Georgia Basidiomycetes

       

Meadow Mushroom

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Agaricus campestris

The Meadow Mushroom is one of the most common mushrooms in North America, and one of the more easily recognized. It forms a cap 2.5 - 10 cm (1 - 4") in diameter on a stalk that is up to 5 cm (2") high. The cap is convex when young, becoming flat to slightly convex when mature. The surface of the cap is white to pale brownish and dry. The young cap is smooth, becoming somewhat scaly as it matures. The underside of the cap has crowded gills that are pink when young, turning to purple- to chocolate-brown as the spores mature. The stalk is cylindrical, white to brownish, with a thin, inconspicuous ring and narrow fibers on the surface.

The Meadow Mushroom is the wild version of the common cultivated mushroom and is considered one of the finest for eating. It occurs singly or in large groups, and commonly forms fairy rings. It can be found in open, grassy areas, such as lawns, pastures, and open fields. In Georgia it occurs in late summer to autumn (August-October) if moisture is adequate.

Small Death Angel
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Amanita bisporiger

The Small Death Angel (or Death Cap) is a pure white mushroom with a cap and a stalk. The young mushroom is completely enclosed in a thick layer of fungal tissue that splits on top as the mushroom begins to expand. As the stalk elongates, this fungal tissue remains as a cup-like structure around the base of the stalk. The young cap is strongly convex, becoming nearly flat when fully expanded. The cap is 7 - 8 cm (2.8 - 3.2") across and has a smooth surface. The gills on the underside of the cap are pure white. The stalk is slender and white and has a distinct ring of membrane-like fungal tissue just beneath the gills. The stalk is cylindrical and up to 16 cm (6.4") high. At the top the stalk is 4 mm (0.16") wide, tapering to 15 mm (0.6") wide just above the bulbous base. The bulbous base is up to 4 cm (1.6") in width. The surface of the stalk may be smooth or covered by white scales. In old specimens the cap may acquire a yellowish tint.

The Small Death Angel belongs to a group of Amanita species with attractive, pure white fruiting bodies characterized by the bulbous base and the distinct ring of fungal tissue around the upper portion of the stalk. All are difficult to identify in the field. Because the base of the stalk is frequently covered by forest leaf litter, it is important to dig up the base of these mushrooms to accurately identify them. All are deadly poisonous and must not be eaten or even tasted; doing so can be fatal.

The Small Death Angel occurs as single fruiting bodies scattered in wooded areas. In Georgia it occurs in summer (July - August) when moisture is abundant.

Browning Amanita

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Amanita brunnescens

The Browning Amanita forms small to medium-size mushrooms with a cap borne on a stout stalk. When mature, the cap is flat to mildly convex, 35 - 100 mm (1.4 - 4") in diameter, and dark brown. The surface of the cap is smooth, but usually has scattered, irregular patches of whitish tissue. The stalk is white, 65 - 145 mm (2.6 - 5.8") high x 8 - 21 mm (0.32 - 0.85") wide; it is widest at the base and tapers toward the top. The bottom of the stalk is surrounded by a globose to subglobose basal bulb that often has short clefts on the upper margin. The surface of the stalk may be smooth or scaly. Just beneath the cap is a thin ring of white, membranous tissue that surrounds the stalk. The underside of the cap has numerous white gills on which the reproductive spores are borne. All of the tissues of the mushroom become brownish if injured or with age.

The Browning Amanita occurs singly or in groups on soil in both mixed and coniferous forests. In Georgia it is usually found in late summer and fall, when moisture is abundant.

Caesar's Mushroom

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Amanita caesarea

Caesar's Mushroom forms fairly large fruiting bodies with a cap and a stalk. When first formed (the "button" stage), the young mushroom is completely enclosed in a thick layer of white fungal tissue. The whole structure is round and resembles a small ball. As the mushroom begins to elongate, the covering tissue splits to reveal a bright red cap. The young cap is strongly convex, but as the stalk elongates it expands to become nearly flat. The mature cap is red to reddish-orange in the center, shading to bright yellow along the margin. The cap surface is smooth and may have fine lines radiating outward on the margin. The cap is 5 - 15 cm (2 - 6") or more across. The gills on the underside of the cap, on which the reproductive spores are formed, are yellow and close together. The stalk is slender, pale yellow, hollow in the center, with a smooth or cottony surface. It is 10 - 18 cm (4 - 7.2") high X 0.7 - 2 cm (0.3 - 0.8") wide and is usually a little narrower toward the top. Near the top of the stalk, just below the gills, is a pale yellow, membrane-like ring of fungal tissue, and the bottom of the stalk is surrounded by the deep, cup-like remnants (volva) of white, membrane-like fungal tissue that originally enclosed the young mushroom.

Caesar's Mushroom occurs on soil in hardwood and mixed forests, where it forms singly or in groups. It is a beautiful mushroom that can be found in summer to early autumn (July - October) in Georgia when moisture is abundant.

Citron Amanita

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Amanita citrina

This mushroom forms a cap borne on a slender stalk. When first formed, the young mushroom is covered by a thin layer of tissue called the veil, which breaks as the mushroom expands. When mature, the cap is mildly convex to nearly flat, with a broad, rounded knob in the center, 4 - 10 cm (1.6 - 4") across, and sticky to the touch. The central area of the cap is pale yellow to greenish-yellow, with a white margin. The surface of the cap is smooth, but may have small, irregular pieces of the veil adhered to it. The stalk is 8 - 12 cm (3.2 - 4.8") high X 8 - 15 cm (3.2 - 6") thick, with a rounded bulb at the base, tapering and narrower toward the top. The stalk is white and smooth or with pieces of tissue attached. Just beneath the cap is an irregular ring of membraneous tissue that surrounds the stalk; it is white, often turning yellowish with age. The basal bulb of the stalk sometimes has a distinct collar and often has a V-shaped cleft on the side. The underside of the cap has numerous narrow, white gills on which the reproductive spores are borne.

The Citron Amanita occurs singly or in groups on soil in wooded areas. In Georgia it occurs in summer to early autumn (August-October), depending upon rainfall.

