Mushrooms for Beginners with Suzanne Monnon, October 7, 2017

The fall of 2017 proved to be an excellent one for mushrooms after the wet, cool summer and we were able to see at least 36 different species as we wandered around the Macnamara Trail. It seemed like a lot to me but the Mycological Society of Toronto claims that there may be over 650 species of conspicuous fungi in Southern Ontario! No wonder learning about them can be difficult and confusing for a beginner. Many thanks to Suzannne for helping so many of us get started!

Here is the list that I compiled along the way:

Blue Cheese Polypore (“Poly”pores have many pores on the underside. The pores can be of different shapes depending on the species.)
Bay Brown Polypore (Has a conspicuous black stem.)
Dryad Saddle (Looks like a saddle that the fairies of the forest might use.)
Turkey Tail (Was right on time for Thanksgiving weekend,very common.)
Carbon Balls (little black balls)
Yellow Fairy Cups
Pear Shaped Puffball
Phellinus igniarius (Polypore with brown pores)
Aminita citrina
Mycena sp. (small & fragile)
Orange Jelly
Lobster Mushroom (The orange fungus, a parasite, has attacked another mushroom and the result really looks like a lobster. It smells fishy too.)
Black Lollipops (Found growing on Violet Tooth Polypore)
Russula sp.(very colourful, mostly reddish)
Collybia sp.
Horse Hoof Polypore, or Tinder Polypore (This was used in ancient times to carry fire-starting embers when people were on the move.)
Birch Polypore (Was used medicinally for parasites. Both this and the Horse Hoof Polypore were found with the remains of the “Iceman”.)
Bear Tooth
Polyporus mori (Honeycomb Hexagonal Polypore)
Crepidotus cinnabarinus (Red Crepidotus – a rare one and so a good find for us that day)
Panellus stipticus (When kept moist will glow in the dark. It’s faint but it really works and can be seen after your eyes have adjusted to the dark for 5-10 minutes.)
Late Fall Oyster Mushroom
Dead Man’s Fingers (black, finger-like projections coming from the ground)
Peziza sp.
Varnish Hemlock
Eyelash Cup (Look for little hairs around the cap.)
Green Stain Fungus (Can be seen as a green stain on decaying logs. If fresh, look for very small cups)
Resinous Polypore (Drops of resin can be seen on the underside and often drip off.)
False Turkey Tail
Wolf’s Milk Slime Mold (Looks like a tiny puffball but when tapped exudes a milky substance.)
Thin Maze Polypore
Marasmius sp.
Oyster Mushroom
Deadly Galerina (A very small amount is deadly if ingested.)
Comb Tooth
Violet Tooth Polypore