A selection of the commonly found species of wood-growers found in Alabama

Trametes hirsuta

Radial zonation

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Hirsute = hairy, a description of the top of the pileus (cap) which comes in several tones of tan to grey and white.

 Photo by C. McWest 

Saprobic

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These wood-eaters will grow into one another and can reach sizes around 10cm. Note the margin (edge of cap) is generally a shade of brown.

 Photo by C. McWest 

Angular pores

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3-4 angular to circular pores per mm.

 Photo by C. McWest 

Trametes lactinea

Radial zonation

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Can grow up to 25cm wide and up to 7cm thick at base, hard and corky. The surface is velvety to the touch but does not have hairs. 

 Photo by C. McWest 

Saprobic

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Like almost everything on this page, these are wood-eaters found on dead or dying wood. Particularly oaks.

 Photo by C. McWest 

Light, darkening pores

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The angular pores are white when young and fresh and darken with age, usually to be darker than the cap surface. Note the thick walls around the pores that thin with age. 

 Photo by C. McWest 

Trametes betulina

Fuzzy cap

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Like several of the Trametes, these have a fuzzy or velevety cap with concentric striations of various colors

'Gilled' bottom

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Unlike the other Trametes, T. betulina have modified pores that look like gills and make it easy to identify.

Voracious wood decomposer

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These wood-eaters are saprobic and have similar texture to other members of the genus.

Trametes versicolor, the Turkey-tail

Fuzzy caps

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Trametes versicolor, commonly known as the Turkey-tail will always have fuzzy/velvety caps, the fuzz will often be slightly different within differently colored zones

Concentric striations

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Fan-shaped, often merging into multi-fanned masses with a large variety of colors from amber to steel-blue with radial striations.

Pores on bottom

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Unlike several of its look-a-likes (particularly the Stereums), Trametes versicolor will have small pores on its underside. 

Stereum ostrea

Fan shaped

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Stereum ostrea tend to grow as fan-shaped but may fold in on themselves to become almost cone-shaped

Many-colored

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They come in colors ranging from bleached-white, to ocher, to vermillion red.

Wood-eaters

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Stereum tend to grow in fruit in great numbers on dead or dying wood. Their undersides will always be smooth and lack pores.

Stereum comlicatum

Small, fused leafletes

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 Stereum complicatum, a hardwood loving crust fungus with smaller “leafletes” than the related Stereum “hirsutum”

Orange and fuzzy

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Like several other Stereum, the cap is adorned with a small layer of fuzz. This species is almost always some shade of orange and easy to spot.

Smooth bottomed crust

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Like other Stereum, these have a smooth bottom and often form large crusts, especially along the base of their substrate (wood).

Stereum hirsutum

More striations

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Like S. complicatum, S. hirsutum has a slight fuzz on its striated cap surface.

Orange and fuzzy

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 Like S. complicatum, S. hirsutum is often an orange-ish color and grows on wood.
These too have a smooth underside.

Larger leafletes

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One main distinction is that S. hirsutum has larger leafletes that often do not fuse, so are independent.

Trichaptum biforme

Growing in number

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Trichaptum biforme grow in massive number on dead or dying wood, often alongside Stereum and Trametes species. They have a similar texture to those mentioned genera and are finely hairy on their cap.

Toothed bottom

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T. biforme is a polypore but the pores have evolved a modification that makes them appear to have a more 'toothed' appearance. This is an important indicator for this species. 

Lilac-edged

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These fan-shaped fruitbodies will have slight striations, and when fresh, present the beautiful lilac edge seen in these images. The lilac color will fade when the fruitbody dries and ages.

Spongipellis pachyodon

Wood-eater

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 Spongipellis pachyodon  is another parasitic wood-eater commonly found on dead or dying wood.

"Toothed" polypore

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Unlike species of the genus Hericium, these have a distinctive cap structure from which the 'teeth' hang. The texture of the fruitbody is akin to wetted shoe-leather.

Unique, oblong teeth

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The modified pores form distinctive oblong teeth that can reach more than an inch each and are not easily pulled from the rest of the fruitbody. I think of them as trunks from the almost namesake, "pachy"derm

Hericium erinaceus

Fairly tight round shape

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This species tends to grow in a singular, and quite round clump. Often seen as a baseball to basketball sized white mass growing on dead or dying wood.

Long, delicate teeth

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The teeth of H. erinaceus are round and taper to a point. The tips will brown first with age as the fruitbody becomes slightly bitter. 

A meaty treat

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The fruitbody will shred by hand and will grow as a single tightly packed entity prior to the elongation of its teeth.

Auricularia cf. fuscosuccinea

One of the Jellies

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Leafletes are close, but not clustered. Often growing inches apart along dead or dying wood.

Shaped like an ear

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Commonly clustered into the colloquial "Jelly ear" because it often looks like an ear cast in jelly.

More

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From Kuo, " sterile surface...whitish bloom over the  brown to reddish brown surface; flesh thin, gelatinous-rubbery; entire  fruiting body becoming hard and black when dried out. "

Mixed Jellies

Exidia recisa

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Clustered fruitbodies with wide depressions of the surface that are often surrounded by ridges. Individual fruitbodies don't fuse.

 Photo by C. McWest 

Exidia glandulosa

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Unlike E. recisa, these fruitbodies do fuse together to become a large black-ish mass of jelly that will dry into a crust. Found on hardwoods.

 Photo by C. McWest 

Phaeotremella frondosa

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Similar to Tremella sp., P. frondosa grows on Stereum spp. upon which it may parasitize. Distinctive from the other Jellies here by its morphology as a mass of loosely packed lobes.

 Photo by C. McWest 

Yellow Jellies

Bisporella citrina

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These teeny caps (~3mm) are not really a jelly, but are soft. A very short stem (if present) will connect the fruitbody to larger substrates such as logs. 

 Photo by C. McWest 

Tremella mesenterica

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From Kuo, "Parasitic on the mycelium of species of Peniophora (a genus of crust fungi); growing alone or in amorphous clusters on the decaying sticks and logs of oaks and other hardwoods" - note the black dots on the wood, likely Peniophora. 

Dacrymyces chrysospermus

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Known to grow on conifer wood and sports distinctive lobes. 

Galerina marginata, deadly

Tan to reddish brown cap

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These beautiful but deadly wood-decomposers contain amatoxin (like that found in deadly Amanitas). They may be confused for Gymnopilus or Flammulina spp. which have similar coloration's, size, and ecological roles.

Buff colored gills darken with spores

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Unlike their look-a-likes G. marginata will drop a brown spore-print which will often darken its otherwise light-tan gills. 

Find the annulus

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White(ish) ring or ring zone on a stipe that can be white(ish) to dark-brown in color

Pluteus cervinus

Pink gills

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The gills begin a salmon pink and quickly darken to brown as they drop a substantial spore load that are a pinkish-brown. 

Buff to dark-brown cap

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Caps appear several shaded of buff-tan-brown, sometimes with a darker center. There is no ring on the stipe and the fruitbody often grows out of decayed wood.

Deer mushroom

The common colloquial. Taste is often described as vaguely radish-like.