mushrooms. are. weird.

Since The Home Tome went live last April, I have been trying to figure out my fascination with mushrooms. All I have been able to come up with is the fact that I am drawn to how weird they are. Quirky. Strange. Odd. Cute. But mostly: weird.

For example, these popped up in the pot of my friend Sylvie’s indoor jade plant here in Nyack:

plantpot dapperling


As soon as I received this photo as part of an urgent text, I rushed to open The Book of Fungi. I’m pretty sure it is a Plantpot Dapperling, known in more official circles as Leucocoprinus Birnbaumii. In the wild, this usually grows in tropical climates but it has apparently spread throughout the world in commercial potting compost.

My friend Ann sent this photo to me from Wake Forest, NC.

mushrooms north carolina

So weird.

I’m not sure, but I think that small one on the right might be an American Slender Caesar a.k.a. Amanita Jacksonii?

These were spotted on my friend Susan’s tree in Scarsdale:

shelf mushroom

Very weird.

I think they are shelf mushrooms a.k.a. Ganoderma applanatum. Apparently, these are also sometimes known as Artist’s Brackets because they bruise easily and permanently, so you can draw on them. But beware, these can cause the tree to get something called white rot – that doesn’t sound like a good thing.

Here are the latest specimens from our yard:

pink mushroom


Looks like this could be The Flirt a.k.a. Russula Vesca. This got the nickname the The Flirt because of the white, petticoat-like gills and the fact that sometimes the top of the cap peels back of its own accord revealing the white under-surface. Coquettish indeed!

yellow mushroom on yard

Yup, weird.

This seems to be a Glistening Inkcap, a.k.a. Coprinellus Micaceus?

Disclaimer: I am not a mushroom expert, so all of these identifications are my best guess.

Acknowledgments: Thank you to Sylvie, Ann, and Susan for sharing their shrooms with me/us. And thank you to Mother Nature for putting these weird little structures in our paths.

6 replies

    • Well, I can certainly imagine a mushroom being named after Lady Gaga. On the other hand, I can also imagine Lady Gaga dressing up as a mushroom.

  1. Will you be preparing a probably delicious but potentially lethal wild mushroom risotto any time in the near future?

    • Only if you come over for dinner, Port. O. Bello. Over here, we had Trader Joe’s Mushroom and Truffle Ravioli tonight!

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