Good morning team. This week's mushroom is Daedaleopsis confragosa (day-dally-opsis) aka the Thin-walled Maze Polypore. This polypore mushroom was found on 1/19/2021 in the landscape between the west drive and oak bridge. This species is highly variable in appearance and the mushrooms identified as D. confragosa could be a cluster of several species but we won't know until more of these polypores have had their DNA sequenced. It's similar in appearance to Trametes elegans and Trametes Gibbosa which were featured a couple months ago.
D. confragosa is a plant pathogen that causes white rot (consumes the lignin in the tree's plant cell walls) in a variety of hardwoods, but rarely on oaks (Quercus). Michael Kuo of mushroomexpert.com notes that D. confragosa has a particular fondness for Cornus florida, the flowering dogwood, of which we have several in the ramble and in the park. It's found across eastern North America, Europe, and Asia, and the mushroom is perennial in that it will stay on the wood throughout the year despite typically fruiting in the fall.
The pore surface of D. confragosa is white when young and then turns brown with age, as seen in the attached pictures. The pore surface also bruises red when young so that is a good indicator of whether you are looking at D. confragosa or a different polypore. The shape of the pores varies but the attached image is a good example of the maze-like appearance that is typical of the pores.
Lastly, D. confragosa has been found to have a wide-array of medicinal benefits. It possesses antibiotic, anti-hypertensive, and anti-carcinogenic compounds. Polysaccharides extracted from D. confragosa were able to inhibit the growth of Sarcoma 180 and Ehrlich solid cancers by 90% in white mice (Ohtsuka et al., 1973). It grows right on the side of the street and has medicinal properties beyond what we would believe. Fascinating.
Have a stellar day and let's hope for some rain later in the week to help these spring mushrooms along,