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Group of Fungi: Agarics
Latin Name: Xerula furfuracea (Peck) Redhead, Ginns & Shoemaker
Common Name: Rooted Agaric
Description: Total height 3–8 in (7.5–20 cm); cap 1 5/8–4 in (4–10 cm) wide, dark brown to dark grayish-brown to yellow-brown, wrinkled near the center, surface slimy to tacky or moist, velvety at first but becoming smooth in age; gills widely spaced, white; stalk 2 1/2–7 1/2 in (6.5–19 cm) long, 1/4–5/8 in (0.5–1.5 cm) in diameter, expanded at the base and continuing downward into the ground as a root-like extension that tapers to a point, white above and grayish-brown below; spores white in mass.
Biological Role: Decomposer of wood.
Habitat: On buried dead roots of broadleaf trees but usually appearing as if it is growing directly from the ground than from wood; occurring as solitary fruiting bodies or sometimes in small groups.
Geographical Distribution: Widely distributed in eastern North America.
Comments: The underground root-like extension of the stalk is distinctive. This structure is often not easy to remove from the soil, since it readily breaks off. Although the caps are considered edible, Xerula furfuracea is rarely collected for human consumption.