Southern Fly Agaric
Amanita muscaria var. persicina

The Southern Fly Agaric forms medium to large fruiting bodies with a cap and a stalk. The cap is convex when mature, but sometimes is depressed in the center, 40 - 210 mm (1.6 - 8.4") in diameter, melon-colored to dark salmon-colored, and lighter near the margins. The surface of the cap is smooth, with numerous patches of yellowish to buff tissue scattered or in concentric rings on the surface. The stalk is 80 - 260 mm (3.2 - 10.4") high x 8 - 30 mm (0.32 - 1.2") wide, and is widest at the bottom, narrowing toward the top. The stalk is whitish to yellowish, smooth near the top and fibrous in the lower portion. The bottom of the stalk has an enlarged bulbous base bearing one or more rings of tissue. The underside of the cap has numerous creamy white gills on which the reproductive spores are borne.

The Southern Fly Agaric occurs singly or in small clusters on soil, usually in pine forests. In Georgia it occurs in late summer and fall, when moisture is abundant.

Shoestring Mushroom

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Armillariella tabescens

The Shoestring Mushroom forms large clusters of individual mushrooms that are attached at the base. Each mushroom has a small cap 3 - 10 cm (1.2 - 4") wide that is borne on a slender stalk 5 - 20 cm (2 8") high and 4 - 16 mm (0.16 - 0.65") wide. The cap varies from slightly convex to flat or centrally depressed with age and from yellow-brown to dull rusty brown in color. The cap is covered with fine, fiber-like scales. The stalk is whitish at the top, becoming brownish toward the base. The brownish gills on the underside of the cap, on which the reproductive spores are borne, extend a short distance down the stalk.

The Shoestring Mushroom often occurs as a parasite on both conifers and hardwood trees, on which it causes a root rot. The fungus takes its name from black cord-like structures that it forms beneath the bark of infected trees. The fruiting bodies form at the base of infected trees or on dead stumps, usually in summer and autumn, August to November, in Georgia.

Starfish Stinkhorn

Aseroë rubra

This unusual mushroom-like fungus, also called the "Flower Fungus", belongs to a group known as the stinkhorns, due to their unpleasant odor. When first formed, the immature fruiting body is enclosed in a thick layer of fungal tissue known as an "egg". The egg is whitish to grayish or pale brown; it forms in soil, to which it is attached by thick strands of the fungus. As the fruiting body develops, it elongates and breaks through the surrounding tissue, forming a funnel-shaped structure called the "receptacle". The receptacle is 5 - 9 cm (2 - 3.6") high x 1 - 2.5 cm (0.16 - 1") wide at the top. At maturity the top of the receptacle splits into several narrow, tapering arms that expand outward. The arms are 1.5 - 3.5 cm (0.6 - 1.4") long and 1 - 3 mm (0.04 - 0.12") thick. They are bright red and are split into twos at the tips. A dark brownish to grayish mucilaginous mass that contains the reproductive spores forms on the central part of the receptacle. The lower portion of the fruiting body, known as a "false stalk" (pseudostipe), is whitish to pinkish on the exterior. The base of the stalk is surrounded by the remains of the egg tissue.

The Starfish Stinkhorn is a tropical fungus that has been found only in central Georgia. It grows in damp soil containing woody debris. It is very common in Hawaii. The fetid odor of the spore mass attracts insects, which act as dispersal agents for the spores.

For more information on this unusual find, go to the following link: Aseroë

Aseroë photos ©John F. Kraus.

Wood Ear Fungus

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Auricularia auricula

The Wood Ear Fungus (or Brown Ear) is one of the jelly fungi, so-named because of the jelly-like consistency of the fruiting bodies. The fruiting bodies vary in shape from shallow cup-shaped to oval or irregular, with an upturned margin, resembling an ear. They vary in size from 2 - 15 cm (0.8 - 6") across and are attached directly to the substrate or by a short, ribbed attachment stalk. The flesh is thin, smooth, gelatinous and rubbery, and is brown to reddish-brown in color. Larger specimens are often wrinkled. When dry it is tough and hard and darker in color. The reproductive spores are borne on the surface of the fruiting body.

The Wood Ear is edible and easily recognized. This and a similar species are widely grown in the Orient as a popular delicacy. It stores well when dry and rehydrates readily in water. Because of its consistency it is commonly used in soups and casseroles, to which it adds an interesting texture.

The Wood Ear grows on decaying, fallen logs in wet habitats. It frequently occurs in clusters and often in great numbers. It is easiest to find after rainy periods, when the fruiting bodies are fully expanded. In Georgia it can be found throughout the year when rain is abundant.

False Yellow Bolete
Boletus pseudosulphureus

The False Yellow Bolete forms a thick, fleshy cap on a thick stalk. The cap is convex and bright yellow when young, becoming flattened to slightly depressed in the center at maturity. The mature cap is smooth and often has reddish tones in the center. It is roughly circular in shape, and 4 - 12 cm (1.75 - 4.75") in diameter. The underside of the cap bears a layer of small pores inside of which the reproductive spores are borne. The pore surface is initially bright yellow, then greenish-yellow; it quickly stains blue when injured. The stalk is 4 - 12 cm (1.75 - 4.75") high x 2 - 5 cm (0.75 - 2") wide; it is smooth, pale yellow and tapering. The flesh of both the cap and stalk turns bluish when bruised.

The False Yellow Bolete occurs singly or in small groups on the ground under deciduous trees, especially oak (Quercus spp.). In Georgia it occurs in late summer to autumn (August - November), when moisture is abundant.

Vase Puffball

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Calvatia cyathiformis

The fruiting body of the Vase Puffball is relatively large, attaining a size of 8 - 20 cm (3.2 - 8") wide by 5 - 15 cm (2 - 6") high. It is round to oval when viewed from above and pear-shaped in side view, with an enlarged spore case above that tapers to a broad base that is rounded at the bottom. The surface is smooth and pale brown at first, but as the spore case expands the outer layer splits into angular brown patches that are separated by a network of smooth, tan areas. The interior of the young fruiting body is white, becoming dark as the spores mature. At maturity the outer covering of the spore case breaks up and falls away, revealing the dark purple spore mass.

The Vase Puffball occurs singly or scattered on soil in meadows, lawns, and open grassy areas in late summer to autumn (September-November) in Georgia.

Golden Chanterelle

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Cantharellus cibarius

The Golden Chanterelle forms pale to bright yellow or yellow-orange fruiting bodies with a cap and a stalk. When young the cap is flat or only slightly depressed in the center, with the margin rolled inward (recurved), but as it matures it becomes distinctly funnel-shaped. When viewed from above the cap is round to irregular in shape and 3 - 10 cm (1.2 - 4") across. The surface of the cap may be smooth or hairy. The gills on the underside of the cap are not very deep but are distinct and well separated. They have blunt edges and are often interconnected by low ridges. They extend down the cap onto the upper portion of the stalk. The stalk is 2 - 8 cm (0.8 - 3.2") high and 5 - 25 mm (0.2 - 1") wide at the top, tapering and narrower at the base. Both the gills and stalk are usually lighter in color than the cap.

