Monday, August 30, 2010

Very young Berkeley's Polypore which in my excitement I misidentified as a Laetiporus cincinnatus

Although I've got a backlog of images of other stuff I've found in the woods recently, I found this on a hike today, and it rose to the top.
Bondarzewia berkeleyi
Growing happily amongst the poison ivy...

Chicken of the Woods! The pink kind, with white pore surface.

Four days later!
Sept. 5 update: No, no, no, it's a Berkeley's Polypore, a rookie mistake! Something about that pore surface was whispering to me, saying, "No, wait, Chicken of the Woods is SMOOTH underneath, it's not just that this one is so young..." so I started looking at ID things and lots of other pics, and although the surface could maybe pass as a Laetiporus cincinnatus, the overall shape and growth pattern just wasn't quite right, and eventually the pore surface pretty much clinched it for me. Not to mention the color, which I chalked up to it being slightly waterlogged from rain. Oh, well, it's a fine example of trying to cram the facts into what you want to see. I wanted it to be a fine fat chicken of the woods, so I overrode that little nagging feeling...

(Original Aug. 30 post) I found it 3 days ago. Now I have to keep going back to check it, because mushrooms can grow really fast, and I don't want to miss it when it's at its succulent best. Except now I'm going to lie awake at night worrying, and hoping no one else finds it. There is some small comfort in the fact that, while it was close to the path, it was on the cedar-y side, so maybe everybody else just skips that part thinking it's not worth looking there. These are growing up against a very big, very rotten oak. There was only about 15' of tree still upright. The rest was on the ground. But, perhaps I have already said too much.

Berkeley's Polypore engulfing a blade of grass
They are known for just growing around whatever's touching them. I sense no malice there, though.
Pore surface of young Bondarzewia berkeleyi

The shapes sure are incredible, this I know for sure.


  1. That first photo looks like something taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. Lovely!

  2. Yep, you've already said too much ... good thing I'm in St. Louis!

  3. Stacey, don't say "badass" on my blarg.

  4. I saw your Flickr pics...I am wondering if you got a Berkely's too...did it appear stringy or fibrous as you pulled it apart?

  5. Mike, check your actual email, yep, I think I got this wrong, the PORE SURFACE should be SMOOTH. Big fat oops!

  6. It's neat to see that the pores are so long and twisted, "pseudo-daedalioid" even when it's so young. Usually we're told that pores get that way as the mushroom ages and the walls between them randomly break down.