Thursday, January 21, 2010

A decaying log hosting a lot of fungi

These fungi are fruiting on an old log in a little dell that I like to visit in Howarth Park, a beautiful city park in Santa Rosa CA, with some lovely trails meandering through mixed woods. Mixed woods mean more mushrooms because fungi and trees form relationships that are beneficial to each and the more types of trees, the more fungi. I would have had to draw a much bigger picture to fit all of the fungi that were actually on this log, but I focused on the lacy white entity on the left of the picture. It's called Hericium abietis and is one of the tooth fungi.

The mushrooms to the right of the Hericium abietis are Mycena haematopus, identifiable by a stalk that "bleeds" red juice when cut or pinched.

Finally, the black lumps behind the Hericium abietis are called Annulohypoxylon thouarsianum with a common name of cramp balls, presumably after someone tried to eat them? They're very common and persist even in dry weather so are especially easy to find.

The reason all of these fungi are on this log is because they're all wood-rotters, the under appreciated composters of our forests. It's interesting to watch a log as it decomposes because different fungi appear at different stages of decomposition.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful, informative post, Debbie, thank you. I love your fungi paintings...


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