Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Black cup fungi
Everybody assumed these were Devil's Urn (Urnula craterium) except they're not growing in the right place. U. craterium grows on smallish sticks. I found lots of these, all jammed up tight against the base of Eastern Red Cedars. They're also much smaller than devil's urns, biggest only about 1/2" across.
To be fair, the big one in the center with the nice fringed edge probably IS a standard devil's urn. But all the little ones behind, not.
Michael Kuo himself, the rock star of mushroom book authors ("100 Edible Mushrooms"--hugely useful and highly entertaining), has offered to take a closer look at them. His website, www.mushroomexpert.com, is the go-to site for mycophiles.
I'll eventually get around to sending some dried specimens to him. The poor guy, he's swamped with "What's THIS?" e-mails, including from me. Well, you makes your bed, you sleeps in it.
*Update: I've passed this around and a few actual mushroom people agree that it's probably Plectania. Or Pseudoplectania. Not much info out there on these for us amateurs.
It's really a great book. Too bad I don't actually OWN it.
*Edit sometime in fall, 2011: I own it now! I am proud and happy!