The ingenious contrast in working the tonal differences of the natural stone into an overall design was a lapidary skill that was particularly well executed by Qing dynasty master craftsmen.
The fungus, also called lingzhi, "herb of Immortality", is said to grow in such places as the Taoist "Isles of the Blest". It symbolizes the power to grant wishes in Chinese folklore. That is why it is often represented in Ming and Qing jade or agate carvings.
Compare with two examples both from the Palace Museum, Beijing, dated to the mid Qing period, illustrated in Zhongguo Yuqi Quanji, 1991, vol. 6, p.89, no. 137, for a group of peach, finger citrus and lingzhi hollowed as a vase; and a peach and lingzhi on rockwork vase, p. 92, no. 142.