Shaggy Scalecap, Pholiota squarrosa
Strophariaceae or Roundhead Mushroom Family

Mushrooms

Large mushroom, about 5 inches across and tall. Cap and stalk dry, yellowish, decorated with darker, brownish scales on the cap and shag on the stalk Shag on stalk often in regular rings. In button stage (rougly equivalent to bud), the gills are hidden by a membrane (the partial veil) which tears away as the mushromm matures. Gills initially whitish or yellowish, turning greenish and then rusty-brown. Growing singly or in clusters from dead wood of hardwoods or conifers. If growing from the side, stalk elongating and turning upwards. May also sometimes be parastiic on living trees. Fruits in the fall. Somtimes, but not always, smells of garlic.

A truly decorative mushroom. Very common in Wildwood, in forested areas.

Except for one look-alike, it is easy to recognize this mushroom by its color and decorations, along with its habit of growing on dead wood. P. sqarrosoides is a close relative that can only be told from from shaggy scalecap by microscopic study -- the spores are smaller. In theory you can tell them apart in the field because P. squarrosoides does not go through a green-gill stage, has a somewhat sticky cap (although that varies with the weather), and never smells like garlic. Until someone does a definitive check, we have to accept either or both may be in Wildwood.

Gills & stalk
Buttons

 

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