Observation 86088: Pisolithus arrhizus (Scop.) Rauschert
When: 2011-12-29
No herbarium specimen

Notes: Pisolithus tinctorius, also known by David Arora as “dead man’s foot,” looks like be some sort of animal dropping when young (I was almost sure a dog had done his business and I would be picking it up…), but a gut feeling told me to boldy reach for it. Thankfully, a cross-section of the inside revealed another universe.

Skin is dry, not quite smooth but almost so, and resembles a slightly burnt potato when young. In age, the round shape transforms into a stump- or branch-like mess of spore mass. The inside reveals small yellow peridioles that are larger at apex (top) and smaller near the base. Additionally, these capsules decompose, gradually from top to bottom, into the brown spore mass shown in one of the images (rubbed the inside of the mushroom on the concrete). The sizes for these two were 6 cm high by 5 cm long for the larger one while the smaller specimen was 4 cm tall and wide. The larger one was fresh (still connected to the ground) and smelled like a typical mushroom (woody), while the smaller one (which was found detached from the ground) had a nasty odor, reminding me of a burnt tortilla or burnt toast. The pods in the smaller one were dark brown to black in color. They were found growing near an introduced acorn-bearing tree near a baseball park, on fairly loose soil. P. arrhizus is known to grow from a host of trees and shrubs. It has medicinal value and is used as a dye for fabric (tinct- root connected to Latin “tint”), and in the kitchen, one must be careful with how they use the mushroom (young specimens are best), as it is not easy to produce something delicious from it. Synonyms are Pisolithus tinctorius, Pisolithus arrhizus and Pisolithus arhizus.

Proposed Names

90% (2)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight: Peridioles give an easy ID
Used references: Mushrooms Demystified

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Created: 2012-01-10 19:23:15 PST (-0800)
Last modified: 2012-01-24 14:22:04 PST (-0800)
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