Sunday, August 5, 2012

Schweinitz’s Polypore (Phaeolus schweinitzii)

July 18th – August 3rd, 2012. W spotted this one - Schweinitz’s Polypore (Phaeolus schweinitzii) - at the base of an oak tree off the end of the house. These polypores are usually associated with pines rather than oaks and is a 'butt rot' fungus that attacks the roots and the heartwood to weaken trees. I haven’t poked around but it may have grown on a stray piece of pine firewood on the ground. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this fungus develop out in front of the house; but it’s the first in several years, since 2008 in fact. We've never seen damage to trees, but...
July 19, 2012

From a short distance, it was about 9 to 10 inches long.

 A closer view. The dark section is the mature fungus and the white margin is the growing edge.

July 21, 2012

 We had some rain overnight. The growing edge is visible but very narrow

July 22, 2012

When the fungus dried, the growing edge seemed to be larger again, but not as much wide as previously.

July 28, 2012

It’s finished growing. It’s a little short of a foot in length

August 3, 2012

A shell of its former self. It’s easy to see how this might be overlooked. It blends into its background.

This one was small compared with one that developed on the other side of the path in July 2008.

From a short distance

Up close. This was a beautiful specimen. Probably about 18 inches in diameter.

It's nice to see Phaeolus schweinitzii again. It's been too long.
Click on an image to view a larger image

Identification resources:
- Michael Kuo, Mushroom Phaeolus schweinitzii 
- Gary Emberger, Messiah College: Phaeolus schweinitzii

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