Schizophyllum commune (Fries)
Species: S. commune
Schizophyllum commune (Fries) (Basidiomycota, Schizophyllaceae) grows throughout the spring, summer, and fall months in most climates and is most commonly found colonizing dead and decaying hardwood material. This fungus is saprophytic for the most part (although there are a few accounts of it being mildly parasitic on hardwoods as well) and can be observed growing in and amongst the lichens on decaying sticks and tree trunks.
Schizophyllum commune generally produces semi-circular to circular caps atop logs and other pieces of wood. The top of the cap generally exhibiting hairs and a somewhat velvety texture, while the underside of the cap will reveal the famous ‘split gills’ for which this fungus is aptly named. These gills appear to be veritably cut in half and look somewhat blunt. These mushrooms will tend to grow rather gregariously, although they can be found individually as well.
Figure 1. Schizophyllum commune (PLP847_2018_197). Characteristic split gill pattern on the underside of the mushroom cap (left). The top of the fruiting body roughly resembling a type of bracket fungus and appearing velvety in texture (right).
Figure 2. Schizophyllum commune (PLP847_2018_197). Close up of the gills which appear to be split in half longitudinally.
Figure 3. Schizophyllum commune (PLP847_2018_197) exhibiting a gregarious fruiting body growth pattern on a decaying stick (left). Another photo depicting the underside of the fruiting body (right).
Figure 4. The environment in which this fungus was found. Schizophyllum commune growing in a hardwood forest on and among dead trees and logs.
Kuo, M., & Methven, A. S. (2014). Mushrooms of the Midwest. University of Illinois Press.
Kuo, M. (2003, June). Schizophyllum commune. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/schizophyllum_commune.html
MycoBank Schizophyllum commune, Web. 2, November, 2018. http://www.mycobank.org/MB/20840311.05.18