Hey Look at My Crud...


Well-Known Member
East US, Earth
Wonderful Monotropa! Maybe folks might like some background which to JD is old hat.
Perfectly self-respecting heath flowers (family Ericaceae). This is an unusual achlorophyllous genus which rather than making its own food through photosynthesis, it breaks down the carbohydrates formed by the mycorrhizal fungus...which in turn originated from photosynthesis by a green plant, probably a tree. So the mycorrhizal fungus provides a bridging function. The transfer of carbs from plant to fungus to plant (reciprocal translocation) was part of my dissertation topic. Sorry about that!
Plants are amazing!


Well-Known Member
Serf Life is on the right track. A careful look at the images shows that the light-colored patches on the topside of the cap are scales (squamules) which leads me to the Variegated Inky Cap aka Felt-Scale Inky Cap which a current worker might call Coprinopsis variegata.
The scales are remnants of the universal veil that persist to maturity and "going to mush".



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Well of course to me, it's just the great wheel of dharma turning! Everybody (including those inky caps) are just being the best they can be.
It's me that doesn't measure up!


Most well-known member
On a shagbark hickory that has some basal decay, any thoughts?
I'll look again in a few days as this seems young and still growing


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Well-Known Member
I'd start with Scleroderma as SL suggests. Puffballs (e.g., Lycoperdon) are usually softer to the touch. Also, the puffballs with a roughened surface....for them, the rough surface are actually little scales. With the earthballs with a rough surface (e.g. Scleroderma) the roughness is accomplished more by breaks in the surface rather specialized scales. The latter may be pretty subjective, but it seems to work.
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