Wednesday, January 19, 2011

jack-o-lantern
Omphalotus olivascens
more related information

posted 01/25/11 - I wince every time I put up a "can you ID?" post. Given the increasingly limited time I'm willing to put into blogging, I tried and failed to make a positive ID, and yet I'm still curious enough to post this to Nature ID to ask others. The past several days, I've looked sporadically for online photographic matches of this fungus and have come up empty handed. In the mean time, I've made a new grouped list specifically for fungi (labels and grouped lists, at the bottom of each post and linked to the right of my home page, are mostly ordered alphabetically). I'd appreciate any genus names or hints if you're familiar with this particular mushroom. From the top view, it reminds me of delicious, golden pancakes with gills underneath. Where's the butter and syrup? Unlike other "bracket" type (i.e., growing from wood) mushrooms, these were not found on a rotting log or stump, but were stretching out from a dirt cliff. Upon closer inspection, it looks like there's an old woody branch sticking out of the dirt - possibly an old tree root?

I was considering writing a ranting monologue about the nature of traditional identification keys for the various biology disciplines and how they're really only useful to the few people who already know what they're looking at. However, I'll skip the wordiness here and leave you with some links to what others have to offer:

Ecology of Commanster's caveat and note on identification keys
Random Truth's flickr fungi of california set
The Fungi of California
Mushroom Hobby
Mushroom Expert

ps 01/26/11 - Thanks to commenters, I've edited and corrected this post and the ID above. I'm a bit embarrassed as I have already ID'd this particular fungus. In my defense, the one above looks very, very different from the jack-o-lanterns I've been visiting almost every day.

6 comments:

texwisgirl said...

Yup, I'm with you on the look-a-likeness so my guess is "Pancaka fungasitis". :) Great photos of whatever it is.

Brad said...

I have no idea, But that is a really beautiful pic.

John W. Wall said...

Did the spores glow in the dark? ;)

If so, it's Omphalotus olivascens, the jack-o-lantern mushroom. I would guess there's more wood buried that it's growing out of.

Jeannette said...

Did you rule out Western Jack O Lantern? I think that might be what it is... It is said that you can almost read a paper by their greenish light in the dark. I have also read that people who mistake them for chanterelles are very sorry for that.

lotusleaf said...

Whatever it is, it is a beautiful fungus. Thanks for visiting my blog.

Nature ID (Katie) said...

twg, haha, great name!

Thanks, Brad.

John and Jeannette, it took me a while to be convinced this is what it was. I think you're right. The jack-o-lanterns near home look very different, slightly greenish, larger, and curly. Right now, they're "melting" into a yucky goo. I've corrected the ID above. Thanks! Next year I'll have to collect some to see if they glow. I had to laugh at the glowing frustration made by Mushroom Expert (3rd embedded link in the ID).

lotusleaf, thanks for commenting and for creating your blog. I feel like I can travel without actually traveling.