Friday, January 06, 2006

Unidentified Fungi

I give up.

Online mushroom identification is geared towards two groups:
a) those who want to find wild mushrooms to eat, and
b) those who want to find wild mushrooms to get high.

Since I want to do neither, I spent an extremely frustrating hour trying to identify just the first fungus above.

The other day when I had the Calostoma species it was a lot easier. I remembered seeing something similar in my one slim mushroom field guide and was able to Google that and find its relatives.

So, online mushroom identification can be simple... if you already know what you have.

Otherwise, like me, you need to buy a book.

(There is the beautiful Rogers Mushrooms online, but I believe it's mainly geared towards Europe at present.)


Rurality said...

If anyone happens to know the ID of any of these, feel free to leave a comment, or email me.

happyandblue2 said...

I think the first one isn't a mushroom at all. It looks like a cow poo that came from a cow that had been eating a sewage pipe.
Poor cow..

Sabine said...

It looks a bit like a black version of Sarcosphaera crassa, but I am no expert at all.

This website takes you to all sorts of fungi pictures on the net: But you need to have at least a bit of an idea, what you are looking for. The Latin name helps...

Floridacracker said...

If that first one showed up on my property, I would call Sigourney Weaver really quick. She knows how to handle their kind!

Not an earthstar is it? I'm not much of a fungi identifier...he said stating the obvious.

Maktaaq said...

Floridacracker, that's hilarious!

roger said...

the first one looks like one of the earthstars. possibly an astreus. it may be hygroscopic---opens in wet weather, closes in dry.

all my shroom books say ya gotta do a spore print to really do an id on most gilled mushrooms, as the middle pictured one looks to be, and even then maybe look at the spores under a microscope.

the bottom could be a polypore, like a conk.

Ontario Wanderer said...

A quick look at my Mushroom of Ontario and I think it may be Sand-Loving Cup Peziza ammophila. Description is as follows:
"Fruitbodies (apothecia) are up to 4 cm wide, dark brown inside, with an ochre outer surface, and cup-shaped at first, but split and reflex to become flattened on the sand in a star-shaped form....species fruties in the coastal fall."

HankD said...

I live in Western WA, the fungi capitol of the world.
My family and I are amateur myco gatherers. Here is a website from California but it has quite a spectrum of fungi.

Good luck

TurtleHeart said...

My husband's best guess on the first one is that its a puffball mushroom that exploded! ;-)

Watchmania said...

The top one is an earthstar. Don't know the others though.

Hick said...

Are you sure you can't find these on the "those who want to find wild mushrooms to get high" sites?...especially the first one. I'm with The Cracker on that thought. heh!

I like the colors of the last one.

Earth Girl said...

The horticulturalist at our cooperative extension agency will identify plants and fungus and diseases and stuff from emailed pictures and description of habitat. Perhaps you can see if you have a similar resource in your county/state.

Rurality said...

Thanks everybody.

Yeah I think the first one is some type of Easthstar but I haven't found anything that seems to match it exactly yet. (DPR it's open like this all the time, although I suspect like Turtleheart said, it was a ball and has now exploded.) The middle pic was from a little earlier in the year. One of these days maybe I'll get industrious and do a spore print!

The bottom pic is actually two different fungi on the same log. One red one in a sea of green.

I finally ordered the Peterson's mushroom guide, but it's taking forever to get here.

Earth girl, our extension office is way, way understaffed at present due to $$ cutbacks. In the growing season they now route all calls like that to a hotline staffed by volunteers. So sometimes the person who fields that type of call is... me! But I've got the full force of the extension library behind me at those times, so it's a lot easier. :)