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monty1

A Pretty Bad Request for an ID.

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O.K., I know this is not the way to do it but I'm going to have a shot at it anyway. We were on a hike and I didn't have any way of carrying this one home for spore print so the following is all I've got.

Shelflike and similar to an oyster mushroom, growing out of a dead log which would have been either spruce or Western hemlock. Two growing close together. Short stem of about an inch long which was medium to dark brown. The top of the cap was the same brown colour and the gills were cream colour. Gills close but not very crowded. The cap of both of them growing together was about 3 inches and 4 inches. Texture of cap was similar to oysters and stem was very firm but not woody. Low elevation of less than 500 feet above sea level. They appeared to be fresh and not discoloured by age. Temperature was in the low 70's and had been for a month or more with little rain

I didn't have my book with me but checked Audubon when I got home and couldn't find anything close. I understand that there are quite a few different oyster mushrooms so I'm wondering if anyone has seen this one, if it even is related to the oyster mushroom. If so then would anyone know of where to find some pictures of shelflike mushrooms that would fit this description.

edit: Oh, and I was on the west side of Vancouver Island about 15 miles from the coast.

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Pretty tough to say based on what you listed I can think of a few Oysters and other mushrooms that somewhat fit that description. Such as the late fall Oyster but the time of year is wrong unless they grow early in your area. Also a few species of Panus, and Lentinus could potentially be right. Real hard to guess without seeing them.

You could check Rogers Mushrooms, and Mushroom Experts sites and see what you come across. A good place to start would be looking under Pleurotus, and Pleurotelus the Oyster Mushrooms. Also look around under Lentinus and Lentinellus. Lastly maybe under Panus. It is a starting point at least.

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Thanks jmw and theplanets for your suggestions. I've looked up a picture of lentinellus cochleatus and note that it has gills descending down stem and that doesn't fit this one. It had gills that were either free or barely attached and didn't extend down the stem. I'm assuming that Lentinellus cochleatus doesn't vary to that degree but wouldn't really know.

I'm very familiar with the late fall oyster too and that wasn't it. But I first of all connected a hunch that it would be of the of the pleurotus family as so I'll look around on 'Rogers Mushrooms' to see if I stumble on something that looks the same. Also Panus which I'm not very familiar with and never considered to be 'oyster' like.

The features that made this one interesting to me: Dark brown cap with cream coloured gills and stem colour matching that of cap. Very well defined boundaries with gills not descending or easily visible to be attached to cap.

Thanks to both of you again!

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Here's a link for collybia acervata that I found. I don't know if this mushroom can vary a lot but that is not really all that close.

http://www.rogersmushrooms.com/gallery/DisplayBlock~bid~5814.asp

This one, or two actually, had caps of 3 -4 inches and a thick stalk. If you thought of a meadow mushroom with reversed colours and a stalk that bent 90 degrees and growing on rotting wood, then you would be very close. Stalk not centered but on the margin of the cap. Brown close to matching an aged meadow mushroom for the cap top, gills cream colour, then stem completely brown and of the same colour as the cap. All the margins very distinctly defined in colour. Just like how the gills of campestris is defined from the cap and stem colour.

Thanks for the suggestion though!

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I was thinking Panus Rudis when I mentioned Panus they look like fuzzy Oyster Mushrooms however after your second description that is ruled out.

Check out Leucopholiota Decorosa might be closer to what you are describing. If not keep looking at other Panus, Pleurotus, and Lentinellus.

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I read wrong. 3-4 inches, not cm.

How about Lactarius pseudomucidus? Grows in the Pacific Northwest.

I'm thinking it could be a regular ground mushroom that is growing in the dirt collected on this dead tree.

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I read wrong. 3-4 inches, not cm.

How about Lactarius pseudomucidus? Grows in the Pacific Northwest.

I'm thinking it could be a regular ground mushroom that is growing in the dirt collected on this dead tree.

No, definitely not Leucopholiota Decorosa. These had a smooth dark brown cap and stem. The only similarity to decorosa would be in that the stem and top of cap are the same colour. Sorry if I mislead when mentioning campestris if that led you to believe the cap was scaly.

