Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Pink lace petticoats

A very old-fashioned mushroom, with frilly white skirts rucked up to show off the pink lace beneath; this one always looks out of place, growing as it does, on wet, stained, old wood.

Common Split Gill mushroom, Schizophyllum commune

When the weather is dry, it folds those lace petticoats underneath to conserve moisture. In wet weather, (which we've been having plenty of) it fans out again.

The same mushroom, with another, smaller one.

Schizophyllum commune is easily recognized. Its tiny fruiting bodies lack stems, and they attach themselves like tiny bracket fungi on the dead wood of deciduous trees. Unlike a bracket fungus, however, Schizophyllum commune has what appear to be gills on its underside, rather than pores or a simple, flat surface. On close inspection the "gills" turn out to be merely folds in the undersurface--and they are very distinctively "split" or "doubled" (enlarge the illustrations). (Mushroom

This mushroom grows all around the world, year-round, so there are many photos on the internet. However, almost all of them show the underside, the split "gills". Even my trusty Guide shows only photos taken from underneath. A pity; those lacy skirts are too glorious to be passed by like that!


  1. That's a new one for me. I'll keep an eye out for it. - Margy

  2. I don't think I've ever seen it either. Maybe it isn't wet enough around here.


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