Identification: Giant Mushroom Growing In My House!

Discussion in 'Fungi, Lichens and Slime Molds' started by heatherjand28, Aug 25, 2008.

  1. heatherjand28

    heatherjand28 Member

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    HELP! I live in Northern New Mexico, Los Alamos to be exact, and lately we've been getting a lot of rain. Well, we have a very large window in the rental we just moved into, and we don't use it much because people can see right into our home. So the majority of the time the curtians are closed. The window seal is made of wood and it seems to not be sealed all that well either. We hadn't noticed, because of a very large flower arangement I have blocking the view, but a giant mushroom has grown up from underneath our window on our window seal. It's white, and kind of thin, and the only thing I could find on the internet that looked like it was an oyster mushroom, which, correct me if I'm wrong, is more common in places like Japan? It also had this white powder, which I'm assuming are spores, that turned like purple or grey when we touched them. It's steem also looked to be growing from the side, but I didn't know if that was a characteristic of the mushroom or just because of where it was growing (from underneath the crank of the window). I'm really embarrassed as a house keeper and mother that I let this happen. I would like some help identifying this mushroom and figuring out how to keep this from happening again. One more thing, when we moved it we saw dried up pieces of something, we thought it was padding from isulation or something, but now we are thinking it was old mushroom pieces, which may mean this has grown there before. ANY info will help! THANKS!
     
  2. Silver surfer

    Silver surfer Generous Contributor 10 Years

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  3. C.Wick

    C.Wick Active Member

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    Oyster mushrooms grow thru-out the US.... http://sauriamami.deviantart.com/art/Oyster-Adults-69931059 .....one of my favorite mushrooms to photograph in fact.....
    u'r spore definately fits the 'type' oysters have........the link i posted to u here shows how the undersides would look for an adult? have u noticed any 'odor'..........sometimes also characteristic of this mushroom is that they are 'off center'........
     
  4. heatherjand28

    heatherjand28 Member

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    yes, it did look very similar to the picture you showed me. I have to admit that I was very "freaked" out by it, my husband actually was the one to clean it up. (I know, I'm a wimp!) But from what I saw it looked like the top portion of the picture you showed me. It was very large though, I would have to say there were 4-6 large layers and it was probably about a good foot in size all around. It looked like a huge conch shell on our window seal, with white powder all around. It was a little off center from the stem, however I didn't notice an odor of any kind. The curtians are thick and it kept in all the spores and possibly odor, however, we didn't smell anything when we pulled it from the window seal. I wish we would have taken a picture so you could have seen it but I was extremely weirded out by this huge thing growing in my house.
     
  5. C.Wick

    C.Wick Active Member

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    lol..that's great! if that is what they were? they're edible as well...and actually one of the most desirable here in the US.......as long as u'r wood it was growing on wasn't 'toxic'...lol
    next time? when u decide to grow beautiful fungi...let me know and i'll make a trip. :o)
    sounds like u had a great specimin to admire.....even if it WAS in an odd location!
     
  6. heatherjand28

    heatherjand28 Member

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    I feel very silly if it was an oyster mushroom, because from what I've read they are a very good to eat. I still have it in the trash, I pulled it yesterday, do you think you would be able to tell what it was now if I took a picture of it? I can post it later after I get off work.
     
  7. C.Wick

    C.Wick Active Member

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    DEFINATELY! would love to see an image! even if on the 'decrepit' side the oyster is recognizable....and even? edible...lol
    if it's washed well...patted dry.....rehydrated or just fried up in butter? put in pasta dishes...especially tasty with garlic/alfredo sauce and spinach all together! woowhoo...lol
     
  8. allelopath

    allelopath Active Member 10 Years

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    I would advise you not to eat it. For several reasons.
    - having it "look very similar" to a photo is not sufficient criteria to establish its identity.
    - oysters, while they do occur in northern nm, are not terribly common above the Rio
    - even if it is an oyster, you should consider its substrate. It could very well contain toxins from the paint, stains, wood, particle board, asbestos that it is growing in.

    If you want oyster mushrooms, they are sold at the Santa Fe Farmer's Market on Saturdays by a local grower.
     
  9. C.Wick

    C.Wick Active Member

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    '.......as long as u'r wood it was growing on wasn't 'toxic' ' ....sorry..wasn't trying to convince anyone to eat this unknown.....just telling how the ones i've eaten were like...and was just trying to keep this conversation light-hearted. :o)
     
  10. heatherjand28

    heatherjand28 Member

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    yeah, I'm not sure on the construction of the house or what was used, so I hadn't planned to eat it. Just want to make sure that it is or isn't an oyster mushroom. It was the strangest thing I've ever seen and I hadn't seen one like it before. I googled it and from what I saw online I made an assumption that it was an oyster mushroom. But that's why I came here, so hopefully one of you with more knowledge could help me determine what this fungi is. Thanks for everyones replies, I'm going to get it out of the garbage and snap a photo of it after work today. Hopefully you'll still be able to tell what it is.
     
