Monday, June 30, 2014

Mushroom Log - late June 2014

Giant Puffball - Calvatia gigantea

I don't think I've ever seen Giant Puffballs this early in the season.

Green-spored Lepiota - Chlorophyllum molybdites

A pictorial tour of some of this poisonous mushroom's features.


Clitocybe candicans

Described as fruiting in August through October, but it matches the description given in Mushrooms of Northeastern North American very well.  A noteworthy feature (noteworthy only because this is such a nondescript mushroom) is the collar at the top of the stem where the gills attach (not pictured).

Laughing Gym - Gymnopilues junonius 

This patch of mushrooms has grown to be quite large since this picture was taken.  The darker orange mushrooms in the background are older ones.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Mushroom Log - mid June 2014

Cross-veined Mushroom - Xeromphalina tenuipes

I've misidentified these mushrooms as Velvet-foot Mushrooms, Flammulina velutipes in past posts, but I was never entirely confident that was correct.  It's superficially similar - an orangish mushroom growing on wood.  One feature unique to the Cross-vein Mushroom is the gills growing crosswise to the main gills, visible in the picture above if look.
Overall, its more "leggy" than the Velvet-foot.  This feature led me to believe that they were Velvet-foots past their prime.  And the Velvet-foot usually grows in tight clusters from stumps, the Crossgill grows along the sides of logs in looser groups (in my experience).
Both mushrooms have velvety stems which contributed to my confusion.  Plus X. tenuipes is not a common field guide mushroom, so it took some extra research to find it.

Crown-tipped Coral - Artomyces pyxidata
One of the few coral-shaped mushrooms that grows on wood.  It's edible, I think I'd like to try it in a hot and sour soup.

Crep - Crepidotus sp.
Fawn Mushroom - Pluteus cervinus

Gymnopus dryophilus

I usually like to include a common name for mushrooms, to facilitate casual conversation (that's what we do with other forms of life).  But the typical common name, Oak-loving Collybia given for this mushroom just doesn't work.  For one, they can be found associated with other trees, these were under White Pines.  And second, the name Collybia references an older genus name given for this mushroom. 

Yellow Fairy Cups - Bisporella citrina

Unknown Mushroom

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Three-spotted Fillip Moth

Heterophleps triguttaria, in the Geometridae , or inchworm family.  The caterpillars feed on maples.  I'm curious to know where the name "Fillip" comes from.  Maybe it refers to the second half of the genus name, -phleps.  But what does "phleps" mean.

After a little research, I think phleps is from Greek and refers to blood veins (a phlebotomist is someone who draws blood), and hetero- means different or irregular, so different or irregular veins?  Maybe some reference to the venation of the wings.  I didn't find anything that referenced this in the one detailed description I found of the genus.

Since I'm thinking about names - the "Three-spotted" part of the common name makes sense, and so does the "tri-" beginning of the species name, and "-guttaria" is close to "gutta" which can refer to spots in latin.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Mushroom Log - Early June 2014, part II

Special nondescript, brownish mushroom edition!

Agrocybe - Agrocybe praecox species cluster


Medium-sized brown mushrooms often with thin covering over the gills when young, that turns into ring around the stalk (a partial veil).  Growing in wood chips.  Brown spore print.

Agrocybe - Agrocybe sp

A smaller brown mushroom growing in wood chips, without a partial veil.  Brown spore print.  Possibly A. pediades

Psythyrella - Psathyrella sp.

A smaller, fragile brown mushroom, growing amongst woody debris in the woods.  Dark brown, almost black spore print.

Psathyrella - Psathyrella sp.

Ditto.  Note the partial veil remnants hanging from the edge of the cap in the second picture, a feature found in many members of this genus of mushrooms.

Unknown Mushroom

These mushrooms don't quite qualify as a nondescript brown mushrooms.  Superficially, yes - but they've got a little character that makes them stand out a bit.  They are of a more orangish-brown color with a distinct hump in the middle of the cap.  The gills are a darker reddish-brown as was the spore print.  The stalk featured a ring.

Last summer I found these same mushrooms (presumably) in the same spot.  I identified them as Gypsy Mushrooms, Cortinarius caperatus, but I think that's an incorrect identification, it doesn't quite match written descriptions or photographs.  Perhaps they are specimens of a mushroom called the Deadly Conocybe by some field guides, Conocybe filaris.  It matches written descriptions I found in the Audubon field guide and at Roger's Mushrooms, but most pictures I found show it as a slighter looking mushroom.  Plus it is described as having a movable ring; I didn't really note if the ring moved or not.  Next year . . .

Unknown Mushroom

I'm giving up on nondescript brown mushrooms for awhile.


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Mushroom Log - Early June 2014, part I

Orange Mycena - Mycena leaiana

One of the key features of this bright-orange, wood-inhabiting mushrooms are the darker orange margins of the gills, pictured below (sorry for the poor quality, I only had a point and shoot with me, and it just wasn't up the task).
The cap flattens out with age, loosing the bell shape often found in species of Mycena.
The stem can show coarse hairs at the base.

Big Laughing Gym - Gymnopilus junonius

These mushrooms usually have a much more typical toadstool shape.  I think these two would have really confused me except I saw them at an earlier stage of growth, and I have seen this species growing on the same log in the past.

Common Rosegill - Volvariella speciosa

This mushroom features a cup (or volva) at the base of its stem.  It wasn't prominent in these specimens, but if you look closely at the small mushroom to the right, you'll see that the rounded cap is emerging from a broken cup-shaped structure.

"White-stalked" Mycena  - Mycena cf. niveipes

The cf. in the species name indicates uncertainty of what species of Mycena this is.  It matches the description of M. niveipes given at Mushroom Expert.  Some key features being the coloration, growth on wood and a bleach-like odor.  Most mycenas are small and feature a bell-shaped cap.  The spore print is white.

I couldn't find a common name used for this mushroom, so I derived one from the species name.  I think using common names for mushrooms makes the topic more inviting for beginners and casual readers.  I always include a scientific name for more precise communication

Platterful Mushroom - Megacollybia rodmani

If I was a giant monster from a Godzilla mushroom, I'd be called Megacollybia, and I'd be a giant robot mushroom from the future, intent on seriously smashing up some large urban areas (of course).

I think the the common name, Platterful Mushroom (from the "National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms", by Gary Lincoff) refers to the mushrooms old scientific name, which was Tricholomopsis platyphylla.  The old species name platyphylla probably roughly translates to broad (platy-) gill (-phyll).  Broadgill is the common name used in "Mushrooms Demystified".

Speaking of my weak knowledge of Latin and Greek (the basis for many scientific names) - one day recently my 8 year old daughter, Naomi came up to me and said "I'm going to practice my old Greek words".  I responded enthusiastically and said she could help me learn.  Confusion ensued.  Finally I realized she had said "I'm going to wear my green cords".