Zenfolio | Bruce Fellman | Another mushroom mystery

Another mushroom mystery

July 29, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

After the recent deluge that, amen, amen, removed us from the yellow "abnormally dry" designation at the U.S. Drought Monitor site, there have been mushrooms coming up everywhere... and I do mean everywhere. These pretty little guys, which I think may be members of what used to be the Lepiota clan, have been emerging, two at a time, from the pot of a vining Begonia boliviensis San Francisco plant we got a couple of years ago from the yard sale at White Flower Farms and have been keeping alive ever since. Another truth-be-told aside, I'm about as good on mushrooms as I am on beetles—yesterday's mea culpa admission—and the situation with the fungi is especially tricky in the mastery department, since mushroom taxonomy is in a state of major DNA-driven flux and many of the names I learned no longer apply. Still, it's great fun to make the effort, and this eye-catching pair just may turn out to be Leucocoprinus birnbaumii, a white-spored relative of the common Inky Cap that doesn't digest itself into a black mess. Tom Volk, a wonderful mushroom maven, dubs it the Yellow Houseplant Mushroom, on account of its common growing habitat, and in the Bahamas, Volk notes that the flower-pot fungi, each of which bears a prominent ring around the thin stalk, are known as "spirit umbrellas." Good spirits, I hope... and so they seem.



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