The flowers of Bradbury beebalm are often white or pale lavender with purple spots. Note the unbranching stems and the sessile (stalkless) leaves. Also called horsemint and wild bergamot, this showy, fragrant plant is a favorite of native plant gardeners.
Bradbury beebalm is a clump-forming perennial with square, unbranched stems. All parts of the plant have a pleasant aroma. Flowers normally in 1 terminal cluster, subtended by many small leaves that frequently are rose-purple. The flowers themselves vary from white to lavender to pinkish.
Introduced from Asia as an ornamental, beefsteak plant is common in moist or dry wooded bottomlands, open valley pastures, and along trails, railroads, and roadsides. It is edible, and red forms of it are often grown in herb gardens.
The cap is semicircular or spoon-shaped. The pores are circular; whitish, becoming reddish brown. The spore-producing tubes are very small and closely packed but do not touch each other. The stalk (if present) is very short and thick, broad, then tapered.
Berkeley's polypore grows in rosettes or clusters of fleshy, cream-colored caps, with whitish pores that descend the stalk. Look for them on the ground near the bases of trees. This picture shows an older specimen.
This fresh Berkeley’s polypore is young enough to be harvested. When mature, Berkeley’s polypores become too tough to eat. Many mushrooms change appearance dramatically as they mature, making it important to collect them more than once to get an accurate identification.
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