Observation 82788: Ionomidotis irregularis (Schwein.) E.J. Durand

Growing on surface of decortated dead wood in vicinity of live moss. Section shows hollow branching structure that bruises purple then black. Fragrant as in mossy wood and fresh mushroom but not really sweet.

It does not look infected, but the dusty surface may not be part of the original critter. I share the sense that it is unlikely to be Ramaria. Then again the overall morphology is more like Ramaria than anything I can find.

The surface is covered with conidia or spores – lots of variation in size, shape, internal structure.

Species Lists


11/20/11 Staining purple, then black
11/20/11 very powdery
Phase contrast; mid-range contrast -30; contrast +10
No Phase contrast; mid-range contrast -40; contrast +30
Human blood, commercial slide6 µm to 8 µm

Proposed Names

-87% (5)
Used references: NAM by Miller, p. 348
30% (2)
Recognized by sight: No idea what this is
28% (1)
Recognized by sight: for the infection. its substrate has yet to be scoped at the time of this proposal.
28% (1)
Recognized by sight
Used references: Report on hazel gloves
Hypocreopsis rhododendri, a UK BAP ascomycete fungus

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

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
Very strange unexpected result
By: Martin Livezey (MLivezey)
2017-11-26 01:50:39 CET (+0100)

The similar by heelsplitter look the same and confirm that the it has two forms – the conidia producing califlower and the asco spore (assuming) surfaces reminiscent of the larger ascos. Thank you very much for pointing this out. I have another observation that should be updated.

compare micrographs
By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2017-11-26 01:31:59 CET (+0100)

from this observation and those of Observation 292412. looking pretty similar…

If I’m not mistaken,
By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2012-06-12 19:55:45 CEST (+0200)

only the conidia-covered surface has been scoped. what of the tissue? can at least basidia be found? perhaps some with spores attached?

Unless consumed,
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-06-12 16:26:56 CEST (+0200)

lichen would be persistent, often for years. Reindeer lichen, for example, survive for centuries.

And no sign this year? Sounds fungal to me, Martin. Many fungi die down during the winter, provided they too aren’t perennial, like Polyporus.

Looks to be growing on what I call a healed stump: a cut tree stump which bonded with another root of a nearby tree, and was able to continue living. Rounded surface indicates it survived for several years at least. I’d guess eventually the other host tree was cut or died, too. Then this fungal explosion.

So the indications to me are that it is saprophytic, at least. And massive.

Something so apparently large remains unknown for this long among such knowledgeable people, still has us “stumped.”

By: Martin Livezey (MLivezey)
2012-06-12 13:22:41 CEST (+0200)

Have another malt on me! I actually think this could be a type of lichen. No sign of it yet this year.

an early morning, malt liquored, random, uninformed guess
By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2012-06-12 11:33:47 CEST (+0200)
Definately not Ramaria botrytis. Nor Hydnotrya.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2012-06-09 03:40:25 CEST (+0200)

Both species are mycorrhizal. While Ramaria can be a few inches above the soil level, it is never saprophytic, as this observation appears to be. Looks to be growing on a stump which has healed over, then died. Birds-eye maple, maybe?

Can’t offer any insight as to what it actually is. Never seen anything similar to it.

In this picture
By: Gerhard Koller (Gerhard)
2012-02-26 19:43:18 CET (+0100)

you can clearly see the sprouting or conidiogenesis. It’s like when the limbs of a chain break loose.
Botryobasidium aureum is not the only Botryobasidium species with conidia. In fact, many species of this genus produce asexual spores and often it is with the anamorphic stage that helps to ID them, either it is a Haplotrichum or an Oidium, if the conidia are colorless or colored, how they are formed on the conidial branches and so on. Quite difficult.

No desire to identify condia..
By: Martin Livezey (MLivezey)
2012-02-26 19:04:29 CET (+0100)

But can one tell spores from conidia simply by looking at them? I have at least one Ramaria posted that looks infected. The Botryobasidium aureum was also said to have conidia.

By: Gerhard Koller (Gerhard)
2012-02-26 18:27:49 CET (+0100)

I have no idea what this could be and still not sure whether the “main” mushroom is a Ramaria or not. Conidial fungi are very hard to identify if you are not into them. And most of them need cultural studies or telemorphic stages for identification.

Thanks Gerhard
By: Martin Livezey (MLivezey)
2012-02-26 18:20:49 CET (+0100)

What else?

These are conidia,
By: Gerhard Koller (Gerhard)
2012-02-26 18:18:07 CET (+0100)

most likely from the “dusty surface” of the shroom and therefore I think it is infected indeed.

Microscopy added
By: Martin Livezey (MLivezey)
2012-02-26 17:15:57 CET (+0100)

Thanks Penny. The spores or conidia don’t look like the reference you sighted, but the fruit body does!

This Field Mycology reference from 2003
By: Penny Firth (pfirth)
2012-01-03 16:02:24 CET (+0100)

says that H. cubispora is “associated with coniferous woodland, particularly pines, and develops underground before emerging as a soft, hollow, convoluted,
subglobose ascoma…”

By: Gerhard Koller (Gerhard)
2012-01-03 15:24:32 CET (+0100)

is hypogaeous, a sort of false truffle. Are there any species that are that big and peek that far out of the ground when ripe?

Hydnotrya – spelled wrong first time.
By: Penny Firth (pfirth)
2012-01-03 15:22:10 CET (+0100)
Hydrotrya sp.?
By: Penny Firth (pfirth)
2012-01-03 15:19:09 CET (+0100)

Internal convolutions look like the one I’ve seen.

It is possible
By: Gerhard Koller (Gerhard)
2012-01-03 11:01:08 CET (+0100)

but it really looks odd.

By: Martin Livezey (MLivezey)
2012-01-03 01:39:16 CET (+0100)

You seem to be implying that it could be some type of Ramaria…!
Is that possible?

No this is clearly not Ramaria botrytis!
By: Gerhard Koller (Gerhard)
2012-01-01 23:28:33 CET (+0100)

In Ramaria you need a monograph. I do not know if there is a monograph for America already. In Europe we have one since a few years but still it is very difficult to distinguish the species. People tend to call every pinkish coral Ramaria botrytis or Ramaria formosa, every yellow one Ramaria lutea or Ramaria aurea, every whitish cream one Ramaria mairei. You cannot do that way it will not work out. Even experts are dealing with difficulties. If you do not want to specialize on Ramaria more than eating just leave it to genus level I recommend you.

By: Martin Livezey (MLivezey)
2011-11-27 00:22:48 CET (+0100)

I did not see your comment, but the cross section in the new photos is about 1" across. I rinsed them in tap water and they turned black.

Created: 2011-11-19 20:00:03 CET (+0100)
Last modified: 2017-11-27 01:50:46 CET (+0100)
Viewed: 623 times, last viewed: 2018-11-05 19:32:31 CET (+0100)
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