I found some Earthstars (Geastrum spp.), which like growing on rotting wood.

I thought it would be fun to “plant” some spores on my wood chip mulch. I often bring back pieces of wood or clumps of soil with fungal fruiting bodies or mycelium on them from the woods, to really get a little forest ecology going here.

It’s paid off so far: the amount of fungal diversity I am seeing since I started mulching heavily and “seeding” local species is really encouraging: there is a new species fruiting every two or three weeks (like bracket fungi in the hügelkultur mounds, jelly-like fungi on the borders of my veggie bed, big old white mushrooms some insect likes to eat, and a heavy crop of December ‘shrooms).

Mycelium is definitely running in these parts! Besides looking cool, fungi helps the bees, the trees, and soil.

Toadstools, mushrooms, fungi, edible and poisonous; one thousand American fungi. ; By McIlvaine, Charles, 1840-1909 Macadam, Robert K. on Flickr.

explanation of plates > Publication info Indianapolis,The Bowen-Merrill Company[c1902]
BHL Collections:
MBLWHOI Library, Woods Hole


Orange Oak Bolete - Leccinum aurantiacum 

The two mushrooms in the photos are the bolete Leccinum aurantiacum (Boletales - Boletaceae), but in a different stage of growth, showing changes in color and shape over time. 

Morphologically, Leccinum aurantiacum can be separated from similar species (in Europe, at least) on the basis of the brownish-reddish stipital ornamentation that is already reddish in young fruit-bodies, the red to reddish brown cap, and the presence of overhanging flaps. However, if the specimen is collected, it may be confused with Leccinum scabrum, because the mushroom lost their color brilliance and becomes noticeably darker.

Leccinum aurantiacum is a European species, a mycorrhizal “generalist” associating with hosts ranging from Fagus and Quercus to Betula and Populus. It is generally considered to be a good edible mushroom in Europe.

Syn. Leccinum rufum

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credits: ©Menko van der Leij | [Top] - [Bottom] | Locality: not indicated (2013)