Friday, October 9, 2009

That's One Odd Fungus

While I was finding a decent flowering specimen of Aster linariifolius (Flax-leaved Aster) to take a photo of yesterday at Miller Woods in Lake County, Indiana, "Agrimony" Tony was busy finding the oddest looking species of fungus that I've ever seen.


This is Hericium erinaceus, commonly known as Lion's Mane or Tooth Fungus. Edible when young, this mushroom is said to have the texture of octopus or squid. It is often found on fallen logs from fall into the winter; in this case, it was growing from a wound at the base of a Quercus velutina (Black Oak) tree. Another common name for this species is Old Man's Beard.


This last common name is pretty descriptive, I think. See what you think...


Okay, Justin's beard is more of a flocculose tomentum, but still...

Thanks to Dr. Don Ruch for verification of my identification of this fungus.

4 comments:

Wilma said...

Before they get old and too woody or buggy they are great to eat. Sauteed in butter, they have an almost lobstery taste.

Scott said...

Thanks - I wish I would have known that when we found it!

Keith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Justin Thomas said...

Wow! What a sneaky way to call me an old man:)