Thursday, October 13, 2011

Trip Report: Mushrooms

Last Saturday Matt led a mushrooming 101 class. While the fungi are slowing down compared to the incredible abundance of a month ago, there's still plenty to look at.

On the way to the park, we found two prized medicinal mushrooms: reishi and hen-of-the-woods. Growing right along the side of the road on the base of an oak tree in the neighborhood.

With the park we found good examples of most of the broad classifications of mushrooms you'll see: gilled cap-and-stalk mushrooms, boletes (cap-and-stalk mushrooms with pores instead of gills), shelf or polypore mushrooms, and even some coral mushrooms. We saw some fantastic examples of how mushrooms spread their mycelium through the vertical tube structure of wood. And we looked at the colored spores they drop to reproduce.

At one point someone said to me, "You can walk through the woods and it's just beautiful, but there are so many things to see if you stop and look!" Indeed.

Reishi (Ganoderma) and hen of the woods (Grifola frondosa)

Looking for the beetles we always see in oyster mushrooms.

Unidentified cap-and-stalk mushroom with gills

Miscellaneous polypores

Puffballs (Lycoperdon sp.?)

Very young oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus)

Coral mushroom

Maze-gilled polypore (Daedaleopsis confragosa)