Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Lion's mane

In my last post I mentioned looking for a fungus called Hericium erinaceus or Lion's mane. Although I didn't find the one I was looking for, I did find this one fruiting in the Black oak (Quercus kelloggii) in another part of the park. I actually saw my very first Lion's Mane fruiting from this tree about three years ago. It fruited the following year then skipped last year and here it is again.

If you find it early, this is an edible fungus, though not one I've ever tried to eat. Although my sketch only suggests it, the rounded white area at the bottom of the organism is comprised of slender "teeth" or spines which produce the spores, rather than gills. This fungus had already begun to produce spores and had a white dusting on top.

More written and pictorial information:
MushroomExpert
Mykoweb
MushroomObserver

2 comments:

  1. You've introduced us to a lot of weird and wonderful fungi, Debbie, but this beats all! It looks like an underwater (or outerspace) creature.

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  2. Ever since discovering your blog, you've introduced me to the strange world of fungi and opened my eyes to things that I used to skim over...okay, a bright looking bracket fungi or a convoluted morel would still catch my eye, but generally, no...

    I went to a fascinating talk on scrub restoration and mychorrizal fungi and thought of you! The speaker had some interesting photos of the fruiting bodies that I was itching to sketch!

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