The Golden Chanterelle is one of the easiest mushrooms to identify because of the distinctive shape and blunt gill edges. It is considered one of the most delectable of the edible wild mushrooms.

The Golden Chanterelle occurs singly or in groups in mixed woods and adjacent open areas, and it can be locally abundant. In Georgia it occurs in summer to early autumn (late June - October) when moisture is abundant.

Red Chanterelle

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Cantharellus cinnabarinus

The Red Chanterelle is a mushroom that forms small, reddish-orange or cinnabar fruiting bodies in soil. It has a cap 1.2 - 4 cm (0.5 - 1.6") wide that tapers below to a slender stalk that is 2 - 6.3 cm (0.8 - 2.5") long. In young fruiting bodies the cap is smooth and flat to slightly rounded, with down-turned margins (convex), but in older specimens it usually becomes depressed in the center, becoming funnel- or trumpet-shaped. In top view the cap is circular to irregularly lobed, with thin flesh. The underside of the cap has a series of shallow, gill-like ridges that taper downward onto the upper portion of the stalk; true gills are lacking. The reproductive spores are borne on the surface of the ridges. The stalk is smooth and may be paler in color than the cap.

The Red Chanterelle occurs on the ground in open woods, frequently in large numbers, presenting a colorful sight. In Georgia it can be found in late summer to autumn (August-October), depending upon moisture.

Violet Coral Fungus

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Clavaria zollingeri

The fruiting body of the Violet Coral Fungus consists of a series of erect branches that are attached at the base. The branches are relatively thick and the branching pattern is dichotomous, i.e., the branch divides into two at each fork. The individual branches are smooth and round in cross section, with rounded tips. The flesh of the branches is soft and fairly brittle, breaking easily. The fruiting body varies in size from 2.5 - 10 cm (1 - 4") high X 2.5 - 7.5 cm (1 - 3") wide, and is uniformly deep lavender to violet in color.

The Violet Coral Fungus occurs on soil in wooded areas, but is inconspicuous due to the small size and color. In Georgia it can be found in late summer to early autumn (August-October) if moisture is adequate.

Smooth Chanterelle

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Craterellus cantharellus

The Smooth Chanterelle forms yellow to orange fruiting bodies with a cap and a stalk. When young the cap is only slightly depressed in the center, with the margin rolled inward (recurved), but as it matures it becomes funnel-shaped. When viewed from above the cap is round to irregular in shape, 3 - 14 cm (1.2 - 5.6") across, often with a wavy margin. The surface of the cap may be smooth or with fine hairs. The underside of the cap is smooth or sometimes with a few gill-like ridges. This spore-forming area extends down the cap onto the upper portion of the stalk. The stalk is 2.5 - 10 cm (1 - 4") high and 5 - 25 mm (0.2 - 1") wide at the top, tapering and narrower at the base. Both the stalk and underside of the cap are usually lighter in color than the cap surface.

The Smooth Chanterelle is very similar in appearance to the golden chanterelle, differing only in the lack of distinct gills. Like the golden chanterelle, it is considered one of the choice edible wild mushrooms.

The Smooth Chanterelle occurs singly or in groups in mixed woods and adjacent open areas. It may occur with the golden chanterelle. In Georgia it occurs in summer to early autumn (late June - October) when moisture is abundant.

Fusiform Rust

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Cronartium quercuum f. sp. fusiforme
(Cronartium fusiforme)

Fusiform Rust occurs on the branches and main stems of pine trees. The fungus invades the woody tissues of the tree and the infected sites swell to form enlarged areas called galls. The galls typically are spindle-shaped (fusiform), especially on small trees, but they can vary in shape from nearly round to irregular in outline. The size of the gall also can vary greatly, depending upon the size of the limb or trunk that is infected. When mature, and weather conditions are right, the surface of the gall produces large masses of orange-colored spores that spread the disease. The galls are perennial and can continue producing spores for many years.

Like many rust fungi, Fusiform Rust needs two different living hosts to complete its life cycle. The spores produced on pine cannot infect another pine; instead, they infect young leaves of members of the red oak group. A second type of spore is then formed on the oak leaves, and this spore can infect pine, completing the life cycle.

Fusiform Rust occurs in the southeastern United States and is most common on loblolly (Pinus taeda) and slash (Pinus elliottii) pines. It is a serious disease that destroys large numbers of pine trees each year, both in seedling nurseries and in plantations. Trees with large stem cankers are greatly reduced in value and they are also susceptible to wind damage. In Georgia, spore formation occurs in early spring (February - March), with the advent of warm weather and the development of young oak leaves. The spores are readily blown from pine to immature oak leaves, which they infect. Two to four weeks later the spore stage that reinfects pine is produced. The spore stage on oak is inconspicuous and does not harm the oak leaves. Water oak (Quercus nigra) and willow oak (Quercus phellos) are the most common oak hosts. Fusiform Rust can be found wherever pine trees are grown, and because of the nature of the galls, it can be recognized throughout the year.

Fairy Butter

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Dacrymyces palmatus

This fungus is one of the jelly fungi, so-called because of its gelatinous fruiting bodies. The fruiting bodies are small, lobed and irregular in shape, tough in consistency, and slippery when wet. They are 1 - 6 cm (0.4 - 2.5") across and are bright yellow to orange-yellow in color, with a white base where they are attached to the substrate. The spore-producing cells are embedded in the gelatinous matrix of the fruiting body, and they form spores all over the surface of the lobes.

The Fairy Butter Fungus occurs on dead conifer trunks, especially pine, during wet weather. Because the gelatinous fruiting bodies shrink to a small, unrecognizable mass when dry, they must be sought during wet, rainy weather. In Georgia they can be found during summer and autumn (June - November) following extended rains.

Brown Jelly Fungus

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Exidia recisa

The Brown Jelly Fungus forms smooth, irregular, wrinkled, brownish-black, somewhat erect gelatinous masses (fruiting bodies) during wet weather. Their size varies greatly, from 1 - 10 cm (0.5 -4") across, and they are attached to the substrate by a stemlike base. The reproductive spores that serve to disperse the fungus are borne in a layer on the lower surface of the fruiting body. When dry, the gelatinous fruiting body shrinks to a thin, blackish-brown membrane on the surface of the substrate.

