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Schizophyllum commune

Common Name: Split-Gill Fungus

Synonyms: Species Fungorum

Substrate: Wood

Location: Hardwood Forests - Often on sticks or small logs

Spore Color: White

Gill Color: Whitish or Grayish

Comments: 

Small white shelf mushrooms that have gills on the underside. The special thing about this mushroom is that, if you look closely, the gills are split down the middle into two sections. When it is dry outside, the gills fold down to protect the spore bearing surface from drying out. The edges of the mushroom are not always as rugged as in the pictures below. They can have a fairly smooth margin.

This mushroom is unique in several other ways. First it has over 28,000 "sexes" or mating types. This is the most know among fungi. It also has reported health effects - both positive and negative. This mushroom has been found to be pathogenic to humans in rare circumstances. There have been several published reports of the actual fruitbody growing in the nasal cavities of humans...usually only on people with compromised immune systems, however. On the positive side, the mushroom has been shown to have anti-tumor and anti-viral properties.

Lookalikes:  

Pictures:

Schizophyllum commune

5/24/13 - Winslow Woods - Bloomington, IN

Schizophyllum commune

Schizophyllum commune

Griffy Woods - Bloomington, IN - 5/22/10