Friday, April 22, 2005

Fungi forms

Fungus: any of a major group of saprophytic and parasitic spore-producing organisms usually classified as plants that lack chlorophyll (molds, rusts, mildews, smuts, mushrooms, and yeasts).*

Lichen: any of numerous complex thallophytic plants made up of an alga and a fungus growing in symbiotic association on a solid surface.

*Edited to add:
Dave from Via Negativa writes:
"... I would quarrel with "usually classified as plants" - I think most taxonomists now assign molds and fungi to their own kingdom. Lichens can be partnerships either with green algae (Plant Kingdom) or blue-green algae (Monera)."

Thanks Dave! I borrowed that from ol' Webster, who is clearly as behind on taxonomic updates as I am.

Dave also identifies the first shelf fungus below as Turkey Tail.
*End of edit

A Cup fungus

Witch's butter (Tremella mesenterica, a jelly fungus)

Thus ends my knowledge of fungus names. I love all the different shapes though.


Magazine Man said...

Heh said "thallophytic."

One of these days I'm going to post a picture of a mushroom that grew out of the carpet in my old car and see if you can identify it.

Er, the mushroom, not my car...

Eva said...

Cool! I really enjoyed the photo of the yellow fungus -- I've never seen one like that before. It does indeed look like jelly, although not very appetizing.

swamp4me said...

Fungi and lichens -- such a pain to identify to species :) I have been saving up to buy a lichen key, but the darn thing is over a hundred bucks and that's just not in my budget right now.
Do you make spore prints of your fungi? That's a big help in IDing them.

Rexroth's Daughter said...

Those are beautiful fungi-- especially that one called witch's butter. Do you have many edible wild mushrooms there?

Hick said...

Bee-utiful, as usual. However, if I saw that jelly stuff it would not ever cross my mind that it was a fungus. That stuff would convince me that we had been invaded by aliens and I would run heck-a-fast to the nearest bomb shelter.

yllstonewolf said...


Dave said...

Great photos, as usual.

The first shelf fungus is called turkey tail, for obvious reasons. That's the only one I can identify off-hand. As it happens, a visitor this past Tuesday was teaching me a few of the dried-up fungi one can find this time of year in PA, mostly shelf fungi or polyphores with wild names: thin maze polyphore, cinnabar polyphore, milk-white tooth polyphore, ceramic parchment fungus and cracked cap polyphore. Not sure I could pick any of them out of a lineup, though.

Incidentally, I would quarrel with "usually classified as plants" - I think most taxonomists now assign molds and fungi to their own kingdom. Lichens can be partnerships either with green algae (Plant Kingdom) or blue-green algae (Monera).

Rhodent said...

Wow! I have never seen Witch's Butter before. Very cool! As always, your photos are terrific!

Rurality said...

Thanks everybody.

MM I probably could do much better with the car. Mushrooms are cool but I don't know much about them really. But I would love to see one growing on a floorboard (as long as it's not mine)!

The witch's butter is one of my favorites because it's so easy to identify. I think I took some pictures of a similar one that's brown.

S4M, if I say "pretty please" will you post instructions on making spore prints on your blog?!

RD, I have seen morels a few times, but other than that and the one called chicken mushroom, I can't identify any. I don't know anyone local to show me, and that's one thing I don't trust myself to learn from books... I'd need a lot more study. (My husband starts talking about stomach pumps and life insurance whenever I want to eat something from the wild!)

Thanks Dave, I borrowed that from ol' Webster, who must not be up to date in the plant world. I'll make a note! I'd heard of turkey tail before but was thinking it was a different one. I need a better book.

happyandblue2 said...

The one looks like sea shells. Very nice pictures..

Rurality said...

H&B I have my own little names for them of course... the one that looks like shells, the one that looks like brains, the one that looks like it's burned, the one that looks like monster teeth, the one that looks like spilled milk...

MissBossyPants said...

Your blog is so educational. I may have to take a break while my brain settles back into its previous relaxed state.

jojo said...

Great pics! Round these here parts we've also called witch's butter by the less appetizing name 'yellow brain fungus'. Mmmm. I'm wondering if the similar brown one that you've seen isn't actually Black Witchs Butter? Both 'butters' slightly change hues as the seasons go on, too.
I love how so many fungi are given deceptively appetizing names like 'lemon drops' 'orange peel' 'oyster' or dainty names like 'soft slipper toadstool' and 'eyelashes'.

Rurality said...

Jojo, I looked that one up and I don't think it's that. But that lead me to Auricularia auricula (Tree Ear), which may be it... I'll have to try to find that picture!

xyzalchar256 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
May said...

Please some visit either my blog,

I have some images that need ID, especially one on my blog that looks like a white flower, and a parchment fungus that is quite beautiful in orange and russet.

Thank you.