Identification: CONK ID

Discussion in 'Fungi, Lichens and Slime Molds' started by 4ager, Aug 19, 2017.

  1. 4ager

    4ager Active Member

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    Please help ID the three items. I'm not sure if the yellow ones are chicken of the woods or not. Thank you.
     

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  2. Frog

    Frog Well-Known Member Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    The first is likely a redbelt, which was Fomitopsis pinicola until recent split into two species. Scratch the pore surface to see if no strong mark is left. Should also smell lovely :-).
    The second is likely an artists conk, Ganoderma applanatum, noting the spore deposit on the topside, top/underside colours: If you scratch the pore surface you should see a black mark.
    I think you are right that the third is a species of Laetiporus, given the colour, habitat and size, but it would be good to see a bit of further development before making a positive ID. The habitat appears to be cherry/plum which narrows the choices a bit, and provides the possibility of Laetiporus gilbertsonii.
    cheers,
    -frog
     
  3. 4ager

    4ager Active Member

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    Hi Frog. I have not been able to scratch the second conk. It's too high up in the tree.
    The last one may be Laetiporus sulphureus on Prunus cerasifera. Here are some photos of them.
     
  4. vitog

    vitog Well-Known Member

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    The Laetiporus mushrooms on a Cherry Plum tree in Vancouver bring up an interesting question. Has the presence of L. gilbertsonii in BC been documented previously? A few Web sources that I checked indicate that it is only found south of here, although one of them said that the range extends north to Washington state. I have personally seen Laetiporus mushrooms on Bitter Cherry trees in the Vancouver area; L. conifericola supposedly only occurs on conifers; and L. sulphureus only occurs east of the Rocky Mountains. So what species of Laetiporus occurs on deciduous trees in southwestern BC?

    Frog, do you know a Web site that provides a checklist of fungal species that are found in BC? I used to have an appropriate site bookmarked, but I lost it when my daughter accidentally erased all of my bookmarks. Now I can't find that site; it covered BC and the US states of the PNW.
     
  5. wcutler

    wcutler Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    A flickr contact posted a fungus that interested me, on the plum tree in her Vancouver garden, so I poked around and came up with the name Laetiporus gilbertsonii. You may not be aware how little I know about mushrooms, but you could check the photo to see if that seems a likely or possible ID or not.
    Fungus on my plum tree
     
  6. Frog

    Frog Well-Known Member Forums Moderator 10 Years

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  7. Frog

    Frog Well-Known Member Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I was having a discussion recently on L. gilbertsonii. It had been my understanding that this was the species we've been finding on street plum/cherry trees in the Vancouver area, and that L. gilbertsonii was only on hardwood.
    A colleague disputed this and is to be getting back to me with more info on this. However the very new publication "Polypores of the Pacific Northwest" appears to bear me out: https://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfd/pubs/Docs/Tr/TR104.pdf
    If you find anything else on this I would be very interested.
    And as you can see in this document, we still do not, in the strict sense, have L. sulfureus in our area.
    -frog
     
  8. 4ager

    4ager Active Member

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    Interesting discussion.
    As still a newbie, I am even more confused now. I came across an article while Googling gilbertsonii (Heather in SF) that referred to the chicken of the woods as Laetiporus gilbertsonii instead of Laetiporus sulphureus. I'm so confused!
    What's the difference in the names? To my untrained eyes, they look the same. What's in name?
     
  9. Frog

    Frog Well-Known Member Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Thank you for asking that, it is a good question. I initially wrote a page-long answer ... which got a bit rant-ish along the way ... so instead I'm going to try to come up with a brief summary :-):

    Because different species are genetically distinct from each other, they can have different qualities: A genus can contain poisonous as well as edible species.
    The mushroom we (the collective "we") think of as an edible is L. sulphureus. Edibility determined by history of use in Europe and other parts of NA.
    However, this fungus on the west coast turned out to be two other species, L. conifericola and L. gilbertsonii, and so we have inadvertently been using ourselves as experimental subjects, finding out about the edibility of these two "new" species native to this region.
    Unlike the taxonomy of birds, there is no system to the common names for mushrooms. This is why we use the scientific names so often, to distinguish in this case between three different mushrooms, all called Chicken of the Woods.

    ah .... I'll stop here :-)
    -frog
     
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  10. vitog

    vitog Well-Known Member

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    Adding to Frog's rant, it should be pointed out that L. conifericola and L. gilbertsonii are recent scientific names for the chicken mushrooms of the West Coast. For most of my life here in the Vancouver area, they were called L. sulphureus. It is only fairly recently that many new mushroom scientific names have been added, based on macroscopic or microscopic morphological differences or mating compatibilities. More recently, with the advent of cheap DNA sequencing, even more names, based on genetic differences, are now appearing; and this is a trend that will continue until most fungi around the world have been sequenced (and a standard definition of a species has been agreed upon).
     
  11. 4ager

    4ager Active Member

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    Thank you all for those detailed explanations,
    Sooooo....this bracket fungus is Chicken of the Woods (I'll just use this term since I can't pronounce any of the other scientific names), correct?
    Final answer? Unless you have more to add, Frog. :-)
     
  12. 4ager

    4ager Active Member

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    So after researching tons of pictures and other info on ID'ing the specimen, I am confident it is Chicken of the Woods in it's infant stages.
    I made a bold decision to go ahead to fry up a small piece. No discolouration (except the piece I burned) or strange odour. It smells like mushroom and it tasted AMAZING! It was like tender lemon mushroom chicken with only salt on it, so I can get the real taste of the specimen. IMO, it tastes better than real chicken and no animal had to die. Great for vegans!
    After waiting and not reacting negatively to it, I ate the remainder of that small piece. Today, I am still alive to tell you all about it, and no signs of poison in my system. Will steam it all and freeze it as there is so much of it (size of a turkey).
    Wish I can share the smell & taste with you all.
    Thanks for your input.
     

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