October 25, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Name that giant, alien-like fungus!

A few weeks ago the mystery in the neighborhood was a bunch of jumping oak gall, which we didn’t know at the time were millions of tiny galls each with a wasp larva inside doing the mambo and now it is a giant, alien-like fungus in my back yard.

mystery mushroom, fungus
Here’s the mystery mushroom, fungus.

We bought our house 6 years ago when we moved to Davis. The people living here before us had planted an orchard of various fruit trees on the west side of the house. I know from experience in the Seattle area that orchards are rich grounds for unusual mushrooms (members of the fungus family) including morels.

In our inherited mini-orchard in Davis something fungus-like, but more monstrous grows (see image above).

Just shy of the size of a baseball, these dark brown, hard-shelled (very odd) mushroom like things sprout up this time of year or later into fall .

I’ve seen a lot of mushrooms in my life hiking in the mountains in Washington, Oregon, and California, but I’ve never seen anything like this.

I think it is a mushroom, but what the heck kind is it?

In the name of science, I broke the apparent cap off of the stem and low and behold it looked more mushroom-like with “gills” and smelled powerfully like a mushroom (See below).

broken mushroom

However, the inside was filled with liquid!

This putative mushroom weighed approximately 100 grams!!! Crazy.

Anyone know what kind it is?

%d bloggers like this: