Today I plucked a ten pound + cluster of mushrooms from a living (but
obviously hurting) White Pine. I couldn't get a spore print but
everything else points to Lentinus ponderosus except that all my books
say "Western US".
Gills are decurrent, smell delightfully fragrant, somewhat
reminiscent of White Matsutake, no sign of veil fragments. The
cluster is composed of twenty or so overlapping mushrooms. The stalk
is tough, the largest mushroom's stalk is about 2.8 centimeters in
diameter x nine centimeters long (the cluster protruded through a hole
in the tree so I suspect that the stem may be abnormally long due to
this reason) The stem can be broken by hand but is tough both against
the long direction of the stem and parallel to the stem. The top of
the cap is white with fibrillose areas breaking up into patches the
patches turning brown and breaking up into discrete patches but not as
regularly as on page 143 of Mushrooms Demystified, The cluster looks
the same as the one in the Audubon guide, just bigger. The stems and
the upper areas toward the stem are stained brown. The gills are
flesh beige and nicely serrated. Largest cap is 20 cm . The cluster is
moderately bug ridden so I'd guess that it's five of more days old.
Books also say August?
Can anyone say for certain that L. ponderosus never occurs in the NE?
Can anyone suggest another mushroom that this might be? Anyone
suggest where I can send a sample to someone for definitive id?
My mouth is watering and my curiosity is piqued, Help!
(editor of Monadnock Mycorrhiza, the newsletter of Monadnock
Mushroomers Unlimited, one of the host clubs for the NAMA/NEMF Samuel
Ristich Foray in Vermont August 29 - Sept 1)