Fun with Fungi
First, I notice that this specimen is a stalk-less shelf mushroom with whitish coloration and two to three bands of tan color along its fairly wavy edge. Next, I see that the farthest the mushrooms sticks out from the wood is around 1″ and that the longest mushroom is around 1″-1&1/2 “. Underneath, the mushroom is has a much darker brown color with a slight hint of red. In the end, I cannot come up with any similar/possible species.
This is the first mushroom with a stalk. The stalk is moist, even, light brown at the bottom and transitioning to white at the top with a black ring zone. The gills are crowded, dark brown and adnexed. The cap is a lighter brown than the gills and slightly darker than the brown on the stalk. It is velvety, convex and with a black edge. All I can come up with is that it might be part of the family Collybia or possibly Lawn Mower’s Mushroom – Panaeolus fonisecii. My only problem is that the gills of that species are more of close to
distant whereas this specimen has gills closer to being crowded. Therefore, I cannot conclude that this
specimen fits any species I can find.
Overall, mushroom identification can be a taxing but rewarding process. There are so many species that have a degree of similarity that makes them challenging to identify sometimes, and there are no readily available comprehensible field guides to my knowledge, but I use the National Audubon Society Field Guide to Mushroom of North America. This field guide has pretty good pictures with great descriptions and helpful ID tips for over 703 species all across North America. I think the small world of fungi is an fun and interesting one – one definitely worth checking out!