The rooting polypore has a scruffy, tough, yellowish-brown cap with whitish-yellow pores, and a stalk with a long, black, rootlike filament. It usually grows singly, on the ground near stumps or attached to buried roots.
Sulfur-colored chicken of the woods is an edible fungus with layered, fan-shaped, fleshy caps that are orange on top and sulfur yellow below. It grows in overlapping clusters on stumps, trunks, and logs of dead or dying deciduous trees, and on living trees and buried roots.
The thin-maze flat polypore is a grayish brown bracket fungus with a zoned top and a furrowed, mazelike underside. It grows singly or in small, layered clusters on dead wood or in wounds of living trees.
Turkey tail is used medicinally in China, as a remedy against liver cancer and jaundice. It can be ground and used as a tea or in soup. Many Missourians simply enjoy the intricate beauty of these bracket fungi, which lasts year round.
This bracket fungus grows in layered groups on stumps and logs of deciduous wood. It is very common. You might see hundreds of them at a time. This photo shows a growth pattern called "tropism": After the fungus had formed its first caps, the log fell or moved, and the new growth is forming in a different direction.
Like wildflowers, even the humblest of fungi can be strikingly beautiful, such as this one with its attractive violet color. Discovering these fungi can bring out our innate capacity for awe and wonder.
MDC protects and manages Missouri's fish, forest, and wildlife resources. We also facilitate your participation in resource-management activities, and we provide opportunities for you to use, enjoy and learn about nature.