All of these are growing at the base of a half-dead tree (which was rutted by deer and struck by lightning) in my parents-in-law’s backyard.
Certain doom for the tree.
Unidentified coprinoid species. Gills liquifying, growing on rotting wood and leaf litter.
Generally corky and technically edible, Dryad’s Saddle, or Pheasant’s Back are Polyporus squamosus‘ common names, and it has one of the most interesting properties in the Mushroom kingdom: When cut open, it smells like fresh watermellon rind. Unbelieveable. They also sometimes grow to gigantic size (at one time there was one growining in my grandparents’ yard at the base of a dying maple that was nearly 2 feet across).
The specimens my wife and I found after a heavy rain were also young enough to eat, as when they are soft enough to cut with your fingernails, they’re easy enough to chew.
Unfortunately, they were also too young to obtain a sporeprint…
Since we very strictly adhere to beyond-a-doubt microscopic identification before consuming any mushrooms we find in the wild, this treat will unfortunately meet the trash, much like the first time we came across Agaricus arvensis (a rather choice edible).
When in any doubt, throw it out, and for us, that means matching microscopic criteria. No exceptions.
But hey, they were absolutely gorgeous, and now we know where they grow. More data is needed. 😉
(Note on the last picture, there are some unidentified Coprinus that were deformed due to the heat and sudden dryness after the rains.)
Here are some pictures of the Coprinus I mentioned earlier. They’re growing on the subterranean remains of an old elm tree that used to stand in the yard. After the elm got sick and died, and the trunk was removed, Coprinus keep popping up there year after year.
I was lucky enough to snag a sporeprint before the gills liquefied, a picture of which I’ll post here soon.
First two specimens of the year just came in. One Pluteus cervinus growing out of the Reishi stump, and some Coprinus of some variety that were growing gregariously where the old elm tree once stood on my grandparents’ property.
I’ll have pictures later. 🙂