The ling chih has a remarkably shiny top. Although the Asian name, ling chih, means "mushroom of immortality," referring to its medicinal uses, the common English names, "varnished conk" and "lacquered polypore," refer to its shininess.
In a lobster mushroom, the cap, gills, and stalk of a host mushroom are covered by a finely bumpy, vivid orange to orange-red layer of mold. The gills of the host mushroom can be entirely obscured by the parasite.
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