Fungus Identification-

I was fooling around with my chipping (golf) and unearthed a couple of what I believe to be fungi which are completely foreign to me. I’ve never seen anything similar in my 26 years, so I was wondering if anyone might identify them. The particulars-

One is somewhat kidney-shaped, rounded and somewhat ‘lumpy’.
Approximately 3/4"X 1" in diameter X length.
Resembles almost exactly like a potato of similar size.

The second is roughly spherical, resembles a garlic bulb (I think), and is somewhat pitted
Approximately 1 and 1/4" in diameter.

Cutting away an end of both reveals a black ‘filler’ under an approximately 1/16" thin skin-again much like a potato. The second, which I am considering drier or more mature has a secondary layer outside of this skin, which is about 3/16" inches thick, white and spongy. The aforementioned filler is, as mentioned, black in both, reminiscent of a gum eraser in the first, somewhat porous in the manner of cork in the second. Both smell of decay/fungi/“the woods”.

Location-Appalachian Virginia, approximately 2200’ elevation, occurring about 1" deep in sandy-clay soil.

Anyone have any ideas about identification? Incidence? Range? Effects if eaten? Hallucinogenic properties? [del]Just thought I’d check, since my wife has ground said fungi and added them to her marinara sauce, and our guests are sitting down to the table.

Kidding, kidding…we never eat anything until we’ve scalloped it and laid a couple of disks on my infant daughter’s eyelids while she sleeps to see if she experiences any rashes, swelling, bad trips, etc.[/del]
I categorically deny having a wife or daughter. I am not going to ingest or otherwise imbibe these things. Please direct didactic, highhanded warnings elsewhere.


They kind of sound like puffballs, in their immature stage.

Hmm…That photo pretty well matches the description I gave, but not necessarily what I was trying to describe. The main differences being a lack of stem/root in my (second) specimen, and the secondary external coloration and speckling in the photograph is much more regular; the one I have is much more random and less pronounced, color trending to grey, almost resembling a growth of lichen…Also, the filler of mine is more cohesive (but that could be due to moisture content) and the exterior is lumpier…Excellent attempt though. And-


:wink: Can’t oblige at the moment, possibly tomorrow. I’ve been wiki-ing; is it possible I’ve stumbled upon some sort of truffle? Are there any indigenous to this region? The soil seems agreeable, and I did find them on the edge of wood rife with pines and oaks…

Puffballs are pretty variable, depending on the species and maturity. It could still be that.

However truffles or any of a number of other species of hypogeous fungi are certainly also possible. Any of these look familiar?

Thanks for the link, Tamerlane. I’ve found a few ‘kinda sort’s’, but certainly nothing definitive. The first resembles most closely a cross between Radiigera regarding external ‘potatoish’ coloration, and Rhizopogon rubescens regarding cross section, with the huge caveat that the filler is black.

The second externally and in cross section resembles Elaphomyces, again with some color reversals-in mine the filler is black, and the ‘rind’ (in cross section) is white. It is possible that the filler will turn white as it dries, as some white is represented, but only about 2-5%.

I’ve been thinking these were two separate specimens of the same species, due to the fact that I found them in the span of a few minutes within about 8’ of one another, and their shared black filler. Perhaps they are two separate species, however. I really have trouble envisioning the first one growing/developing the 3/16" outer spongy ‘rind’ the second has…Then again, I’d never seen anything with black filler until about 20 hours ago, either.

Pictures tonight, hopefully.

I can’t make an accurate identification without a description of the taste:D JK

If you’ll pardon a highjacking, I’ve been meaning to ask about a mushroom that has grown at the base of one of my oaktrees.

When I first noticed it, it was about four inches across, a rounded smooth lump, uniformly brown. Except, that is, that there were a slew of small slits, like maybe 1/4" long all over the top of the lump. And each slit was topped with what looked like a droplet of water, and zillions of tiny flies – the size of fruit flies – buzzing around and landing on the mushroom to drink (?) from the drops.

That was maybe six weeks ago. Now the mushroom is about 7" across, and the slits aren’t visible, but large sections of the top have sort of collapsed down and turned black. The mushroom is still firm and solid, not oozy or slimy.

I’ve never seen anything like it before. Can anyone ID it?

Here’s a picture of how it looks now, unfortunately I never got around to snapping the ‘slit’ stage.

Some type of bracket fungus I’d say, but I’m no expert. One thing the board doesn’t have is an expert in fungus as far as I know. Here’s a link for oak bracket fungus.

Aha! I think you’re right. Searching more on ‘bracket fungus’ turned up Inonotus dryadeus, which looks darned close.

Mystery solved, thank you!