The Brown Jelly Fungus occurs on the dead branches of deciduous trees, especially on oak (Quercus spp.). Because it shrinks to a flat layer when dry, it is likely to be noticed only during wet weather. In Georgia this fungus occurs throughout the year following heavy rains.

Leaf Gall of Camellia

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Exobasidium camelliae

Leaf Gall of Camellia is caused by a fungus that invades young leaves and buds of camellia, causing them to become greatly distorted. As the infected buds expand, the leaves become 2 - 3 times larger and thicker than normal. These enlarged leaves have a shiny appearance and they vary in color from light green to cream or yellowish, often with reddish areas. Because the infected buds occur at the tips of the branches, the cluster of infected leaves somewhat resembles a misshapen flower. As the infected leaves mature, they form a layer of spore-producing cells on the lower surface, beneath the leaf epidermis. Later the epidermis sloughs off, exposing the layer of spore-producing cells.

The leaf gall fungus attacks the newly opening buds of camellias in early spring. Older leaves are not affected. Both japonica (Camellia japonica) and sasanqua (Camellia sasanqua) type camellias are susceptible, but the latter type appears more common. Both types are shown in the photos; the dark green bud is from Camellia japonica, whereas the other photos are of Camellia sasanqua. The exact time of infection depends upon the weather. In north Georgia it usually occurs in late March to April, being somewhat earlier in south Georgia. Leaf gall can potentially be found wherever camellias are grown.

Lacquered Shelf Fungus
Ganoderma lucidum

The Lacquered Shelf Fungus is one of the bracket fungi. The fruiting bodies are semicircular to irregularly circular in shape and they are attached laterally to the substrate, usually by means of a short stalk. Fruiting bodies growing on roots may have a more central attachment. The brackets are 5 - 35 cm (2 - 14") across; the stalk, if present, can be up to 18 cm (7.2") long. The top of the fungus varies in color from brown to orange-brown or reddish, with concentric zones that differ in color. With age, the surface becomes shiny and dark mahogany in color, with white to yellowish margins. The lower surface is white at first, becoming pale to dark tan; it contains many pores, inside of which the brown reproductive spores are produced. The stalk has the same texture and color as the bracket.

The Lacquered Shelf Fungus has long been considered as a valuable medicinal fungus in the Orient, where it is grown for its beneficial properties. In China it is known as "Ling Chi" and in Japan as "Reishi". The fruiting body is powdered and steeped to make tea, which has a strong, distinctive flavor.

The Lacquered Shelf Fungus grows on the trunks or roots of dying or dead hardwood trees. It can occur singly or in large numbers. A very similar species, Ganoderma tsugae, grows on conifers. In Georgia it can occur from summer to fall (June - November), but the brackets may persist much longer.

Quince Rust
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Gymnosporangium clavipes

Despite the common name of Quince Rust, this fungus attacks a wide variety of pomaceous fruits. It is very common on hawthorn (Crataegus spp.), which is the host depicted above. The rust fungus invades the young hawthorn fruits, growing throughout the tissues of the developing fruits. It also may attack young twigs at times, causing them to swell. When conditions are right the fungus begins to produce spores. The spores are formed in large numbers in the fruit tissue. As the spores develop, they push out of the fruit in a long, cylindrical column that is enclosed by a thin wall of whitish fungal tissue. These columns are up to 3 mm long, and many form on each fruit. The spore mass in the columns is bright orange. The spores are released when the surrounding fungal tissue splits longitudinally, allowing the spores to be dispersed by air currents. The spores are round or nearly so, with a pale yellow wall when viewed singly.

The Quince Rust is a rust that needs two different host plants to complete its life cycle. The spores formed on hawthorn can only infect the second host, which is red cedar (Juniperus virginiana); they cannot reinfect hawthorn.

Quince Rust occurs in spring during wet periods, presenting a striking sight when nearly all of the fruits on infected trees are covered with the protruding spore horns.

Cedar-Apple Rust

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Gymnosporangium juniperi-virginianae

The rust fungi are all parasites of living plants, and like many other rust fungi, the Cedar-Apple Rust requires two hosts to complete its life cycle. The most conspicuous stage occurs on red cedar (Juniperus virginiana). The fungus invades slender, young stems of red cedar, on which it forms small, scattered, globose to irregular, hard, woody outgrowths (galls) that are 10 - 30 mm (0.4 - 1.2") in diameter. The spores form in these galls, and during wet, humid weather, they push out of the galls in long, gelatinous spore horns (A). The spore horns are orange to orange-brown in color, up to 2.5 cm (1") long, with many forming on each gall. The spores in these spore horns germinate and produce a second type of spore that can only infect the leaves of the second host, apple (Malus spp.). The spores are carried by air currents to young apple leaves, which they infect. As the fungus grows inside the apple leaf, the infected area turns yellowish (B). It is in these yellow spots that a third spore stage is formed, on the underside of the leaf (C). These spores form in the leaf tissue and they are pushed out in slender columns that are surrounded by a thin layer of fungal tissue. The spores are released when the fungal tissue splits, allowing them to be dispersed by air currents. These spores can only infect red cedar, thus completing the life cycle.

The galls with spore horns appear on red cedar trees in early spring during the onset of warm, rainy weather. They present a striking sight, especially in heavily infected trees. The gelatinous spore horns soon drop off of the galls, but the galls may persist on the tree for many months. They are dark brown, with numerous shallow depressions, marking the places where the spore horns were attached. Depending upon the weather, the galls appear in late February to March, with the spots on the apple leaves appearing a few weeks afterwards.

Photo (A) ©Terry S. Price

Bird's Nest Cedar Rust

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Gymnosporangium nidus-avis

The Bird's Nest Cedar Rust occurs on the trunks and twigs of red cedar (Juniperus virginiana), on which it causes swollen areas. It is on these swollen areas that the fungus produces its most conspicuous spore stage. This consists of numerous small, hemispherical, flattened, shelf-like gelatinous masses that push out from the tree trunk. When fresh, these gelatinous masses are yellow-orange in color, usually darkening to brownish-orange as they mature. They are variable in size, up to 2.5 cm wide X 1.5 cm deep X 0.5 cm thick (1 X 0.6 X 0.2"), and they are filled with the reproductive spores of the fungus. These spores germinate and produce a second type of spore that is carried by air currents to a second host (Juneberry, Flowering quince, and Quince), which they infect, causing diseased spots on the leaves. The fungus later produces a third type of spore on the leaves, which can only infect red cedar, thus completing the life cycle.

