Singular Tastes

Daedalia quercina only likes oakWhen my brother was in school and my mom was still making his lunches, he ALWAYS carried a bologna sandwich.  Every Day.  No Exceptions.  As he approaches 50, I think his palate allows for more variety, but as a kid it had to be two slices of bread with butter and a slice of bologna.  (Yeah, you heard right:  he didn’t even want mustard!  Weird kid.)

There are a couple of fungi in my recent winter collection with similar, singular tastes.  One is the Daedalia quercina that I wrote about hereQuercus is the genus name for oak and D. quercina apparently only likes oak.

Another had me stumped for a bit…  I found what I thought was a positive ID at Messiah University’s Fungus-On-Wood website.  The pictures seemed to match…  Still, the text…  They claimed that Silky Parchment only grows on the dead twigs and branches of “blue beech.”  I began to doubt the ID because I had never heard of blue beech and was pretty sure we didn’t have such a tree around here.  I finally got around to looking up the Latin name listed on the site (Carpinus caroliniana) and discovered this tree also goes by the names “American Hornbeam” and “Ironwood” and “Musclewood”.  Yeah!  We have that.

Silky Parchment Fungus

Silky Parchment fungus (Stereum striatum) can be found year round – only on Carpinus caroliniana.

Silky Parchment Top   Silky Parchment Underside

Sometimes the underside of the caps fuse into a single mass.  Silky Parchment is a saprobic fungus, meaning the branches you find it on are already dead.

Uh oh… If my brother reads this, will he think I’m comparing him to a fungus?  No, Scotty!  Despite all that bologna, you’ve turned into a rather nice person and a truly fun guy!

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7 thoughts on “Singular Tastes

  1. Speaking of fungi with particular tastes…I’m reading “American Chestnut: The life, death, and rebirth of a perfect tree” by Susan Freinkel. We still have living chestnut sprouts here in eastern Massachusetts and next summer I’ll be keeping my eyes open for fungal fruiting bodies…and getting the creeps.

  2. Great photos of interesting fungii! I’ve been quite enjoying your fungus posts this winter, especially as we have quite a few (mostly different) ones here, and I have no idea what most are!

  3. Thank goodness for latin names. !!! Certainly has saved the day for me many times.

    When I read “Blue Beech” ,that rang a bell for Carpinus from my university days — and when I looked up beech in Palmer’s Fieldbook of NaturalHistory(McGraw-Hill,1949)– there it was : “Blue ” under beech,with Fagus first in line. I guess the “Blue” comes from the blueish cast to the smooth, beech -like bark of musclewood.

  4. Pingback: Musclewood « A Passion for Nature

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