Mushrooms: Polyporus tuberaster

Mushrooms: Polyporus tuberaster

Class: Basidiomycetes
Scientific name: Polyporus tuberaster (Jacq. Fr.) Fr.
Common name: Mushroom stone

Morphological characteristics

Description: has the characteristic of forming a sclerotium even of large dimensions.
The sclerotium (it would be better to speak of a pseudo-sclerotium) is formed by the mycelium which, by growing, incorporates the earthy particles giving rise to a hard and globular mass formed by earth, litter and mycelium, it can also reach large dimensions. Periodically it bears fruit giving rise to sporocarps with stem and hat. The central or lateral stem is short and robust, the more or less circular hat, even of large dimensions (greater than 10 cm.), Of an ocher cream color, is torn into more or less fibrous scales.
spore: white, ovoid or elliptical.

Sclerotia of Polyporus tuberaster (Jacq. Fr.) Fr. (photo by Gabriella Di Massimo)

sclerotium Polyporus tuberaster (Jacq. With mature sporocarps (photo by Gabriella Di Massimo)

Edibility, habitat and observations

Relationship with the surrounding plant environment: saprophyte.
Known since ancient times, it is found mainly in the beech woods of central and southern Italy.
In the past, sclerotia were kept in a cool and humid place to induce the formation of edible carpophores even if of poor quality.

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