Observation 106215: Sparassis spathulata (Schwein.) Fr.
When: 2012-08-19
No herbarium specimen

Notes: ’Round an old oak stump.

Proposed Names

63% (4)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight
-45% (3)
Recognized by sight: Brownish clumping summer mushroom, usually on oak.

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


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Alright, thanks Daniel…
By: Hamilton (ham)
2012-08-20 19:34:31 CDT (-0500)
Do search on MO for both Sparassis spathulata
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-08-20 19:32:00 CDT (-0500)

and Grifola frondosa. You should quickly see the similarities.

alright then
By: Hamilton (ham)
2012-08-20 19:23:10 CDT (-0500)
S. radicata never grows on oak locally. Always on conifers, often old-growth.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-08-20 19:17:43 CDT (-0500)

From Arora, Mushrooms Demystified, p. 657, under Sparassis crispa “Parasitic on the roots of conifers, usually growing solitary at or near the bases of trunks or stumps; found in the coniferous forests of western North America. It is not uncommon in our coastal pine forests, fruiting in the same spot year after year (or sometimes twice a year), usually in the late fall or winter. It also grows on Douglas-fir and other members of the pine family. It produces a brown or yellow carbonizaing rot in its host, and is economically significant in some regions. The best palce to look for it is in older forests where there are plenty of mature trees. S spathulata (see below) can grow on hardwoods.”

“Better known as S. radicata, this fantastic fungus looks more like a sea sponge or “bouquet of egg noodles” (Alexander Smith) than a cauliflower. The flattened, ribbonlike lobes or “branches”, plus the overall white to yellowish color and touch, rooting base distinquish it from other coral fungi. the spicy odor is also distinctive, but difficult to characterize. In the Pacific Northwst, 20-30 (or even 50!) pound specimens are not unhard of, but in our area the size range is generally 1-5 pounds – or about the size of a human head (a cross-section, coincidentally, reveals brainlike convolutions or “canals”). … The name S. crispa has also been applied to the equally edible cauliflower mushroom of eastern North America, which favors oak and pine, has thicker, more erect, rigid-looking branches or lobes, and lacks a rooting base. However, recent studies indicte that its “correct” name is S. spathulata or S. herbstii, and that the western species, which has been called S. radicata, is the “true” S. crispa."

If this isn’t Grifola frondosa, it should be an easily-proven fact by giving a photo of the spore-bearing surface or slicing a specimen in half through the base.

Pretty familiar with sheepheads myself.
By: Hamilton (ham)
2012-08-20 18:43:12 CDT (-0500)

These ain’t Grifola boss.

Really, Ham.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-08-20 18:40:54 CDT (-0500)

I eat Grifola frondosa as often as I can afford it, as it assists my control of diabetes. Have fruited it from space bags inoculated by Ed Foy at Oregon Mycological Society several times. This obs. really doesn’t look at all like our Sparassis spathulata or S. radicata. BTW, some of the collections of S. radicata I’ve collected were well over 15 pounds each. The largest I have heard of, found in 1976 by an elk hunter in Washington weighed 86 pounds! Stamets in Growing Gourmet & Medicinal Mushrooms states he usuallly gets 1/2 to 1 pound fruitings from 5-pound bag of sawdust or chips.

Showing a photo of the hymenium would be a quick way to prove this species: S. radicata should be white above and below. Grifola frondosa should be white below, and brown above.

Fo’ real Dan?
By: Hamilton (ham)
2012-08-20 18:25:15 CDT (-0500)
Don’t believe this is Sparassis,
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-08-20 18:21:52 CDT (-0500)

which is typically white and usually more thick. The large clumping brown fungus is more likely Grifola frondosa, or “Hen of the Woods”.

Created: 2012-08-20 16:06:38 CDT (-0500)
Last modified: 2012-08-20 19:35:49 CDT (-0500)
Viewed: 124 times, last viewed: 2017-06-13 21:11:55 CDT (-0500)
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