Saturday, 9 January 2016

Lookin' out my back door

This is the view out the back door at work, from the kitchen where we've all been eating copious amounts of panettone this week:
I couldn't help noticing there's something fungal-looking on that log; so yesterday lunchtime I took my book outside to see if I could give it a name.
The first thing I noticed was it's got gills. And it's a sort of oyster shape, with virtually no stem (or 'stipe') to speak of. I thought that would probably put us in the realms of the Pleurotus, or oyster mushrooms.
That "irregular and undulating margin" made me think this might be Pale Oyster Pleurotus pulmonarius. Michael Jordan's Fungi says the gills are, "at first white, becoming tinged pallid ochraceous" [the internet has kindly provided this description of 'ochraceous': a yellowy-orangey-browny colour]. You can sort of see in the photo above that the gills of the smaller (younger?) fruiting bodies are white and the larger ones have turned a darker colour. They just look kind of brown to me though.

Roger Phillips' Mushrooms says that Pale Oyster Pleurotus pulmonarius has a white spore print. So I left this mushroom sitting on a sheet of paper on my desk for the afternoon, to see what would happen.
Surprise! This one's spore print is brown. So, back to the books.

It could be some kind of large Crepidotus sp. I suppose. The Collins' Complete Guide says Peeling Oysterling Crepidotus mollis grows up to 7 cm across and Flat Oysterling Crepidotus applanatus up to 4 cm - both have a "mid-brown" / "walnut brown" spore print.

I'll have to go back on Monday and see if this fungus has a "peelable cap cuticle", which would make it Peeling Oysterling Crepidotus mollis.

For the record
Date: 08/01/16
Location: Woods Mill, private garden
Grid reference: TQ217137

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