Saturday, October 8, 2011

White Mushroom on a Cottonwood Log

Destructive Pholiota - Pholiota destruens
The Destructive Pholiota (a pretty dramatic name).  I found this one growing out of a cut Cottonwood log (Populus deltoides).  The cap is covered with cottony scales, soft to the touch. 
 The stalk is also covered with cottony scales, with a vague ring, above which the stalk is smooth.
The cottony scales also overhang the margins of the cap. 

It produces a cinnamon-brown spore print; you can sort of see the brownish stains of the spores on the gills in the above photo.

It's edible, but not one to seek out.  The name, Destructive Pholiota, apparently comes from the fact that it quickly decays the wood it inhabits.  It'll be interesting to watch this log and see if it indeed does seem to decay away more quickly (I'll report back in a few decades).