The gelatinous spore masses appear on red cedar in early spring, during warm, rainy weather. Large numbers of them can be formed, turning a portion of the tree trunk orange. They are short-lived, however, soon dropping off and shrivelling as the rain ends. Depending upon the weather, the spore masses appear in late February to March, with the leafspots on the second host appearing a few weeks later.

Hedgehog Mushroom

Hericium erinaceus

The fruiting body of the Hedgehog Mushroom (also called the Bearded Hedgehog, Lion’s Mane and Medusa’s Head) consists of a large rounded mass of soft, white, fleshy fungal tissue that is attached laterally to a tree. The fruiting body can be up to 30 cm (12") across and nearly as high. The surface of the fruiting body is covered by numerous white, pendant spines (“teeth”) up to 4 cm (1.6") long. The reproductive spores of the fungus are formed on the surface of the spines. With age, the entire fruiting body often becomes yellowish or brownish. When young and fresh, the fungus is edible and considered good.

The Hedgehog Mushroom grows singly on various hardwood trees, especially oaks (Quercus sp.), and is often located high up on the tree. The presence of this fungus on a tree indicates that the interior of the tree is diseased and decaying away. In Georgia it can occur from summer to early winter (June - November), but may persist longer.

Velvety Tooth Fungus

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Hydnellum velutinum

The Velvety Tooth Fungus forms a mushroom-like fruiting body with a cap and centrally attached stalk. The cap is flat or more commonly depressed in the center, up to 10 cm (4") across, and covered with very fine short hairs, giving it a velvety feeling when touched. The underside of the cap tapers downward toward the stalk, so that the fruiting body appears funnel-shaped in side view. When young the cap is light brown with a darker central area. In older specimens the center is dark brown, with broad concentric bands of lighter shades of brown toward the edge, which remains light colored. The stalk is up to 5 cm (2") long x 2 cm (0.8") wide, dark brown, with an irregular surface. The texture of both the cap and stalk is tough and spongy. The bottom of the cap is covered by a layer of spines (teeth) that project downward. The spines are light brown at first, darkening with age. The surface of the spines is covered by the cells that produce the reproductive spores.

The Velvety Tooth Fungus is not edible due to its tough, leathery texture.

This fungus grows on soil beneath conifers and deciduous trees. It may be solitary or in small groups, often with leaves or pine needles adhering to it. It occurs in late summer in Georgia.

Vermillion Waxycap

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Hygrocybe miniata

The Vermillion Waxycap mushroom forms clusters of small fruiting bodies with a stalk and a cap. The cap is convex when young, 1.5 - 4.5 cm (0.6 - 1.8") across, often with a shallow depression in the center. The young cap is shiny, scarlet and smooth, but soon fades to orange or yellow, especially near the margins. The stalk is slender and either cylindrical or often somewhat flattened or grooved, 3 - 5 cm (1.2 - 2") high X 3 - 4 mm (0.12 - 0.16") wide. The surface of the stalk is smooth and red to orange or yellow in color. The underside of the cap bears the gills on which the reproductive spores are borne. The gills are not crowded and are widest in the middle; they are yellow to orange in color. Both the cap and the gills feel waxy to the touch.

The Vermillion Waxycap occurs on soil in open grassy areas or in woods, where the bright red caps are readily noticed. In Georgia it occurs in summer to autumn (June - October) when moisture is abundant.

Indigo Milkcap
(Indigo Lactarius)

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Lactarius indigo

The Indigo, or Blue, Milkcap Mushroom is one of the easiest mushrooms to identify, due to its unusual color. The entire mushroom, including the cap, stalk, and gills, is dark blue. Moreover, if the gills of a fresh specimen are cut or damaged, they exude droplets of deep indigo-blue "milk", or latex. This latex will readily stain anything it touches, but it is easily washed off. In older specimens the color of the cap and stalk may fade to a grayish or silvery blue. The cap in young specimens is convex, with an inrolled margin, but as it expands it becomes funnel-shaped and depressed in the center. The mature cap is 5 - 15 cm (2 - 6") wide, on a thick stalk that is up to 8 cm (3.25") high. The surface of the cap is smooth and when wet, it is slippery. When viewed from above, a series of narrow, darker, concentric rings can be seen on the cap, especially near the margin.The gills are close together and they extend a short distance down the stalk; they are often darker blue than the cap or stalk.

The Indigo Milkcap occurs on soil in mixed woods, especially near oak trees. They may be solitary or in groups. Blue is an unusual color among the fungi, and finding a group of indigo milkcaps is a visual treat. In Georgia they appear in late summer to early autumn (September-October), if moisture is abundant.

Peppery Lactarius

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Lactarius piperatus

The Peppery Lactarius is a mushroom that forms fairly large, white fruiting bodies that are borne on a short stalk. When young, the cap is rounded on top (convex) with a slight depression in the center, becoming strongly depressed in older specimens, and often distinctly funnel-shaped. The mature mushroom is 4 - 15 cm (1.6 - 6") across, with the stalk 3 - 8 cm (1.2 - 3.2") high X 1.5 - 2.5 cm (0.2 - 1") wide. The gills are thin and very close together, extending from the edge of the cap to the top of the stalk. When injured, the gills exude droplets of a white, milky latex; for this reason, these fungi are sometimes referred to as „milkcapsš. The entire mushroom is white at first, but in older specimens the gills often become yellowish-brown. Yellowish areas may also appear on the cap.

The name derives from the fact that the flesh has a strong, acrid flavor when tasted. This mushroom should not be eaten, however, as many individuals suffer severe gastrointestinal upset when it is ingested.

The Peppery Lactarius occurs on soil in hardwood and mixed forests, especially where oak trees are present. In Georgia it occurs in late summer, August-October, if moisture is abundant.

Yellow Pleated Parasol
(Yellow Dwarf)

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Leucocoprinus birnbaumii

The Yellow Pleated Parasol mushroom forms small, bright yellow fruiting bodies. The cap is circular in top view, 2 - 8 cm (0.8 - 3.2") in diameter, and has distinct grooves on the margin. The young cap is bell-shaped and covered with fluffy yellow scales, expanding to convex to almost flat, with a distinct central hump (umbo) as it matures. The flesh is thin and fragile, but toughens as it dries. The gills are thin, crowded, and white. The stalk is slender and fragile, 4 - 12 cm (1.6 - 4.8") high and 0.3 - 0.6 cm (0.12 - 0.24") wide, with a narrow bulbous base and tapering to a very narrow apex. The stalk has a thin, narrow ring beneath the cap. This mushroom is short-lived, frequently collapsing on the substrate soon after maturing. The color fades to a yellowish-brown upon drying.

