Dryad's Saddle, Polyporus squamosus
Polyporaceae or Polypore Family

Mushroom, top view

Large mushroom, up to 2 feet across, growing singly or in small groups from fallen or standing dead wood, usually of elm. The cap is flat, shelf-like, on the end of a short stalk that emerges from the wood. The top is buff colored, decorated with darker scales that produce a beautiful pattern, much like the back of an elegant bird. (There are stories, perhaps apocryphal, of hunters stalking this mushroom, believing they were after a pheasant.) The pattern fades with age (below left). Underneath the cap are large pores, lined with the microscopic spore-producing structures (basidia). Usually fruits in late spring, but the mushrooms persist in the dried state even into and through the winter.

A very common species in Wildwood, mostly on fallen logs and large branches.

Easily distinguished from all other shelf fungi in the Park by its large size, large pores, and decorative cap. Hexagonal-pored polpore is somewhat similar, but smaller, and orange.

A dryad is a mythological wood sprite or tree guardian; presumably they like to sit on these saddles and watch for anything that threatens the trees.

Mushroom, side view
Old cap

 old stalk

Pores Closeup of gills

Flora & Fauna Home

Wildwood Home