Shelf Fungus on Pine Log

2016 September 3

During my walk in the woods on November 8, 2015, there were some late-season fungi growing out if the sides of pine logs. They were not too large, this one was only a couple of inches across (that’s a stalk of grass running across the top of the picture, if you’d like a sense of scale).

At first, I thought it was a developing bracket fungus, which grow out of the sides of dying trees and rotting logs like this. But, the bracket fungi are hard and woody, and have pores on their undersides to emit spores. This one was more rubbery, and had spore-dispersing gills on the underside.


These gills have a lot of surface area, the better to shed spores.


Judging from the gills, I’d say this one is more closely related to the common agarics (the mushrooms with gills) than it is to most of the other common shelflike fungi that grow out of trees. I haven’t been able to identify it, probably because most identification sites focus on identifying edible fungi, and lethal fungi. This one probably isn’t either edible, or dangerously toxic. It is most likely one of the many, many fungi that just taste kind of blah, and make you feel unwell if you eat them. But anyway, if you are keen to hunt down edible mushrooms, I did find this site that looks pretty comprehensive: David Fisher’s American Mushrooms. I should probably check out his book if I’m going to keep posting fungus pictures.

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