Saturday, June 04, 2022

Melting shelf

I give up. I've searched through mushroom images, websites, and my books, until my eyes are burning, and I'm no further ahead. These fungi grow on dead stumps in shady forests. I don't know what they are.

Brown lump

It has the approximate shape of a polypore, if a bit droopy, as if it were melting. All the ones I've seen are large, solid and rough to the touch, and uniformly brown. Even one I found in pieces was the same brown throughout; there are no lighter edges or undersides. And I've only seen them on old stumps.

This mass is about 10 inches across.

What is it?

For comparison, this is what a proper polypore should look like:

Red-belted polypore.

See? A definite shape, even as its tree changed position. A tidy red and black trim, a clear underside. Not this amorphous brown mass!

Update: I collected a piece and took closer photos, some under the microscope.

The underside, with flash. Porous, but hard.

The pores, under the microscope and bright light.

The topside, also under the microscope and strong light. Leathery, hard to the touch.

The lobe was from 5 mm to 1 cm. thick, scentless and stiff. Dark brown to the naked eye under normal light.


No puedo identificar este hongo. Me cansé de mirar cientos de imágenes de políporos, de hojear mis libros guía, de buscar sitios web. Los ojos me arden. Y sigo sin saber que hongo este puede ser.

Crece — y he visto varios, todos iguales — en troncones ya bien podridos, en la sombra. Tiene más o menos la forma de un políporo, aunque parecen todos como si se estuvieran derritiendo. Pero la masa es sólida, dura al tocarla. Siempre son de un color café oscuro, sin otros colores. Hasta uno que encontré caído y roto en pedazos era del mismo color por toda la masa. No hay bordes o superficies inferiores más claros.

Este ejemplar mide como unos 25 cm. de ancho. Todos los que he visto han sido más o menos de este tamaño.

¿Alguien sabe que es?

Luego, un ejemplo de lo que un políporo debe ser. Una forma fija, fácil de reconocer. Dividiendo la parte superior de la superficie con los poros, hay un borde bien marcado, rojo y negro. Y la superficie inferior es limpia y blanca. Un políporo de cinta roja.

¡Aburrido! — dice la masa amorfa.


  1. I think your mystery polypore might be old Pycnoporellus fulgens that has started to breakdown.

    1. It does look similar. I posted microscopic photos of the pores on the underside on Field Naturalists of Van. Is. I'll add them here, too. The flesh is hard, leathery on top, rough underneath, odorless, and under a bright light, reddish orange.


I'm having to moderate all comments because Blogger seems to have a problem notifying me. Sorry about that. I will review them several times daily, though, until this issue is fixed.

Also, I have word verification on, because I found out that not only do I get spam without it, but it gets passed on to anyone commenting in that thread. Not cool!

Powered By Blogger