October 19, 2020
Good morning team.
This week’s mushroom is the Black Staining Polypore, meripilus sumstinei, which we found during a volunteer project on the east side of Iphigene’s Walk on 7/15/2020. It’s sometimes confused with hen of the woods, but this mushroom is almost pure white when young (the specimen we found was pretty young) while hen of the woods has a more gray/purplish color, especially on the margins. Meripilus sumstinei also bruises black and has smaller pores (tubes on the underside of the fruiting body where the spores are released). Finally, I imagine at least locally in the park, Meripilus sumstinei fruits earlier since this was found in early to mid-summer while most of our Grifola frondosa (hen of the woods) is fruiting now. Meripilus sumstinei is edible for all those inclined.
The pictures aren’t the best, but it was growing out of a dead stump. I hope you enjoy and have a fun week!