The Yellow Pleated Parasol forms in clusters on rich organic matter, such as compost piles, mulch, and potting soil. It often occurs in potted plants and in greenhouses. In Georgia it occurs outdoors during wet summers (June-September), but can occur indoors throughout the year.

Spiny Puffball

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Lycoperdon echinatum

The fruiting bodies of the Spiny Puffball are round when young, later becoming somewhat flattened and wider than high, with a narrow base that is attached to the substrate. Mature fruiting bodies are 2 - 4 cm (0.8 - 1.6") high X 2 - 5 (0.8 - 2") wide. The outer wall of the fruiting bodies is composed of two distinct layers. The outer layer is white and composed of long, slender, pointed spines that are often curved and which turn brown as they age. The interior tissue of the young fruiting body is white, becoming yellowish, then olive-brown and finally purple-brown as the spores form. As the fruiting body matures the outer layer of spines falls off, leaving a net-like pattern on the surface of the inner wall layer. The inner wall layer is thin and pale to dark purple-brown, becoming smooth as the net-like surface pattern wears away. A round pore forms in the top of this inner wall. By this time the interior tissue has become converted into a mass of purple-brown spores. Any sudden pressure on this thin wall, such as the impact of falling raindrops, will cause the "puffing" action, in which a group of spores is suddenly ejected through the pore into the air, where air currents can disperse the spores.

The Spiny Puffball occurs singly or in small groups on soil or rotten wood in woods and adjacent open areas. In Georgia it can be found during summer to early autumn (July - October) when moisture is abundant.

Naked Puffball

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Lycoperdon marginatum

The fruiting bodies of the Naked Puffball are round when young, later becoming somewhat flattened and wider than high, with a narrow base that is attached to the substrate. Mature fruiting bodies are 1 - 3 cm (0.4 - 1.2") high X 1 - 5 (0.4 - 2") wide. The outer wall of the fruiting bodies is composed of two distinct layers. The outer layer is white and composed of large, sharp-pointed spines that turn brown as they age. The interior tissue of the young fruiting body is white, but becomes olive-brown as the spores form. As the fruiting body matures the outer layer of spines breaks up into small sheets or patches that fall off as a unit. Typically the spines fall off only on the upper half of the fruiting body, remaining on the lower half. Removal of the spines exposes the thin, smooth, pale to dark brown inner wall layer. A round pore forms in the top of this inner wall. By this time the interior tissue has become converted into a mass of olive-brown to grayish-brown spores. Any sudden pressure on the thin wall, such as the impact of falling raindrops, will cause the „puffingš action, in which a group of spores is suddenly ejected through the pore into the air, where air currents can disperse the spores.

The Naked Puffball occurs singly or in small groups on soil in open areas such as lawns and pastures, and in open wooded areas. In Georgia it can be found during summer to early autumn (July - October) when moisture is abundant.

Gem PuffBall
(Devil's Snuff Box)

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Lycoperdon perlatum

The fruiting bodies of the Gem Puffball are round when young, becoming broadly pear-shaped with a narrow base that is attached to the substrate. Mature fruiting bodies are 3 - 7 cm (1.2 - 2.8") high X 3 - 8 (1.2 - 3.2") wide, or occasionally larger. The outer wall of the fruiting bodies is composed of two distinct layers. The outer layer is white and composed of small, cone-shaped spines that turn brown as they age. The interior tissue of the young fruiting body is white, but becomes olive-brown as the spores form. As the fruiting body matures the outer layer of spines falls off, exposing the thin, smooth, dark brown inner wall layer. A round pore forms in the top of this inner wall. By this time the interior tissue has become converted into a mass of olive-brown spores. Any sudden pressure on the thin wall, such as the impact of falling raindrops, will cause the "puffing" action, in which a group of spores is suddenly ejected through the pore into the air, where air currents can disperse the spores.

The Gem Puffball occurs singly or in small groups on soil in wooded areas. In Georgia it can be found during summer to early autumn (July - October) when moisture is abundant.

Green Gilled Mushroom

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Macrolepiota molybdites

The Green Gill is a mushroom with a large cap borne on a slender stalk. The cap is 7 - 30 cm (2.8 - 12") in diameter, circular in top view, and broadly convex at maturity. The young cap is bell-shaped and is covered by a thin layer of brown tissue that breaks up into superficial, buff to cinnamon-colored scales as the cap expands. The surface of the cap between the scales is smooth and white, often appearing brownish upon drying. The gills are close together, white when young, becoming greenish as the spores mature, changing to brownish in old specimens. The stalk is 10 - 25 cm (4 - 10") high, 2 - 2.5 cm (0.8 - 1") wide at the top and tapering to 4 - 6 cm (1.6 - 2.4") wide at the base. The surface of the stalk is smooth and white to brownish. A distinct ring of thick fungal tissue with a ragged edge is loosely attached to the stalk just beneath the cap.

The Green Gill is poisonous and should not be eaten. Ingestion can result in severe stomach upset, and some deaths have been attributed to it. This mushroom has also been named Chlorophyllum molybdites, Lepiota molybdites, and Lepiota morgani.

The Green Gill is common in open grassy areas, such as lawns, meadows, and pastures during warm, wet weather. It usually occurs separately but in large numbers, and it often forms fairy rings. In Georgia it is common in summer (July-August) if moisture is abundant.

Dog Stinkhorn

Mutinus caninus

The Dog Stinkhorn derives its name from its structure and unpleasant odor. The immature fruiting body is enclosed in a thick layer of fungal tissue known as an “egg”. The egg is white and forms in the soil, to which it is attached by thick strands of the fungus. As the fruiting body develops, it elongates and breaks through the surrounding tissue to form a long, cylindrical, hollow, spongy stalk 6 - 12 cm (2.4 - 4.8") high x 1 - 1.5 cm (0.4 - 0.6") wide. The stalk tapers slightly toward the top and has a pore in the tip. The upper portion of the fruiting body is reddish-orange, becoming paler in color toward the bottom. Surrounding the reddish part of the fruiting body is an olive-brown slimy mass that contains the reproductive spores. The base of the stalk is surrounded by the remains of the egg tissue.

