In a short term sense, these journal entries are meant to help you get a potential identity for some of the things you might be finding in the woods around this time of the year. I also hope it can help people to realize the wide variety of fascinating fungal life that can be found throughout the state. In the longer term, all of these species pictures and descriptions will make up a database of Indiana Mushrooms that will eventually be housed at hoosiermushrooms.org – the site for Indiana’s first mycological society. I hope that you enjoy the pictures, and I will continue to make these entries as often as I can.
If you would like to send in pictures of your finds, I would be happy to post them. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org with the post that you would like to add. We are located in Brown County – near Bloomington, Indiana. It is in the south-central portion of the state. It would be great to get some species from other areas as well.
Anyways, on to the mushrooms. These mushrooms were all found during a short walk on our land. We have a few acres of woods that was logged about 5 years before we got it. They left many of the tree tops at the time, so there is a plethora of decomposing wood throughout the forest. Combine that with a major storm last year that knocked down about 10-15 fully grown trees, and we should have a saprophyte buffet that should last for many years into the future.
The first species I encountered was this orange mycena. Its scientific name is Mycena leaiana. The genus Mycena is usually delineated from other very small mushrooms by its white spore print and thin stem. Most if not all are saprophytic (grow on wood). Another distinguishing feature of this mushroom is that the gills are marginate. This means that the edges of the gills are a different color than the rest of the gill. If you look at the mushroom with a hand lens, the edge of the gill is a much darker shade of orange than the rest of the gill.
Continuing on I found a small mushroom that was trying to hide under some plants. At first sight, it appeared to be another Entoloma variety that I had been finding earlier in the spring, but this mushroom is actually from the genus Pluteus. Both have pink spores and a similar stature. The key difference is that Entoloma grow on the ground and have attached gills, while Pluteus grow from wood and have free gills. The next to last picture attempt to show the striations along the margin which lead to an ID of Pluteus palidus. The final picture shows the color of the spore print (top pinkish/salmon print) as compared to the lower brown print.
This little brown mushroom grows on wood that is very well into the decay process. The most distinctive features are the scales on the stipe and that the margin of the cap has remnants of a partial veil. The cap may sometimes have scales, but it was not apparent on this specimen. This mushroom is called Flammulaster erinaceella and has shifted between the genera Pholiota and Phaeomarasimus in the past.
Next to the Pholiota on the same log was another variety of Pluteus. I no longer have a good sample of this mushroom, but it had a pink spore print. It shall remain Pleutus sp.
An interesting slime mold occupied a log next to the one previously described. If you were to touch the white dots, they would appear to turn to liquid, but would emit a visible cloud of spores when you took your finger away from the surface. Some day I will need to invest in a good video camera.
Several Xylaria sp.
Next is a polypore…
Finally, I will end with a Crepidotus, although I am unsure what the species is. It does not key out convincingly in the books that I have. They look like Oyster mushrooms initially, but they have brown spores. The color of the gills will turn a shade of brown with age or if you take a print. Notice the hairs and the striate margin. The spores are the lower print in the final picture.