When: 2015-12-19

Collection location: Sacramento, California, USA [Click for map]

Who: Christina Bellon (Lautenwerk)

No specimen available

Hello, I’m trying to identify this beautiful mushroom growing from a maple log in my backyard. The log is more like one of the main branches from an enormous silver maple. It’s huge and unmovable, about 300lbs, dropped into my yard from neighbours’ yard when they removed their silver maple in winter 2013. I originally inoculated the log with shiitake plugs in spring-summer 2014, but this is not shiitake, so something else established itself first. This mushroom does no look like any of the other mushrooms we are cultivating in our yard (shiitake, maitake, lion’s mane, phoenix oyster) all grown from plug spawn from a reputable supplier.

Characteristics (see photos):

  • no peculiar smell, just smells like earthy musky sweet mushrooms
  • flush appeared only after temperatures dropped into 50s w/ lows in 30s late this November, there is a second flush maturing now (see photos)
  • growing on silver maple, very much still intact (log is not decayed, nothing else is growing on the log)
  • cap is orangy-creamy-brownish, ranges is diameter from about 1-4cm, flattens as matures with the larger ones flaring outward slightly
  • cap is smooth but gets slippery when wet and tacky as it dries, almost feels like a slight gel coating when it’s wet
  • gills are creamy white, come up to the stem but don’t attach to it or run down its length
  • stem starts out creamy coloured like the gills, but then turns a deep brownish-black from the base upwards as it matures
  • stem at maturity is brownish-black with tiny hairs that feel like velvet
  • flush appears with multiple mushrooms in tight cluster
  • spore print shows white spores in the pattern of the gills with little outward spray (see photo)
  • looks like some critters have been eating from it

If anyone could assist identifying it, I would greatly appreciate the help.


From below, showing stem and gills. Stem is brownish-black when mature, covered in fine tiny hairs, velvetty to the touch.
Just after rain, caps are shiny and slippery, almost like a slight gel coating appears, turns tacky when dries.
Mature second flush showing brownish-black stems, variable cap sizes, tight clustering, and upward flaring of the cap edges to expose gills.
From below showing clustering and stems and gills of mature second flush. Log is lying horizontally on the ground bark is intact, no other growth on log.
Second flush, immature. Note creamy coloured stems (same as gills) when immature, turning brownish-black at maturity with fine tiny hairs (feels like velvet), tight clustering, with a third flush appearing as tiny orange-cream coloured dots to the upper right.
First flush, mature when I found it. Shows now typically clustering (all the flushes have come in clusters). Shows also something having eaten it.
Spore print from two caps from second flush. Both show white spores with minimal deviation from the cap.

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Created: 2015-12-21 15:16:35 EST (-0500)
Last modified: 2015-12-23 17:24:46 EST (-0500)
Viewed: 62 times, last viewed: 2019-03-30 01:25:07 EDT (-0400)
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