Good morning team. This week's mushroom is Xylobolus frustulatus, commonly known as ceramic parchment. This mushroom was found on 1/12/2021 in the north woods near the large, downed sweetgum tree. X. frustulatus is saprobic - consumes dead organic material - on dead oak trees. It's perennial, in that it fruits year-round, and is found across North America, Europe, and Asia. It is a white rot fungus which means it consumes the lignin in the plant cell walls faster than the cellulose - which is what brown rot fungi specialize in consuming. One fun fact about this mushroom is that it is often found deep underground growing on the support beams in old coal mines.
The term for the type of growth of the fruiting body is resupinate. This means that the spore producing body grows flat on top of mycelium that are actively digesting the substrate the fungi is growing on. Some polypores can also grow like this on the underside of branches and avoid forming a cap entirely. Basically, anytime you see a mushroom growing flat on a branch/dead wood you can say, "that mushroom is growing resupinate" and you will be sure to impress friends and family.
Lastly, I'll add this four-minute video of my fungal mentor Merlin Sheldrake that my friend from the park Nita sent to me: Biologist Merlin Sheldrake and the world of fungi | Euromaxx - Lifestyle in Europe | DW | 12.02.2021
Have a splendid week and let's all enjoy the beautiful spring weather,