Saturday, July 05, 2008

Interesting Fungus, Stemonitis splendens; Chocolate Tube Slime?

Click on photos to enlarge.

I saw this fungus while on the dog walk. It's growing on an old stump and one that I've never seen before in my life. I looked it up in my mushroom book and I think it may be Stemonitis splendens; Chocolate Tube Slime. It was the only one in the book that looked vaguely similar.

I queried Stemontis splendens and found this U.C. Berkeley site which has many photos that resemble the ones I took minus the blue colored tips but bluish purple pockedmarked understructure instead. Here's another photo on the Pbase photosharing website.

My National Audubon Society Field Guide to Mushrooms states: "This common, abundant species resembles delicate, densely packed, miniature pipe cleaners, giving rise to the alternate common name, the "Pipecleaner Slime". Interesting that it's a common fungus but this is the first time I've ever seen one.


Blogger Les, Zone 8a said...

But I don't want to enlarge it, I am not sure I like it.

3:26 PM  
Blogger Babs said...

so pretty...looks like animal fur

4:25 PM  
Anonymous Jan said...

What interesting photos. I can't decide if it is attractive or repulsive.

Always Growing

6:42 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Les,
I think the slime mold appellation doesn't help with the yuck factor. I think I'm with Jan on this one.

Hi Babs,
I thought it looked like buckwheat noodles or brown shag carpeting but animal fur - brown bear?, or brown Kormondor dog if it comes in that color, would come close?? ;) Thanks for your comment.


Hey Jan,
You're right, it has that interesting but replusive kind of effect. But the blue color of the tips are quite a nice shade of blue especially contrasted by the brown. I guess it's fascinating like sea anemones. Sort of beautiful swaying in the ocean current but something I would never want to touch.

9:10 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

Personally I don't think it's repulsive - (except for the name). If it were given some exotic name a lot more people might find it attractive. It IS unusual.

8:57 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Kate,
Well...when you see it in person, it looks a bit strange and those noodle like/ hair like formations of the fruiting body looks strange ;) But it is interesting.

3:58 AM  
Blogger Annie in Austin said...

Actually it looks a little less creepy when enlarged ... in the small photos it almost looks like the remains of some small slaughtered animal, but in close-up it's obviously something weird and interesting.

Dog vomit fungus is actually pretty common- but this one? I don't think so, Ki!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

9:04 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

I am still mystified why it was described as a common fungus yet this is the first one I've seen. By the comments, I don't think others have seen it as well.

Now I see it - the road kill or slaughtered remains of a small animal. The tree trunk does look like the bleached bones, perhaps skull? of an animal.

A short mop head in a chocolate factory? ;)

5:40 PM  
Blogger Lori said...

It looks like something that Cher would wear.


But seriously, that's one cool-looking fungus. I'm not sure whether I'd be able to convince myself to touch it, but it looks fascinatingly textural. And kinda like somebody lost his wig. ;)

1:12 AM  
Blogger ICQB said...

When I first saw these pictures, my first thought was that it was Hen of the Woods becuase it looked like feathers. But I'm wrong. Hen of the Woods looks very much different. The birdchick blog has a picture of it:

This is such a fun find, thanks for sharing. Isn't it amazing the things you see while walking the dog?

2:37 PM  

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