula fruiting bodies pushing out from between planks to engulf household objects, and Ramsbottom also has pictures of a series of footsteps punched through a floor that was completely rotted through by dry rot.
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