June 29, 2010

A Walk in the Woods: Mushroom Update

Three weeks ago I found some gorgeous varnished mushrooms growing on tree stumps in the woods, which I wrote about here. I thought some of you might be interested, as I am, to see how they've grown since then. The funny bulbous forms above...

have grown into wavy, fan-shaped mushrooms (except for one, which remains a club shape so far) whose deep golden red varnish warms and lightens to a golden ochre. At the edge is a warm white which makes me think of vanilla ice cream emerging through the caramel sauce of an ice cream sundae.

These mushrooms squeezing out from the bark of a stump have also filled out:

and are now the characteristic broad shape. The convoluted, puckery surface of the top mushroom seems to tell a story of pushing and pulling to get to where it is; this is a mushroom of great character.


  1. Thanks for the update. Just fascinating to see how these transform themselves. So often we just see one stage — in reality or on the Web —so this is particularly valuable to discover what comes next.

  2. Mushrooms always amaze me, Linda, in the way they grow and change. It's hard to think of any vegetable whose form shifts so much while growing.

  3. This looks like a reishi! A bringer of good luck and good health! extracts show anti-cancer, anti-tumor, and immuno-boosting properties.

    1. I wonder if it is, James. I won't taste mushroom that I'm not sure of, and I've always known this as a varnished shelf mushroom.