While hiking the Tiny Marsh trails we came across a few mushroom species that I wanted to identify.
These mushrooms were found on dead logs along the trail to the east of the Visitor Center. I believe them to be Dryad’s Saddle or Pheasant Back mushrooms (Polyporus squamosus).
William Hudson, a British botanist, was the first to describe them scientifically in 1778. It’s current name was given by French mycologist Lucien Quelet in 1886. A mycologist specializes in the study of fungi, their uses and dangers associated.
This mushroom likes dead wood, especially elms, but will sometimes grow on live trees like maples. When we’ve come across them in the Hamilton area they seem to grow more on maples then anything else. Wet areas can have a profusion and they will come back year after year until the tree is completely gone.
They are a common sight in May and June but may be found later in the year. If you read more about them the young mushrooms are considered a good edible. Please be very careful with wild mushrooms though. Many have similar looking deadly counterparts. Your best bet is to find someone who knows before you try any. Mushroom-collecting.com suggests they have a flavour unlike any other.
We also came across this specimen near the Dryad’s saddle. It was much closer to the ground and kind of hidden in the leaf litter.
I tried every search term I could think of to come up with an identification but couldn’t find it. Lots of bats though. “Brown and white fungi Ontario June” apparently means bats.
If any of you can identify this guy for me I would appreciate it.
If you’re interested in finding out some more information about mushrooms locally here are some good resources.
The Mycological Society of Toronto provides information as well as guided forays in the Toronto area for members. You can take a mushroom identification course and participate in workshops and field trips.
Books I want to Read
Mycophilia: Revelations from the Weird World of Mushrooms by Eugenia Bone
Part 1 Tiny Marsh Hike
Part 2 Tiny Marsh Turtles