Collection location: Redlands, California, USA [Click for map]
This thing grows in my front yard, every year, for the past 7 years. It is the most damp and shaded place in the yard. It starts like a little button and it is perfectly round. Then when it gets to the size in the photos, it splits sort of. I have never let it grow any bigger. I have cut one in half and the inside is dry and it feels like cork. It doesn’t seem to have an odor. Can you please identify it?
[admin – Sat Aug 14 02:05:06 +0000 2010]: Changed location name from ‘Redlands, CA. USA’ to ‘Redlands, California, USA’
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See the page on Pisolithus arhizus for other examples. It is a fairly variable species, but generally looks like some sort of weird brown lump. The dark balls inside the mushroom are distinctive. In California it is most commonly associated with oaks, but it will grow with many other tree species and is a helpful symbiont for the tree. They are not toxic and can be eaten, but are not recommended.