No, not a ground mushroom for sure. I pulled it off the wood and it didn't come away with any trace of roots.

Lactarius? No for any milk showing when broken. I found a link for Lactarius pseudomucidus and none of the pictured examples really worked.

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=Lactarius+pseudomucidus&qpvt=Lactarius+pseudomucidus&FORM=IGRE

At that link the third picture from the left, top row, shows one that has the distinctly brown stem with cream coloured gills that appear to be not attached. That would be as close as anything so far. However, there was no mucus on the cap but that could have been because it was very dry weather. I'll have to read up on the description of that lactarius but am thinking it's not quite right.

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Lactarius pseudomucidus is not known to be lignicolous (growing out of dead wood). For it to be growing in dirt collected inside of a dead log the log would have to be very old and mostly decompossed. That particular Lactarius also has a unique feature in that it is quite slimy. No slime no pseudomucidus, also the latex for that mushroom is white. Was a latex present?

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Lactarius pseudomucidus is not known to be lignicolous (growing out of dead wood). For it to be growing in dirt collected inside of a dead log the log would have to be very old and mostly decompossed. That particular Lactarius also has a unique feature in that it is quite slimy. No slime no pseudomucidus, also the latex for that mushroom is white. Was a latex present?

No, there was no latex at all and it definitely was not growing in dirt in the log.

Now I'm really sorry I didn't bring it back to get a picture and spore print. Actually I didn't think this would be so difficult but considering that there are so many variations in fungus from area to area, that could make it tricky. So just to recap, I'll give the description once again:

Two growing close together as is similar to oyster mushrooms. Shelflike. One about 3" diameter cap and the other about 4" diameter. Cap colour dark brown and stem colour near exactly matching colour. Cap nearly flat. Cap dry and smoothe without scales or noticeable patterning. Gills cream colour. Borders well defined. Stem off-centre, short with near 90 degree bend to facilitate growing on the vertical surface of the rotting wood. Gills appeared to be 'not' attached but could have been slightly attached. Stem stout as similar to campestris in proportion to cap size. Gills close but not crowded and similar spaced as with oysters. No outstanding smell but rather just mushroom smell and mild. No latex. I should have tasted it but didn't. The stem broke away from the wood leaving a flat bottom with a wet looking surface, somewhat resembling a cut potato that has turned brown from air exposure.

If I had to guess I would say it belongs to the oyster mushroom family but bearing in mind that's a pretty uneducated guess. And so, unless somebody with local knowledge can put their finger on it, it may have to remain a mystery. I'll certainly be looking hard for another one and won't fail to grab it and bring it home next time.

So thanks again to both of you for trying and don't hesitate to keep trying. I'll still continue to follow up on any leads I get.

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Yeah thats a tough one. Nothing I can think of off the top of my head matches that description perfectly. Sorry I couldn't be of more help.

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I don't know if the name has changed since my audobon guide was printed, but it sounds like Lactarius lignyotis. I find these a on rotten stumps in summer.

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Hi Evan,

My Audubon book does show Lactarius Lignyotis. AKA Chocolate Milky. The Picture in Audobon certainly fits the description closer than anything else so far. However, two problems:

The range listed for it is Eastern North America.

Mine didn't show any latex at all. (could be possible for some of the Lactarias?)

And a minor one is that Lignyotis shows white gills and mine were cream colour. Minor because the gills could darken with age.

Other than that the picture works well for the ones I found, but I guess we have to rule out Lignyotis. However, it's helpful because it does show a close lookalike for others if they choose to keep pursuing this one. The main point I wanted to get across was that the stem colour matches the cap almost perfectly and the border between is quite distinct. Thanks for the effort!

We may not get em all but we'll have some fun trying!

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Monty check out Kou's write up on Lactarius Lignyotis at Mushroom Expert. Gives some really good details. He also explains that this species is a bit of a mess and needs further review due to the variations found. As for the range, mushrooms seem to not fit within confined borders very well. People are always finding mushrooms growing outside the listed range and this range isn't that far from you I don't believe.

Couple points I did note though were attached gills running almost down the stem. It does occassionally grow on dead wood but usually very decayed wood. The gills do change color as the mushroom ages. White latex that turns pinkish and causes gills to darken.

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Jmw, Checked out Kou's write up on Lignyotis and saw that there certainly is some confusion. At this link: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/lactarius_lignyotus.html

I'm a bit confused about your remark on the gills running down the stem because that's not how my Audubon shows it. However, some of the pictures at that link do show gills attached and slightly descending. Look at the last picture on the bottom of that page. One shows definitely attached and the other in the same picture shows what looks to me like free gills. However, the last picture does show a thick stem which is very consistent with mine, yet there are also pictured some with thin stems. Hmmmm!

The most troubling thing about Lignyotis being right is the complete lack of latex on mine. Possible for a lactarius? For this particular lactarius?

In my opinion this is very close and due to confusion on the range limits and other factors that vary, it's a possible, even though the lack of latex.

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Monty1, for identifying mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest, a good resource is the MatchMaker program. Google "matchmaker mushrooms" (ignore the ad from a dating Website) and then download the free program. It's designed to give you possible matches for whatever characteristics you enter. I tried it last fall for a fairly nondescript mushroom that popped up in my lawn and found the correct ID pretty quickly. The program gives you lots of potential matches and their probabilities. You then have to check out detailed descriptions and photos for the best overall match.

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Jmw, Checked out Kou's write up on Lignyotis and saw that there certainly is some confusion. At this link: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/lactarius_lignyotus.html

I'm a bit confused about your remark on the gills running down the stem because that's not how my Audubon shows it. However, some of the pictures at that link do show gills attached and slightly descending. Look at the last picture on the bottom of that page. One shows definitely attached and the other in the same picture shows what looks to me like free gills. However, the last picture does show a thick stem which is very consistent with mine, yet there are also pictured some with thin stems. Hmmmm!

The most troubling thing about Lignyotis being right is the complete lack of latex on mine. Possible for a lactarius? For this particular lactarius?

In my opinion this is very close and due to confusion on the range limits and other factors that vary, it's a possible, even though the lack of latex.

I think the gill issue is part of the confusion. I took that from the write up on Kuo's site. This is one of those mushrooms I only know of from book and online resources.

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Thanks vitog, it's a great site and I've bookmarked it. Now I'll have to learn how to use the buttons to find a mushroom for which I don't have the name. On the upside, Lactarius lignyotis is listed for the area. But they don't include illustrations for that one.

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I guess I'm about at the end of my rope on this one jmw. Unfortunately I'm not completely convinced on Lactarius lignyotis because of the lack of milk on mine and I did break the cap. If it showed latex then I would be totally there on the description. However, looking at the site that vitog just gave me, I tried for those that look like lignyotis and found nothing really close. One thing though, that dark brown stem on lignyotis that matches the cap colour is distinctive for a mushroom and that's probably the feature that I recall best now, other than general characteristics which I've mentioned.

The lesson I've learned is to always carry a camera for a picture or bring it home. :-(

edit: Oh, and btw, I saw that description of the gills descending down the stem too, then saw pictures of it that didn't really show that on all the examples. For the one picture that I mentioned that shows the gills attached and slightly descending, that's not something I would consider a problem as my observation in the field could have missed that. Once again, the lack of latex is the problem for me. Maybe it shouldn't be?

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A shelflike mushroom growing on wood... similar to, but probably not, an Oyster.

My understanding of Panellus serotinus is a late-season mushroom. But for all I know it may occur during summer in Vancouver. Although commonly called "Green Backs", the cap color is sometimes brown, tannish, or almost black. Flesh a bit firmer than with Pleurotus species.

Crepidotus are smaller and less substantial than Oysters. These types typically lack a stalk.

Lentinus, Neolentinus, and Panus each seems possible. I just returned from two weeks in the Rocky Mountains. In a dry burnt coniferous woodlands I ran across a couple Neolentinus lepideus (pictured below). So this is my contribution to the guess-fest :-)

post-20-0-29067600-1376505114_thumb.jpg

post-20-0-30087800-1376505165_thumb.jpg

post-20-0-03624000-1376505321_thumb.jpg

Although the gills of N. lepideus are reported as "attached to decurrent", in extremely dry weather they may become unattached to the stalk.

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