Cornell University

» 2006 » October


Eating the Chicken of the Woods

Chicken-of-the woods is hard to miss in the forest, being bright orange on top and yellow underneath. It’s a good beginner’s mushroom, has a texture like chicken, and apparently it makes a tasty omelet too.

club root

Cabbage monstrosities

The things that were once called Fungi but aren’t anymore are legion. Here’s one of them, a little swimmy thing that causes clubroot of cabbage. It gives cabbage monstrously clubbed roots, and as a bonus, acts as a vector for other diseases. Although we love its monstrous cruelty, we have banished it from the kingdom of Fungi. Be gone!


Ganoderma lucidum and G. tsugae

Reishei mushrooms have long been respected and renowned for their healing powers. Despite their fame, you might be able to find them in your neck of the woods.

Daedaleopsis confragosa and the Minotaur

Mycologists are fond of naming things after mythological characters, like Daedalus, an engineer who built a maze to hold that ill-tempered Minotaur. Our fungus has a maze-like spore-bearing surface worthy of Daedalus. His later work on Icarus’ wings wasn’t as successful…

cantaloupe, puffball

Giant puffballs, Calvatia gigantea

Giant puffballs are seldom confused with anything but soccer balls, so they’re a good beginner mushroom. However, to me they taste a bit like styrofoam packing chips, but not everyone agrees with me…

brick caps

Hypholoma sublateritium–edible?

Brick caps have a mixed reputation, in terms of their edibility. Here one brave student reports on his experience eating Hypholoma sublateritium.

wait for it

Time lapse stink

Two stinkhorn species in time lapse video. They’re astonishingly rude.


Lemon lapse time rot

Moldy lemons aren’t victims of just any mold–they have their own specific pair of evil parasites. Here a lemon succumbs to one of those evil Penicillium twins, in time lapse.

Hemlock Rust

Complementary Colors–Hemlock rust

Poplar and hemlock can together support a happy population of rust fungi. Either one alone? No rust. Rusts are weird.


Most people don't pay much attention to fungi, which include things like mushrooms, molds, yeasts, and mildews. Here at Cornell we think they're pretty fascinating. In fact, even the most disgusting foot diseases and moldy strawberries are dear to our hearts. We'd like to talk to you about fungi, so that like us, you too can tell gross stories at the dinner table. Afterwards, maybe you'll notice some things you would have overlooked before, and we think this could be good for the planet.

Kathie T. Hodge, Editor

Beneath Notice, our book of borescopic mycology.


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