Observation 118754: Sebacinaceae K. Wells & Oberw.

When: 2012-12-02

Collection location: Santa Clara Co., California, USA [Click for map]

Who: Noiso (Noiso)

No specimen available

I found this growing in a suburban front yard in a patch of dirt and wood chips amidst a lawn – it looked like they had removed a tree from this spot.
Looking it up in MD – I would guess Sparassis crispa. If the name has changed, like so many have, I’d love to know the old name as well as the new name so I can look it up in my copy of MD.


in habitat

Proposed Names

26% (1)
Recognized by sight
26% (1)
Recognized by sight
Used references: Mushrooms Demystified
30% (2)
Recognized by sight
13% (2)
Used references: On-line photos of S. sparassoidea, description on Wiki, discussion of Tremella (saprophytic) and Sebacina (mycorrhizal) on Wiki.
57% (1)
Recognized by sight

Please login to propose your own names and vote on existing names.

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
Sebacina sparassoidea
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-12-07 20:29:14 CST (-0500)

seems a good fit, at least from what I can find online. Thanks, Irene! I’m mostly unfamiliar with this genus too. It is similar to Tremella according to Wiki, but is mycorrhizal. Which might explain why it happens to be fruiting here in wood chips. Perhaps the host tree was killed, the stump chipped, and the fungus is giving a last-ditch effort to spread itself.

I have seen similar reactions in recently killed Douglas-fir trees and abundant collections of Tuber gibbosum and Tuber oregonense, especially at Paul Bishop’s Jones Creek Tree Farm after Paul killed an entire row of larger trees to make space for a logging road.

By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2012-12-07 02:56:00 CST (-0500)

I don’t know much about Sebacina, just got the idea from the tallow-like structure. It’s not easy to find information about this genus either, but one example is sparassoidea that can be 4 inches high and 6 inches broad, and I guess others can too.

be sure to
By: Noiso (Noiso)
2012-12-07 00:14:27 CST (-0500)

peruse the new photographs.

Irene -
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-12-07 00:06:27 CST (-0500)

since you suggested Sebacina, do you know of any species which gets this large (3-4 inches across)?

measured and sliced
By: Noiso (Noiso)
2012-12-06 20:43:51 CST (-0500)

I collected another specimen that had grown to approximately the same size as the first. They are about the size of a baseball – measuring 3.5"-4".

Irene suggests an interesting point.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-12-06 15:51:48 CST (-0500)

Sebacina concrescens can form something similar to this. It usually is a mycorrhizal fungus, so would not be expected to grow from chips. Then again, some of the largest collection of Tuber I’ve made have been with Douglas-fir which died a year before, more or less. So I’d guess at least some mycorrhizal fungi can fruit after host tree death, anyway. If the host tree was then chipped afterwards you might have something like this.

I still can’t tell how large this specimen is/was. Sebacina seems to be a rather small fungus. So if this is several inches across in any direction, may not be Sebacina. But until Irene suggested it, I don’t think I’ve heard of it before. I see it used to be considered a Tremella previously. This does sort of look like an over-large Tremella.

Will Do
By: Noiso (Noiso)
2012-12-06 10:18:40 CST (-0500)

And I will also measure. My hand is quite large so it may appear smaller than it actually is in the pics with my hand.

If you ignore
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-12-06 08:20:37 CST (-0500)

the substrate and focus just on the sporocarp, it looks like either a huge Genabea or perhaps a Hydnotrya. It looks like this is several inches across, but has a somewhat distinctive knobbly exterior (similar to hyalite, a kind of opal).

Sparassis crispa is usually found growing from roots or at the base of a stump or snag. But cannot be ruled out, yet.

The apparent size would probably rule out Genabea. I have found huge Hydnotrya like this, but they usually are brown or purplish in color. Maybe this is immature yet?

If you return to collect more, try to find out what kind of tree was growing there before. Also, please slice the fungus through any base that is visible, as some features that help in identification are found on the inside.

Thanks for the feedback
By: Noiso (Noiso)
2012-12-06 02:45:47 CST (-0500)

There was actually a fruit about half the size that I left alone as well. I will check on them tomorrow for sure and get back to you. 1/2 block from my house.

Whatever it is
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-12-05 14:41:13 CST (-0500)

there are several more sporocarps forming nearby.

The second from last photo seems to show flattened fronds. So maybe Grifola should be added to the list of possibilities.

Does not look like any Sparassis I’ve seen. Sporocarps have not been cut, as there is no straight slice through anything.

Please look for more: I’d bet several more are fruiting now, and they may be a little older/mature.

Created: 2012-12-03 13:16:35 CST (-0500)
Last modified: 2015-09-29 14:07:20 CDT (-0400)
Viewed: 176 times, last viewed: 2018-06-17 07:51:09 CDT (-0400)
Show Log