The Dog Stinkhorn grows in grassy areas in open hardwood forests. It is not common and is usually detected first by its fetid odor, which attracts insects that act as agents of dispersal for the spores. In Georgia it may be found in late summer and fall (September - November).

Eastern Stinkhorn

Phallus ravenelii

The Eastern Stinkhorn is one of the “phalloid” stinkhorns, so-called because of the suggestive shape of the mature fruiting body. The immature fruiting body is enclosed in a thick layer of tough, smooth fungal tissue and is known as an “egg”. The round egg is pinkish-brown on the outside and whitish inside; it forms in the soil, to which it is attached by thick strands of the fungus. As the fruiting body develops, it elongates and breaks through the surrounding tissue to form a long, cylindrical, hollow, spongy stalk up to 17 cm (6.7") high x 4 cm (1.6") wide at the base and 2 cm (0.8") wide at the apex. The stalk is white and tapers toward the top, which bears a distinctive bell-shaped cap with a pore in the tip. The cap is thin, 4 - 5 cm (0.8 - 1") high x 3.5 cm (1.4") wide at the bottom. It is attached to the top of the stalk and hangs down around it. The cap is covered by an olive-green slimy mass that contains the reproductive spores. The odor of the mature spore mass is highly unpleasant, even nauseous. The base of the stalk is surrounded by the remains of the egg tissue.

The Eastern Stinkhorn grows singly or in clusters in open hardwood forests and in landscaped areas, especially where wood chip mulch is used. It is not considered as being common. The fetid odor attracts various insects that act as agents of dispersal for the spores. In Georgia it may be found in late summer and fall (September - November).

Pea Rock Fungus

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Pisolithus tinctorius

The Pea Rock Fungus forms fruiting bodies that are attached to the soil by a short stalk and fibrous, cord-like strands. They vary in shape from nearly round, to oval and somewhat flattened, to inverted pear-shaped; the size varies from 5 - 20 cm (2 - 8") high to 4 - 10 cm (1.75 - 4") wide. The outer covering of the fruiting body is thin, smooth, and ochre-colored when young, becoming dark brown at maturity. Very young specimens are white inside, but they darken as the pea-shaped structures in which the spores are formed begin to develop. When the spores are mature the tissue enclosing them disintegrates, so that the interior of a fully mature fruiting body is filled by a powdery, brown mass of spores intermixed with slender strands. The spores are released when the thin, brittle outer covering of the fruiting body breaks into fragments and falls away. The exposed spores are dispersed by air currents, raindrops, and by insects.

The fruiting bodies of the Pea Rock Fungus occur almost anywhere, solitary or in groups, in dry pine woods, open fields and pastures, and along driveways and roadsides. They are easily overlooked, as their color blends in with soil and the forest floor. In Georgia they are common in late summer to autumn (September-November).

Atlanta Psilocybe

Psilocybe atlantis

The Atlanta Psilocybe forms a typical cap and stalk. The cap is conical to convex, 26 - 38 mm (1.04 - 1.5") in diameter, and borne on a central stalk that is 40 - 45 mm (1.6 - 1.8") high x 2 - 4 mm (0.08 - 0.16") wide. The cap is pale brown and smooth. The underside of the cap has numerous narrow gills on which the reproductive spores are borne; the gills also are brown. The flesh of the cap and stalk turn bluish when bruised.

The Atlanta Psilocybe grows in scattered groups in grassy lawns in summer. It has been found only in the area north of Atlanta.

Powdery Sulphur Bolete

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Pulveroboletus ravenelii

The Powdery Sulphur Bolete forms a thick cap borne on a slender stalk. The cap varies from 1 - 10 cm (0.4 - 4") wide, and the stalk from 4 - 14 cm (1.6 - 5.8") high X 6 - 16 mm (0.25 - 0.65") wide. In young specimens the underside of the cap is covered by a bright yellow, cottony layer of fungal tissue called the veil. As the cap expands the veil breaks, remaining as a thin layer of patches on the surface of the cap. The cap in young specimens is hemispherical, expanding to broadly convex or nearly flat at maturity. The young cap is sulphur yellow, but as it ages it darkens to orange-red or brownish-red. When moist, the surface of the cap is sticky to the touch. The underside of the cap contains numerous small pores in which the reproductive spores are formed. The flesh of the cap and the tube mouths (pores) stain light blue, then brownish, when injured.

The Powdery Sulphur Bolete occurs on soil in pine and mixed woods in late summer and early autumn, depending upon moisture. In Georgia it has been collected in August and September.

Sickener

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Russula emetica

The Sickener, or Emetic Russula, is a mushroom with a bright red cap borne on a thick, white stalk. In young specimens the cap is rounded (convex), becoming flat to slightly convex, usually with a shallow depression in the center, as they mature. Older specimens may become funnel-shaped. In fresh specimens the surface of the cap may feel sticky to the touch. In top view the cap is round, 4 - 10 cm (1.5 - 4") in diameter and bright red when young, often fading to dark pink with age. The margin of the cap is typically pink, with short, fine lines (striations) running perpendicular to the edge. The underside of the cap has numerous white, closely spaced gills on which the reproductive spores are formed. In old specimens the gills may fade to a light cream color. The stalk is cylindrical, up to 10 cm (4") high, centrally attached, and white, with a smooth surface. The flesh of both the cap and stalk is brittle and breaks easily.

As the name indicates, this mushroom is known for its emetic properties when ingested. Consequently, eating it will result in an unpleasant experience.

This mushroom occurs singly or scattered in groups on soil or well-decayed logs in mixed woods, as well as in sphagnum bogs. In Georgia it is common in summer and autumn (July to November) if moisture is adequate, but may also occur during warm spells in early spring.

Split-gill Fungus

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Schizophyllum commune

This fungus forms small, fan-shaped fruiting bodies that are attached laterally, or sometimes centrally, directly to the substrate; there is no stalk. The fruiting bodies are thin, tough and leathery, with a densely hairy surface and a lobed margin that is curved inward. They are light gray in color and sometimes have a darker, brownish-gray band across the surface; they measure 1 - 3 cm (0.4 - 1.2") across. The underside of the fruiting body has gills that are very unusual in that they are split down the middle, with the two halves curling outward. The gill surface varies from gray to pinkish-brown in color. The reproductive spores are produced on the surface of the gills.

