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Schizophyllum commune

[ Basidiomycetes > Agaricales > Schizophyllaceae > Schizophyllum ... ]

by Michael Kuo

When I was a kid, a friend of mine lived in a commune across town. I used to love his stories; it sounded as though everyone who lived there was schizophrenic. But by the time we reached middle school, my friend and his family had moved out of the Schizophyllum commune, choosing the decidedly more mainstream living arrangement known to realtors as the "single-family home." Ah, the domestication of a generation . . . now there is even a Gap outlet at Haight & Ashbury!

The species name "commune" actually does refer to shared ownership, in an odd way; Schizophyllum commune is one of the most widely distributed and common mushrooms on the planet. Not only is it found from sea to shining sea on our continent, it is found on all six of the others. As a result of its omnipresence, it is also one of the most studied mushrooms on earth; see below for more information.

Schizophyllum commune is easily recognized. Its tiny fruiting bodies lack stems, and they attach themselves like tiny bracket fungi on the dead wood of deciduous trees. Unlike a bracket fungus, however, Schizophyllum commune has what appear to be gills on its underside, rather than pores or a simple, flat surface. On close inspection the "gills" turn out to be merely folds in the undersurface--and they are very distinctively "split" or "doubled" (enlarge the illustrations).


Ecology: Saprobic on dead wood or occasionally parasitic on living wood; growing alone or, more frequently, gregariously to clustered; on decaying hardwood sticks and logs (even on planks and boards); year-round (it survives by shriveling up and waiting for more moisture); widely distributed in North America and throughout the world.

Fruiting Body: 1-5 cm wide; fan-shaped when attached to the side of the log; irregular to shell-shaped when attached above or below; upper surface covered with small hairs, dry, white to grayish or tan; under surface composed of gill-like folds that are split down the middle (see illustrations), whitish to grayish; without a stem; flesh tough, leathery, pallid.

Spore Print: White.

Microscopic Features: Spores 3-4 x 1-1.5 µ (sometimes reported as larger: 5.5-7 x 2-2.5 µ); cylindrical to elliptical; smooth. Cystidia absent. Pileipellis a cutis of elements 3-6 µ wide. Clamp connections present.

REFERENCES: Fries, 1815. (Fries, 1822; Saccardo, 1887; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1981; Arora, 1986; Breitenbach & Kränzlin, 1991; Phillips, 1991/2005; Lincoff, 1992; Metzler & Metzler, 1992; Horn, Kay & Abel, 1993; Barron, 1999; McNeil, 2006; Miller & Miller, 2006.) Herb. Kuo 06120303, 07010305, 07140311, 08190601, 04270703.

Further Online Information:

Schizophyllum commune at MykoWeb
Schizophyllum commune at Roger's Mushrooms

A "Found Poem"

In the literary world, a "found poem" is a non-literary text one discovers that seems "poetic" (whatever that means). I typed "schizophyllum commune" into one of my library's databases and received hundreds of article titles. Here are selected titles from the list, in a "found poem":

Schizophyllum commune

CASE REPORTS - First Report on Schizophyllum commune from a Dog

Chronic sinusitis caused by Schizophyllum commune in a male AIDS patient

Schizophyllum in Hay Bales

Isolation and characterization of Schizophyllum commune mutants resistant to indole and caffeine

Abundance and diversity of Schizophyllum commune spore clouds in the Caribbean detected by selective sampling

INVESTIGATIONS - Scooter, a new active transposon in Schizophyllum commune, has disrupted two genes regulating signal transduction

Uncontrolled growth associated with novel somatic recombination in the fungus of Schizophyllum

BREWING AND FOOD TECHNOLOGY - Characteristics of a Cheese-Like Food Produced by Fermentation of the Mushroom Schizophyllum commune

Colonization with Schizophyllum commune of Localized Honeycomb Lung with Mucus

INVESTIGATIONS - Changes in mate recognition through alterations of pheromones and receptors in the multisexual mushroom fungus Schizophyllum commune

Brain Abscess Caused by Schizophyllum commune: An Emerging Basidiomycete Pathogen

Bronchial Mucoid Impaction Due to the Monokaryotic Mycelium of Schizophyllum commune

Mating Types and Pheromone Recognition in the Homobasidiomycete Schizophyllum commune

Two Fluorescent Markers Identify the Vacuolar System of Schizophyllum commune

Maxillary Sinusitis Caused by Medusoid Form of Schizophyllum commune

Schizophyllum commune: Canker and Dieback Disease of Apricot Trees in Orchards of South-Eastern Rumania

Diagnostic Difficulties Caused by a Nonclamped Schizophyllum commune Isolate in a Case of Fungus Ball of the Lung

Solving a Puzzle Piece by Piece: Sexual Development in the Basidiomycetous Fungus Schizophyllum commune


Schizophyllum commune

Schizophyllum commune

Schizophyllum commune

Schizophyllum commune

Schizophyllum commune

Schizophyllum commune

Schizophyllum commune

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Cite this page as:

Kuo, M. (2003, June). Schizophyllum commune. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: