Notes from John Plischke III on some Western Pennsylvania winter mushrooms

     Here in Pennsylvania we have many of the same mushrooms that are also encountered in winter from Maine to New York.  Every winter mushroom on Gary’s and Sam’s lists grows here in PA, however, there are a few mushrooms on either of their lists that seldom get reported, such as Perenniporia medulla-panis, Corticium bombycinum, Corticium roseum or any species of Tomentella, Angelina rufescens, Hypocrea pulvinata, Aleurodiscus amorphous, and Stereum frustulosum.  See if you can find them anywhere in Pennsylvania.  Below are some additional species that can be found in Pennsylvania in winter.  


Gilled Mushrooms

1.  Panellus serotinus  The Late Fall Oyster Mushroom’s cap starts off greenish or purplish colored but in winter it often has light brown tones.   Often during extended winter thaws I see people collecting them and the Oyster Mushroom, Pleurotus ostreatus.

2.  Resupinatus applicatus  The ¼ inch or smaller thin fleshed Black Jelly Oyster can be found on fallen branches.  It is grayish to grayish black and feels jelly like or rubbery and grows on deciduous wood. 


Toothed or Tooth like Mushrooms

3.  Auriscalpium vulgare  The Pinecone Tooth’s cap and stalk is covered with dense brown hairs.  During the moist winter months the cap and stalk appear almost black.  Its stalk is attached to the side of the cap.  The teeth or spines on the underside are off white colored.  It grows on pine cones that are often buried.  It seems to prefer growing under red pine.    


Pored or Pore like Mushrooms

4.  Daedaleopsis septentrionalis  This polypore looks similar to the Maze Polypores Daedaleopsis confragosa and Daedalea quercina but it only grows on birch, typically growing on the trunks.  Its pores bruise.

5.  Fomes fomentarius  The Tinder Polypore is hoofed shaped.  It grows on deciduous wood.  Typically several are growing on a trunk.

6.  Fomitopsis cajanderi  The Rosy polypore pores are pinkish colored.  It is often encountered in old growth conifer forests.

7.  Fomitopsis pinicola  The Red Belted Polypore is typically found on conifers.  Its pores often bruise yellowish.

8.  Gloeophyllum sepiarium  The Yellow Gilled Polypore has a hairy cap when fresh, its pores resemble gills.  It is often found on conifer logs.   

9.  Hapalopilus croceus  A large orange polypore that looks somewhat like a cross between a giant Hapalopilus nidulans and Pycnoporus cinnabarinus.  Its cap turns reddish with KOH and can be a foot wide.

10.  Polyporus badius  The Black Footed Polypore has a cap that is often sunken in the center.  Its stalk is black near the base.  They are often found on rotten logs or tree trunks in deciduous woods. 

<>11.  Trametes elegans  Both the cap and the pores are an off white color.  It grows on deciduous wood and can be abundant on cut oak stumps.  Although not a maze polypore it is similar in shape.


Jelly Mushrooms

12.  Auricularia auricula  The Tree Ear can be found throughout the year especially during prolonged wet periods.  It is jelly like to rubbery.  Look for it on older fallen branches. 

13.  Dacryopinax spathularia  It is yellow and spatula shaped.  They are jelly like and are often found on fallen deciduous branches or on the top of stumps in groups.

14.  Exidia glandulosa  The Black Jelly Roll is black, jellylike and wrinkly.  It is found on fallen branches and other decaying wood.  It is often seen during winter thaws.


Puffball like mushrooms

15.  Tulostoma brumale  This tiny stalked puffball likes to grow in sandy areas. Near the shores of Lake Erie is great place to look.


Cup Shaped Mushrooms and other Ascomycetes

16.  Cordyceps ophioglossoides  The Goldenthread Cordyceps is club shaped.  Its head looks like it is covered with little rough pimples.  The underground False Truffle Elaphomyces that it grows on is not typically found intact in the winter.

17.  Hypocrea sulphurea  This sulfur yellow colored crust like fungi is occasionally found on fallen branches during wet winter periods.  It grows on the black colored Exidia glandulosa which can sometimes be seen with it or sticking out from underneath it.  Usually when the Exidia is found sticking out from under the Hypocrea it does not look like black jelly but rather a black flat piece of paint.

18.  Rhytisma acerinum  The black colored Maple Tar Spot can be found on fallen maple leaves until early spring when the leaves start to decay.  The tar spots are typically smaller than a dime.

19.  Sarcoscypha austriaca and S. dudleyi, the Eastern Scarlet Cups are typically thought of as a spring mushrooms that are often discovered when hunting morels, but they often first appear in late December and can be found throughout the winter buried in the snow.  When found in the winter they are usually partially buried in the middle of a fallen branch pile on the forest floor.    



20-21.    Metatrichia vesparium  The Multigoblet Slime is typically found in the goblet shaped stage in the winter, it can be attacked by another fungus called Polycephalomyces tomentosus  that looks like little white colored stalked balls growing on the slime mold, it can also be found growing on Hemitrichia serpula.  It resembles Phaeocalicium polyporaeum in shape and size.

April 2005