Stereum complicatum

Stereum complicatum
Image Courtesy of Emily Johnson
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Group of Fungi: Crust Fungi

Family: Stereaceae

Latin Name: Stereum complicatum (Fr.) Fr.

Common Name: Crowded Parchment Fungus

Description: Fan-shaped to paddle-shaped structure, usually forming dense overlapping and laterally fused clusters, these often encircling a small branch; cap 3/4 in (2 cm) or less across and up to 1/16 in (1.5 mm) thick, upper surface hairy and with concentric bands of bright cinnamon-buff to cinnamon-brown, very tough and will bend without breaking; margin of cap usually creamy buff; spore-bearing surface at first orange and then fading to cinnamon-buff to dull white, smooth with no evidence of pores present; stalk lacking; spores white in mass.

Biological Role: Decomposer of wood.

Habitat: On dead branches, fallen logs and stumps of broadleaf trees, especially common on oak.

Geographical Distribution: Widely distributed throughout eastern and central North America.

Comments: Stereum complicatum is both common and distinctive. It usually occurs in extensive fruitings, which are highly noticeable because of their bright color. Like other crust fungi such as Stereum ostrea, this species could be mistaken for a polypore until the spore-bearing surface is examined and found to lack pores.

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