unknown "mega"fungi

JeremyBrowne Jeremy at grazeley.demon.co.uk
Tue Aug 20 10:01:34 EST 1996

Hi Tim &/or Mark
I offer you three possibles:
1. Meripilus Giganteus (Black-staining Polypore)
2. Tyromeyces Stipticus (Bitter Bracket)
3. Laetiporus Sulphureus (Chicken-of-the-Woods)

Of these three, only 1. has a stem that is significant. 

 mwells at INDIGO.IE writes:
> ... yesterday I came across a gigantic single specimen that was 
> simply irresistible.
> ... it`s a creamy color all round but for the stem, spongy underside 
> with a firm feel to it`s structure.I pulled it off a rotting tree and 
> it still feels soft and smells sweet tonight. It`s roughly 35-40cm in 
> diameter but with a kind of semi-circular shape.

So it's a bracket fungus, I would think.

> There a "tongue" or protrusion that flips out from the funnel-like well
> cavity... It has a darkish tint in the well-like draining structure
> and there is a stem that is dark brown/black thick hard and seriously
> phallic with a micro version of the big one sprouting from the stem.
> The surface has a wavy concentrically contoured faint light brown
> visual effect against the creamy white background on the topside.
> The upper top is ridged with small creases...
> I`m really hungry and would love to fry it now but will wait your 
> advice. 

"The Mushroom Book" by Laessoe & del Conte, new out in UK this year, 
shows a Meripilus with many of the characteristics you describe. The 
words do not ENCOURAGE eating - "Though this massive species is edible 
when young, Meripilus giganteus does not have a very good flavour. The 
whitish pores stain grey when handled, and the whole fruitbody turns 
grey when cooked. It is easy to recognise by its overall size, densely 
layered brackets, and pale golden brown colouring." (UK spelling)

Mind you, I could be WILDLY wrong, and would not advise eating ANY fungus
you haven't had confirmed by an expert :-)

Jeremy Browne, Hampshire, UK
jeremy at grazeley.demon.co.uk
Shaking Hands BBS, Fidonet 2:252/160 (+44 1252 621745)

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