Select Page

Fungi

 

There is a dizzying array of fungus species growing in the Santa Cruz Mountain. The posts below highlight a few of our finds over the years.

Chanterelles

Chanterelles

It seems to be chanterelle season here at Curbstone Valley. For this 'Mushroom Monday' we bring you not one, but TWO, species of chanterelle mushrooms that are currently growing here. Cantharellus californicus Found growing just off the edge of a deer trail above the...

Helvella lacunosa

Helvella lacunosa

Helvella lacunosa is a common mushroom most often sighted in summer and fall, but occasionally observed in mid-winter in California.  The common name for this species is the 'Black Elfin Saddle' mushroom.  This is the first time we've seen it here, but it's quite well...

Trametes versicolor

Trametes versicolor

For Mushroom Monday this week we bring you Trametes versicolor, also known as the 'Turkey Tail' fungus, so named as the banding pattern on this particular fungus resembles that of a wild turkey tail. The Turkey Tail is often found on hardwood logs and stumps, and...

Leocarpus fragilis

Leocarpus fragilis

Although technically this should be our 'Mushroom Monday' post, Leocarpus fragilis is not actually a fungus.  However, while out hunting for mushrooms, it really caught my eye, and thought it worth a mention. Leocarpus fragilis is a slime mold.  Slime molds were...

Pseudohydnum gelatinosum

Pseudohydnum gelatinosum

For 'Mushroom Monday' I managed to find another interesting species of jelly fungus growing here at Curbstone Valley, Pseudohydnum gelatinosum, also known as the 'Toothed Jelly Fungus'.   The Toothed Jelly Fungus is widely distributed across North America and...

Perplexing Polypore

Perplexing Polypore

The foray into our surrounding woodland last weekend was inspired by our initial sighting of this particular fungus growing over a madrone that had been felled some years ago and left in the woods to decay.   Unfortunately, we don't yet know much about this...

Lycoperdon umbrinum

Lycoperdon umbrinum

Lycoperdon umbrinum belongs to the group of fungi known as puffballs. This is a blackish puffball often misidentified as Lycoperdon nigrescens. The primary external difference between the two species is that Lycoperdon umbrinum has an exoperidium composed of very...

Tremella aurantia

Tremella aurantia

This little gem belongs to the jelly fungus group, so named because their rubbery fruiting bodies appear to have the consistency of jelly.   Depending on environmental conditions, Tremella aurantia can become quite dry, shriveled and hard in texture, making it...

Ramaria myceliosa

Ramaria myceliosa

Unlike the relatively solitary Clavulina rugosa we presented yesterday, Ramaria myceliosa is quite a gregarious species.  We found this fungus close to the end of our hike, not too far from the creek edge, hiding in the shade of a giant fallen Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga...

Clavulina rugosa

Clavulina rugosa

Continuing our foray into the fascinating field of fungi we're moving on, from the waxy cap mushrooms, to some species of club and coral fungi. The first fungus we encountered on our walk this past weekend was Clavulina rugosa. It was lurking just downhill of the...

Hygrocybe punicea

Hygrocybe punicea

As promised at the end of yesterday's post on Hygrocybe flavescens, here we have the stunning waxy cap mushroom, known as Hygrocybe punicea, or the 'Scarlet Waxy Cap'...or is it? Unfortunately, these waxy caps are not as easy to positively identify as the yellow...

Hygrocybe flavescens

Hygrocybe flavescens

We're officially declaring this week at Curbstone Valley "Mushroom Week".  We've already seen a couple of interesting mushroom species emerging here in recent weeks, like Psathyrella piluliformis, and the 'redwood rooter' mushroom, Caulorhiza umbonata.  This week...