The Split-Gill Fungus grows on dead hardwood logs and branches and usually occurs in clusters or several scattered separately. The tough fruiting bodies often persist for a long time after they mature. It can occur anytime during moist, warm weather, from spring to autumn. It is one of the most common fungi and can be found throughout the world.

Star Earthball

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Scleroderma polyrhizon

The Star Earthball forms round to irregular-shaped fruiting bodies that are 4 -17 cm (1.6 - 6.6") in diameter. The surface is whitish at first, changing to yellowish or light brown as it develops. The fruiting bodies begin their development beneath the surface of the soil, later emerging as they develop. The wall of the fruiting body is thick and tough, becoming deeply cracked and scaly as it matures. When fully mature the wall splits into several lobes that bend backward to expose the chocolate-brown spore mass inside. After the spores are dispersed, the star-shaped, blackened remains of the fruiting body may persist for several months.

The Star Earthball forms singly or in groups in open areas, roadsides, and at the edge of wooded areas in late summer to autumn (September-November) in Georgia. Their color blends well with dead grass and fallen leaves, so one must look carefully to find them.

Cauliflower Fungus

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Sparassis spathulata

The fruiting body of the Cauliflower Fungus is unusual, consisting of numerous flat to wavy, fan-shaped, petal-like branches that are attached to a common base. The fruiting body is large, 15 - 35 cm (6 - 14") across and up to 50 cm (10") high, and oval to irregular in shape. The individual branches may be up to 4 cm (1.6") high and 3 cm (1.2") wide at the top, tapering to a narrow base. Both sides of the branches are smooth, with distinct bands of lighter and darker color. The entire fruiting body is white to yellowish or cream color when fresh, turning buff to brownish with age.

The Cauliflower Fungus occurs on soil under pines in late summer to early autumn, September to October in Georgia.

False Turkeytail Fungus

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Stereum ostrea

The False Turkeytail Fungus is one of the bracket fungi, forming small, tough, leathery fruiting bodies that are attached laterally to the substrate. The fruiting bodies are mostly fan-shaped to semicircular and thin, 1 - 6 cm (0.4 - 2.4") wide, and narrower at the base. The upper surface is covered with tiny hairs and has narrow, multicolored, concentric bands. In young specimens these bands vary from tan to light brown or reddish-brown, with the edges of the bracket being whitish to cream or light yellow. As the fruiting bodies mature, the color changes to broad bands of gray separated by narrow bands of reddish-brown. Older specimens often become hoof-shaped. The underside of the fruiting bodies, on which the reproductive spores are borne, is smooth and tan to light brown in color, and usually darker at the base.

The False Turkeytail occurs on decaying logs and stumps of hardwoods, especially oak. The brackets often occur in large numbers and overlap one another. Because of their tough, leathery consistency, they do not decay readily and may persist for many months. In Georgia the fungus can be found from summer to early winter (July - December), depending upon moisture.

Old Man of the Woods

Details

Strobilomyces confusus

The Old Man of the Woods has a thick, fleshy cap that is borne on a slender stalk. The cap is convex, 3 - 12 cm (1.2 - 4.8") across, and covered with small, erect, pointed, grayish-black to brownish-black scales that give it a shaggy appearance. The flesh of the cap is white, but quickly turns dark red if cut or injured. The underside of the cap is covered by numerous small pores, inside of which the reproductive spores are borne. The pore mouths are gray at first, becoming blackish-gray at maturity. The stalk is cylindrical, 4 - 8 cm (1.6 - 3.2") high x 0.75 - 1 cm (0.3 - 0.4") wide, brown, and also covered with dark scales.

The Old Man of the Woods is one of the most easily recognized fungi due to the distinctive dark, brownish-black scaly cap and stalk, and the pores on the underside of the cap. A second species, Strobilomyces floccopus, is nearly identical, differing mainly in the nature of the ornamentations on the spores, which can be determined only by examining them under a microscope. Thus these two species cannot be readily separated in the field.

The Old Man of the Woods occurs singly or in small clusters on soil in wooded areas. Its dark coloration makes it difficult to see against the brown, leafy forest floor. In Georgia it occurs in summer to autumn (July - October), when moisture is abundant. Unlike most fleshy fungi, the fruiting body of the Old Man of the Woods does not decay readily and old specimens may persist for many weeks.

Turkeytail Fungus

Trametes versicolor

The Turkeytail Fungus is one of the bracket fungi, forming small, thin, leathery fruiting bodies that are attached laterally to the substrate. The fruiting bodies are semicircular or irregularly lobed in outline, 2 - 7 cm (0.8 - 2.8") across, and they can be wavy or flat; their attachment to the substrate may be broad or narrow. The upper surface has concentric zones that vary in color from bluish-brown to yellowish or dark brown, separated by narrow stripes that are whitish to yellow, reddish-orange, bluish or grayish-brown. The margin of the fruiting body is lighter in color, and the entire upper surface is covered with fine, velvety hairs. The lower surface is whitish and has numerous minute pores, inside of which the reproductive spores are formed. The leathery texture of the fungus makes it unsuitable for eating.

The Turkeytail Fungus occurs on dead hardwood trees and stumps, usually forming many overlapping brackets. It is a very common and widespread wood decay fungus. In Georgia it occurs in summer and fall, but the leathery brackets can often be found throughout the year.

Beautiful Tricholomopsis

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Tricholomopsis formosa

The fruiting body of the Beautiful Tricholomopsis occurs in two forms; it can have a typical cap and centrally attached stalk, or it can be fan-shaped, with a lateral stalk. The flesh of the fruiting body is yellowish, but it is covered with numerous rusty-brown scales. Young fruiting bodies thus appear dark brown, but as the cap expands, the scales separate somewhat, revealing the lighter color of the flesh. In forms with a cap and stalk, the young cap is convex, later becoming nearly flat, with the margin curved downward. The cap is up to 4 cm (1.6") across and is borne on a stalk 7 cm (2.8") high X 8 mm (0.3") wide. Fan-shaped fruiting bodies are larger, being up to 11 cm (4.4") wide X 7 cm (2.8") deep, with a lateral stalk 4 cm (1.6") long. The margin of the cap is curved downward and has distinct yellowish lines that run to the edge. The gills on the underside of the cap, on which the reproductive spores are borne, are whitish to cream color.

The Beautiful Tricholomopsis occurs in clusters on dead pine stumps in summer in Georgia, when moisture is abundant.