Key to Gilled Mushrooms Key
This is a key to gilled mushrooms, that is, mushrooms having a definite cap with a fertile surface consisting of gills. The fruiting body usually also has a stem, although that may be lateral or absent (usually, then, the mushroom is growing from wood). You can use this key to identify mushrooms that you find.
Fertile surface usually a layer of vertical tubes, of which the mouths are visible as pores on the underside of the cap or shelf.
Fruiting bodies usually tougher or harder than the "normal" gilled mushrooms, being leathery, corky, or woody. But they can be quite tender while actively growing
Once grown, they do not decay easily, remaining on the substrate for months or years
They often grow on wood, although a few are terrestrial (even those are usually growing on buried wood)
Fruiting body is usually a flat shelf, or hoof-shaped, protruding directly from the substrate, although sometimes it may have a short stalk.
Some forms never grow away from the substrate at all, so that all that is visible of the fruiting body are the pores.
Sometimes the pores are so minute that the fertile surface seems solid, until you look closely
Growing on wood
Not fitting the other choices, fruiting body with well-developed stem
Either cap shiny reddish brown (as if varnished), or dull brown with a white pore surface that turns brown when scratched
Cap often with a white margin.
Pores minute (4-7 per mm), almost too small to see.
Causes a white rot
Cap surface a dull, minutely rough brown (the black in photo is unusual)
Here are the characters that distinguish this species from the others in its group. For its more general characters, see higher up on the page.
If there's just a few words or a microscopic feature here, a more thorough description can be found above.
- Pore surface white when fresh, darkening to brown quickly when bruised
Sometimes people use the pore surface to draw on, letting the conk dry to make the markings permanent (it is best to also nuke it for a minute or so, to kill any insect eggs inside, otherwise they may hatch later and ruin your drawing as they emerge)