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Daj

need help identifying mushroom

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Hey everyone hope someone can help me identify this mushroom it was found in Northern California in mid January. any info is appreciated thank you.  

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I think this mushroom represents a species of genus Armillaria. If correct, the spore print will be creamy-white... Except this mushroom looks to somewhat past prime, so a substantial spore print may fail to form. Also, please note that a white spore print is not a guarantee of the Armillaria ID.

Usually, one does not find a solitary Armillaria mushroom. They usually grow in groups, often in clusters. Armillaria mushrooms grow on wood... trees, roots, branches, logs. However, the wood is often buried which causes the growth habit to appear to be terrestrial. When wet --as this mushroom appears to be-- the Armillaria cap is usually kinda slimy. A common species is A. mellea. Along with a few other species of Armillaria, A. mellea occurs in California. Here a link to the "California fungi" account   http://www.mykoweb.com/CAF/species/Armillaria_mellea.html .

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Dave, I find that armillaria often grow solitary when growing on tree roots. Usually there is a cluster nearby (within 20 feet) on a stump though. Might be a picker got the cluster but didn't clean up the singles in the area.

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That's a sensible suggestion, GCn15. Picked-over Armillaria patches often feature a few scattered specimens left behind by some mushroom hunter. 

I should mention that --although considered to be good edibles-- Armillaria mushrooms have caused bad reactions for some people... 1-2 days of purging flu-like symptoms. Field guides typically recommend thorough cooking. Here in NE Pennsylvania, Armillaria mushrooms are called "popinkies", a derivative of a Polish term. All the "old-timers" around here par-boil their popinkies before freezing or preparing as part of any meal. 

The mushroom seen here appears to be past prime condition. I'm still not convinced this mushroom represents genus Armillaria. Looks like Armillaria; more info and/or seeing photos of other than just this one mushroom may help. 

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It is difficult to tell. Spore print would have been good but probably far too late for that.

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