  11. Frog

    Frog Rising Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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  12. heatherjand28

    heatherjand28 Member

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    Okay, so we dug it out of the trash and here it is, this is only one branch of it, and there were like 2 or three, this thing was HUGE! Plus it shrank a little. It's whiter then most mushrooms I found on the internet that grew in houses and things. That's why I'm so confused as to what it is. Can anyone identify it now?
     

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  13. C.Wick

    C.Wick Active Member

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    WOW! definately was a great wonderous sized fellow to be growing there. :o)
    I still stand by the Oyster mushroom?
     
  14. heatherjand28

    heatherjand28 Member

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    well I've never seen anything like it, and I'll never forget the site of that thing growing on my window seal. It's funny but I'm starting to check all my windows now! It had been about three weeks since we opened that window, so with the curtains and the flower arrangement there, it could very well have been growing there for three weeks. I know it's edible and all (if it was an oyster mushroom) but I'm still really grossed out that it was growing in my house without my knowledge! Sheesh!
     
  15. C.Wick

    C.Wick Active Member

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    aaww...some of us WISH we were so blessed with such an amazing thing growing inside...lol
    and i should say though? that not all of them CAN be eaten as it really depends on the type of wood they grew off of....lots of mushroom and fungi species have that issue such as the hemlock tree? lots of beautiful things grow off it but allll are poisonous or deadly!
    and don't panic yet....does that window recieve a lot of moisture and shade? my first step would just to make sure there's no source of moisture being in constant supply there. ask the landlord(if renting) to get a better sealer on the actual wood of the window frame also? (when the wood is dry!)
    sometimes........what one of us find ugly...many of us can still find beautiful...and vice versa......
    thanx so much for sharing this for us to mull/munch over. :o)
     
  16. heatherjand28

    heatherjand28 Member

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    Ha ha! Well I might feel differently about this if it wasn't growing inside my home, I love to eat mushrooms, so I might want to take him home had I found him on a tree in the woods by my house, but not in my house. :P I promise I'm a much better house keeper then this implies! We've contacted the landlord about this problem, but I don't think they are going to quickly fix anything, or even take a look at it any time soon. Possibly all it needs is a little calking to make the window seal and the wall meet, but is there anything else I should do? I'm tempted to put some anti-fungal cream or something down the crack as well. LOL
     
  17. allelopath

    allelopath Active Member 10 Years

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    >>We've contacted the landlord about this problem, but I don't think they are going to quickly fix >>anything, or even take a look at it any time soon
    Welcome to New Mexico!
     
  18. C.Wick

    C.Wick Active Member

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    LMAO....sure it's not KANSAS? I had a place I had an oppossum living under my kitchen sink...(crawled thru a hole in the wall behind the sink) and at one point my x husband fell thru the FLOOR because the wood had rotted so badly! The landlord? Just told us to duct tape some plywood up.
    Personally...I'd MUCH more appreciate the fungi growing the people falling thru holes. :o)
     
  19. heatherjand28

    heatherjand28 Member

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    HA! You do have a point there!
     
  20. Frog

    Frog Rising Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    It certainly looks like an oyster mushroom.

    When I see the mushrooms of oyster fungi (Pleurotus) in the forest on a tree, this means the body of the fungus has spread through the tree inside. Species of Pleurotus eat the lignin in the wood, possibly also the cellulose. I don't know how quickly or slowly they will take down a tree, but I'm sure a forester would know.

    I've not heard of oysters on a house before, but I'm concerned that if this is a wood-eating Pleurotus, that may not bode well for the house's wood components. Perhaps the fungus is only on/in one section of wood?

    If you are concerned, perhaps a New Mexico club could connect you with a local mycologist to look at it, to determine whether or not this is a wood-eater? http://www.mycowest.org/nmms/ I don't want to alarm you, but it does seem like a possible concern.

    cheers,
    frog
     
  21. heatherjand28

    heatherjand28 Member

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    Thanks so much Frog! I actually might work with one of the Los Alamos Researchers, I will contact them for some insight right away. I to was worried of the damage to the wall from the fungi, but since it is a rental have little power. Maybe this will light a fire under my land lord!
     
  22. Frog

    Frog Rising Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    You're welcome Heatherjand28,
    I hope you will consider sharing the results of your investigation?
    thanks!
     
  23. heatherjand28

    heatherjand28 Member

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    Sure no problem! I hope it's nothing serious, we just moved in, and I love this place! :( I've contacted on of the Los Alamos researchers from the website you sent me, but haven't heard back yet. I'll be sure to keep you all posted!
     

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