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
Cap lacking hard crusty upper surface or large, angular pores
Fruiting body flexible if it's not really thick
Blackfoot Polypore Section
Stem black, at least towards the base
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.
- Odor (scratch the pores and sniff) like watermelon rind
Cap 2-12" across, thick and fleshy
Cap with a feathery pattern of brown scales on a creamy background; shading to black in the center when it gets large
Stalk up to 2" thick, only black at the base
Take only the portion that is soft enough to cut easily with a knife; otherwise they will be too tough to chew. If you cook it with a lid, the pseudo-watermelon taste stays; without a lid, it goes away, leaving you with a different flavor