Collection location: Point Reyes National Seashore, Marin Co., California, USA [Click for map]
These were growing on a dead branch above ground which should eliminate Polyporus tuberaster. The spores seem to be cylindrical, smooth and about the right size for the P. decurrens per MD.
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One cleaver way to arrive at a conclusion is to return to the site with a shovel and see if a sclerotium is buried there….
Well, I’m willing to bow to the experts here and change this to P. tuberaster. However, these were growing completely off the ground right on a branch that was well off the ground. The general appearance of the cap and pores and the spores seem very similar, but the total lack of a visible connection to an underground sclerotium except possibly along a long path through a dead branch seems odd. It would be interesting to know how Gilbertson arrived at his conclusions. I guess today DNA analysis would have the last word on that.
Gilbertson, R. L. and L. Ryvarden. 1987. North American Polypores Vol. II. Fungiflora, Oslo, Norway. 885p.