Plectania milleri

Daniel B. Wheeler dwheeler at
Fri Jun 8 02:22:49 EST 2001

Today (6-7-01) found a cup fungus which I have tentatively identified
as Plectania milleri, based on the description given in David Aurora's
Mushrooms Demystified.

I'm not positive though. Fungi are .7-1.5 cm across the top, .4-1cm
tall, and nearly exactly the same depth. Interior of the fungus is
carbon-black. Exterior is scurffy or scruffy, red, with water still
present from yesterday's rainfall. The identification was made, in
large part, due to the description in Aurora, p 830, under Plectania
melastoma, which reads: "P. milleri has a stellate margin (i.e., with
starlike points) and elliptical spores, while P. (=Pseudoplectania)
nigrella has round spores. Both usually occur under conifers."

The margin of _all_ the specimens I collected today are regularly
notched. Notches are triangular shaped, regularly spaced, and pointed
at the ends. There appears in cross-section a tiny (less than 2mm
tall) black base, combined with a _slightly_ enlarged base. The fungus
is rubbery rather than brittle, at least as fresh. I have it drying
outside at this time, along with some of the humus it apparently was
growing out of (no twig or woody debris attached to base though, nor
"black wiry rhizomorphs". It was found in a Douglas fir plantation in
Clark County, Washington at about 1,000 feet elevation.

I have taken several jpeg photographs of the specimen, both in situ
(which was too out-of-focus to give much detail), and four more jpegs
of the specimens taken in bright sunlight before starting to dehydrate
the specimens.

Please post if you have other possible identifications, or would like
me to email a jpeg.

Daniel B. Wheeler

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