False Turkey Tails, Stereum ostrea
Stereaceae or Parchment Fungus Family


A wood-rotting fungus that grows in dead and standing hardwood, especially oak. Mushroom small, leathery, semicircular to funnel-shaped, about 2-3 inches wide, projecting sideways from branches, logs, and stumps, often in crowded populations. Upper surface with concentric, hairy zones of brown, red, orange, buff, and green.. The green is actually due to a microscopic alga that lives harmlessly on top of it. Undersurface, from which spores are released, white, gray or pale brown, smooth. Persists year-round.

Very common on fallen and standing dead wood, in all the forested areas.

Resembles turkey tails (Trametes versicolor), but that species has pores on the undersurface. Crowded parchment (T. complicatum) is smaller, about 3/4 inch across, and more orange. Hairy parchment (T. hirsutum) is also smaller, about an inch across, and more yellow and brown. These two also tend to be flatter (not funnel-shaped) and more likely to fuse together. However, all three species of Stereum tend to blend together, and are not easy to tell apart. Some mycologists consider them varieties of one species.




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