Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Mushrooms in Hawaii

Our vacation in Hawaii took us through several different habitats: beach, open fields, alpine environments, lava fields, wet forests, and dry forests. After many roadside stops and a few off-trail hikes, we were surprised that we did not encounter more mushrooms. So many of the places we explored were wet and filled with decaying plant matter, we expected to find many mushrooms. Perhaps we were too dazzled by the myriad of fruits to spend a lot of time looking for mushrooms.

I did read that most of the mushrooms in Hawaii are wood decayers and recent introductions with building materials and imported plants. I also stumbled on plenty of information about hunting for "magic" hallucinogenic mushrooms on cow pies in the fields on Maui. There is one book dedicated to the mushrooms of Hawaii, but it would be a pricey addition to our library. Robert did photograph a few mushrooms, and I suppose we have an incentive to return to the islands to search for more fungi.

These clusters of mushrooms were found at a higher elevation in a wet forest on Maui, in Poli Poli Springs Park. They were growing in disturbed dirt under casuarina pines (Casuarina equestifolia). They made a spore print on the tops of some of the mushrooms, and it was a very dark, olive green. The flesh did not bruise at all when cut, gills were decurrent,  no ring or volva present.

This small mushroom (less than 1" high) was found in a wet forest on Maui, growing from the moss and trail under many strawberry guavas (Psidium cattleianum) and blue gums (Eucalyptus globulus). The stem is very thin, brittle and hollow and has a very small ring. The cap is covered in dark scales.

These were also found in a wet forest on Maui growing from mossy mud. The gills appear to be very slightly decurrent, no ring visible. There appears to be a white, fuzzy "foot" or mycelial down at the base of the stem.

This white, fleshy mushroom was growing in a wet forest in dirt under eucalyptus trees. Gills were attached, and the stipe was shaggy but I don't believe a ring was present. The base of the stem was bulbous with mycelial strands. This was a sturdy mushroom, about 3" tall.

These last three were all growing on wood. One is a jelly, one appears similar to a gilled oyster, and the third is a polypore shelf. Any identification suggestions are welcome!


Anonymous said...

The large white one is almost surely poisonous, looks like a Destroying Angel (Amanita ocreata). The small brown ones growing on the log look like some type of oyster mushroom.

Anonymous said...

It's most likely Amanita marmorata myrtacearum, which to my knowledge does contain toxin and should not b eaten.