When 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 here. Quercus 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 (Stereum striatum) can be found year round – only on Carpinus caroliniana.
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!