Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Miscellany of Mushrooms

The first three mushroom species were found growing along the short woodland path connecting Jamieson St. to the Gateway Health Center. Earthy Inocybe (Inocybe geophylla, var. lilacina), mycorrhizal with conifers and hardwoods, was by far one of the most abundant mushrooms at this location. Most specimens were found growing under White Pine.

Inocybe geophylla teamed with a twinberry makes a picturesque pair.

A view of the gills.

The pale lilac tint has faded from this older mushroom.

In contrast to the omnipresent Inocybes, there were only a few Ascocoryne sp. hiding on the underside of a fragment of decaying wood, the largest of these sac fungi being only about 5 mm in diameter. The little "bug" visible on the surface of the specimen to the lower right is a Velvet Mite.

A cluster of Mock Oyster or Orange Oyster (Phyllotopsis nidulans) growing on a decaying stump, the second photo includes a complimentary slug. I didn't observe the slug eating this particular fungus, but have seen them chowing down on a wide variety of fungi that are toxic to human beings, including Amanita sp.

The next three species were encountered along the trail between Quin-Mo-Lac Road and the Crookston Road. Given that this mushroom is mycorrhizal with conifers, it was no surprise to find a large group of Tricholoma vaccinum fruiting under White Spruce.

A much hairier upper surface and generally more robust build help distinguish Trametes hirsuta from its cousin Trametes pubescens.

This trail runs parallel to Snake Lake and White Lake and the local beavers were busy; large areas of the road were flooded, turning a simple afternoon walk into an adventure in slogging through mud and water. But it was all worth it to experience my first encounter with the distinctive Cinnibar Polypore (Pycnoporus cinnibarinus). According to sources on the Internet this fungus is rather uncommon, and this stick hosted only three specimens, all about 2 cm across.

Next stop: on the trail going east of Tweed, about a hundred Tricholoma sp., mostly growing under White Pine but many also distributed on the forest floor. I can't identify these mushrooms as to species, the closest is Tricholoma squarrulosum but the stem doesn't conform to the descriptions in any species accounts I've read thus far.

A collection of Luminescent Panellus (Panellus stipticus) growing nearby on a fallen elm. Since this fungus is reputed to be bioluminescent I took some samples home with me to observe this phenomenon myself. After about ten to fifteen minutes my eyes became acclimated to the total darkness, and sure enough, I could see a very faint glow emanating from the gills.

A distinct line is formed where the gills terminate at the stem.

The same log was home to a group of Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor). Although I have plenty of photos of this ubiquitous species, its bold, attractive markings make it hard to pass up taking yet another picture of this striking little polypore.

A colorful colony of Brick Top (Hypholoma sublateritium) sprouting from the stump of the fallen elm. A very productive tree even after its demise, the dead elm also supported a couple of other species of polypore and a collection of Lemon Drops.

The cottony stuff clinging to the stem and the perimeter of the cap is the remnants of the web-like partial inner veil; this type of veil is called a cortina.