Oddballs and Misfits
by Michael Kuo
It probably goes without saying that "Oddballs and Misfits" is not a scientific term or category. My goal here is to provide a central location linking up various fungi that may not key very well in this site's Key to Major Groups of Mushrooms.
Truffles, False Truffles, Gastroid Gilled Mushrooms and Gastroid Boletes
These mushrooms look like underground puffballs, or like poorly formed versions of their "normal" counterparts. They often fruit underground, or partially submerged.
Despite their common name, these mushrooms are not jelly fungi. They have yellowish or green caps that are irregularly shaped, and yellowish stems. See Leotia lubrica.
Spathularia and Spathulariopsis
Species of Hypomyces
These fungi are parasitic on other fungi, and form a crust over their surfaces. Sometimes the result is a severely transformed, mutant-like host mushroom.
Yellow to gray, fuzzy mold parasitizing various gilled mushrooms.
Crusty blackened cat poop on a stick? On the branches of fruit trees.
An orange mass of tentacles hanging from the branches of eastern red cedar trees.
When young a tough, baseball-sized puffball--but with maturity developing odd and sometimes grotesque shapes, looking like a dust-covered stump.
A tough, black, bumpy lump on a log--covered with a veil when young.
Like miniature, fuzzy satellite dishes lined up on decaying hardwood logs.
Small, cushion-shaped blob of a mushroom on decaying hardwood logs in the southeastern United States, with an underside that almost looks like it has gills.
A spreading fungus that covers dead moths, then develops into a series of little spikes that emerge from the moths' corpses.