October 10th, 2010


50 More Urban Species #42 Daedaleopsis confragosa

Daedaleopsis confragosa

This mushroom has a spore-bearing surface that closely resembles that of the oak maze-gill, Daedalea quercina and is in fact named for it. Daedaleopsis means "looks like Daedalea (Daedalea is of course named for Daedalus, the builder of the Labyrinth). But while the one feeds only on oak (and therefore its mushrooms will only be found there), this one is not so picky. It can feed on a fairly broad selection of woods, and in these pictures appears to be growing from a fallen black cherry. The fungus will also invade wounds in wood and hasten a tree's death. The mushroom's relatively thin flesh will bruise reddish brown, and it is sometimes referred to as "thin-fleshed maze-gill" or "blushing polypore." The mushroom is a fairly common one, and its widespread range and variable appearance (the top may be light grayish to dark reddish brown) have earned it a long list of obsolete scientific names. The mushroom contains compounds which are anti-fungal, anti-biotic, and anti-tumor and may have been used in ancient Europe as a medicinal herb.