mystery fungus plus some observations

Daniel B. Wheeler dwheeler at
Mon Oct 29 05:19:38 EST 2001

"m.a. dritschel" <m.a.dritschel at> wrote in message news:<eg6g08bkd7y.fsf at>...
> Recently my wife discovered a fungus which has me stumped in trying to
> come up with an ID.  Superficially it looks like a Daldinia (cramp
> ball), and was found growing in clusters on the rotten stump of what I
> think (based on shoots coming up nearby) was a linden growing near the
> Tyne river in Hexham, Northumberland (the northeast of England).
Sounds like Daldinia to me. It can have several different colors and
shapes, and looks little like cramp balls except when mature. In my
experience it take nearly 2 months to mature from primordia that
resemble soft marshmallows. The aroma should be rather nice.
> I just recently finished reading John Ramsbottom's "Mushrooms and
> Toadstools", which inspired me to go out looking for truffles.  (This
> is truly a marvelous book, especially regarding historical aspects of
> mushroom identification and micophagy.  It also gave me a stronger
> appreciation of some of the fungi--especially non-gilled--that I might
> otherwise give little notice to while out collecting).  I found a nice
> beech wood but didn't turn up any truffles and couldn't convince my
> dogs to help me out!  As a consolation though , I did find almost 2kg
> of the "horn of plenty" (Craterellus cornucopiodes), as well as a few
> Cantherellus tubaeformis.
I believe Tuber aestivum used to be commercially collected in southern
England under beech trees. T. aestivum is also known as the Summer
Truffle, so the fruiting time may already be over (or rapidly
approaching it).

Daniel B. Wheeler

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