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ID assistance please - looks like Maitake?

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I live in southern NH, zone 5. I have had an increasing interest in mushrooms, and started growing some outdoor species last year.   Several years ago I noticed this large mushroom growing out of the edge of a new garden bed I had created the prior fall using a layering (grass, compost, leaves, grass, compost, manure, leaves, etc) method. This bed gets morning shade, and full sun all afternoon, but it's location is somewhat shaded by the plants around it which block a fair amount of sun. It was mid summer when I took the below pictures (August I believe).  It weighed several pounds and measured 18".  It was growing into the lawn so I pulled it and chucked it on my compost pile.  It does stain black, and the closest ID I have found is Black Staining Polypore.  

I'm not certain I'd eat it even if I knew what it was for sure, as it gets really grungy from the mulch and grass clippings that invariably end up all over it.  But I would like to know what it is because it's so funky.  LOL..   Thanks for your time in checking it out!    Jennifer


Thumb of 2019-08-25/NHJenDion/665d5b

Thumb of 2019-08-25/NHJenDion/9250f3


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  • Doglover changed the title to ID assistance please - looks like Maitake?

Photos are very small files; they don't allow for zooming in on details. But, from what I can see it looks like Meripilus sumstinei (Black Staining Polypore). This species usually occurs during summer. (I found it once during fall.) It grows on or near wood... stumps, roots, etc. It is edible, but not choice. The quality of flavor and texture are diminished as the fruit body ages. 

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