Identification: What the heck is this? A fungus or mold?

Discussion in 'Fungi, Lichens and Slime Molds' started by abgardeneer, Aug 9, 2006.

  1. abgardeneer

    abgardeneer Active Member

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    We saw this very peculiar... ummm, thing... today while hiking in Kananaskis Provincial Park in Western Alberta through dry, mixed spruce-lodgepole pine forest. Could it be a fungus or mold or something of the like? Anyway, it is one of the most bizarre things I've ever seen!

    It appeared to be growing from the fairly-freshly broken end of a tree trunk. I believe the tree was a Lodgepole pine (though I didn't actually think to identify it at the time). Words fail me, but the "thing" seems best described as a slightly-pendulous, whitish sac, measuring about 8 cm across. The surface texture was smooth and dry, but with a feeling of lumpiness beneath the surface in some areas (which I think is suggested in the photos); while I was touching it, I broke the surface "skin" (which was rather fragile) in one small area, and it was wettish underneath. (If it is possible for someone to zoom in on the photos, the area where I accidentally broke the "skin" is at about 8 o'clock on the object.)
    I took two photos, equally poor unfortunately (one on "macro", one not), but here they are (and I hope this works as I have not attached photos at this site before):

    I'd love to hear what this thing is!
    Thanks in advance!
    abgardeneer
     

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  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    As a first guess, I'm going to suggest an immature (non-fruiting) member of the genus Hericium.
     
  3. abgardeneer

    abgardeneer Active Member

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    Well, that's very interesting! We may have to go back to see it again when it is mature (and pardon my ignorance, but now I'm wondering how long it takes for the fruiting body to develop).
    Thank you for the information!
     
  4. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Oh, I could be wrong, of course. The texture / lustre of the organism and presence of a liquid are what I keyed in on, but I'm open to other ideas.
     

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