May 16, 2022
Good evening, friends,
This week’s mushroom is Resupinatus applicatus, commonly known as the smoked oysterling. I’ve found this mushroom a few times up in Manitou, always growing on one specific invasive plant species – Celastrus orbiculatus. The specimen below was found on 3/24/2022.
R. applicatus is known as a pleurotoid mushroom. Gilled mushrooms that are kidney shaped and have a lateral attachment to wood are considered pleurotoid. Panellus stipticus and Phyllotopsis nidulans are other examples of pleurotoid mushrooms, as are the commonly encountered and edible oyster mushrooms.
The name ‘Resupinatus’ is derived from the Latin Resupinus which means “bent backward or flattened”. Occasionally, polypores will grow resupinate and form pore surfaces on the underside of logs/branches which lets them release spores without exerting the energy to form a full fruiting body. Michael Kuo defines resupinate as “a fancy way of saying it’s a bunch of shapeless fungal stuff spread across the bottom of a dead log”. Applicatus means “near or attached”, and is a reference to the near-direct attachment of the mushroom to the substrate.
R. applicatus is saprobic, growing on dead wood, and is typically found on the underside of logs. It is found in North America, Europe, and Australia. The mushrooms grow summer through fall and can even fruit in warmer periods during winter. Resupinatus alboniger and Hohenbuehelia grisea are similar species – but hair on the cap, grey gills that fade to black, and a short attachment to the substrate (pseudostipe) distinguish R. applicatus from the bunch. Microscopic observation of the spores, which are white, would confirm the identity of the species in question as well.
As previously mentioned, I’ve found this mushroom growing on oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus) three times since January. C. orbiculatus is an invasive vine that grows prominently along roadsides and in disturbed areas. It will serpentine its way up trees to the point where, if it doesn’t directly strangle the tree to death, it will stunt the tree’s shape & growth leaving it vulnerable to storm damage. I have wondered about the relationship between R. applicatus and C. orbiculatus for months. I understand that there are some endophytic fungi that will live inside of trees – and perhaps even form a symbiosis with the plant – before some ailing of the tree prompts the fungus to turn saprophytic and consume the dead cells in these living trees. I wonder if R. applicatus has a similar relationship with C. orbiculatus, or if this fungus just prefers its dead wood bittersweet.
Here’s a different specimen I found earlier in the winter, growing directly under a different mushroom (possibly Cerioporus varius or C. leptocephalus):
In my search for morels, I found several “Mica caps” (Coprinellus sect. Micacei), but was unfortunately left a man devoid of morels. Nonetheless, the white flecks on the caps of the mushrooms below – remnants of the universal veil – mimic the shiny/reflective qualities of the mineral mica and give the mushroom its common name:
The next few weeks are going to be fun. I’m going down to Georgia this weekend for the Georgia Mushroom Festival, and then the following weekend I’ll be in Phoenicia, NY for Catskill Fungi’s biannual Friends of Fungi retreat. The next couple publications of Mushroom Monday will be photo-laden recaps of these fungal festivities.
I tried to stay up to see some early stages of the Blood Moon last night, but it was cloudy so my views were obscured. If you got any good photos send em over,
3) Kuo, M. (2005, February). Oysters: Pleurotoid mushrooms. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/pleurotoid.html