Major Groups > Oddballs & Misfits > Camarops petersii


Camarops petersii

[ Ascomycetes > Boliniales > Boliniaceae > Camarops . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

Have you ever seen those ridiculous "faces" that people put on trees in their yards? This mushroom represents what would happen if the Addams Family got hold of the idea.

    It's creepy and its kooky,
    mysterious and spooky.
    It's altogether ooky . . .
    Camarops petersii.

For more of Uncle Fester's lawn decorations, see Pisolithus tinctorius and Scleroderma polyrhizum.

Camarops petersii looks like a bulging black eye, complete with eyelids, stuck to the side of a dead log. The eyelid is a veil that protects the young mushroom but soon ruptures to expose the spore-producing surface. The range of Camarops petersii in North America extends from eastern North America to at least Kansas and Cuba.


Ecology: Saprobic on the decorticated wood of fallen oaks (early records for the species also included wood of the now extinct American chestnut as a substrate); growing alone or in small clusters; late summer and fall; eastern North America to Kansas and Cuba.

Fruiting Body: 2-7 cm wide; up to about 2 cm high; sub-circular or broadly elliptical in outline; cushion-shaped, with a somewhat narrowed base; upper surface black and shiny, covered with pimple-like dots (and covered with black slime when the mushroom is producing spores); encased in a black, feltlike veil that soon ruptures and becomes a sheath around the sides of the fruiting body, with a ragged upper edge; interior tough and brownish, filled with black channels and pockets but not featuring concentric zones.

Chemical Reactions: Tissues from dried specimens brownish when crushed in KOH.

Microscopic Features: Asci 8-spored; deliquescing along with the paraphyses so that spores are exuded from the perithecia in a gelatinous black matrix (according to Nannfeldt [1972], "[t]he ascus has lost its gun function"). Spores 6-8.5 x 3-4.5 µ smooth; broadly elliptical at one end and broadly fusiform at the other; with a tiny pore at the narrowed end; usually biguttulate in KOH or water mounts; purplish gray in KOH.

REFERENCES: (Berkeley & Curtis, 1868) Nannfeldt, 1972. (Saccardo, 1882; Nannfeldt, 1972; Horn, Kay & Abel, 1993.) Herb. Kuo 10160407, 09190602.

This site contains no information about the edibility or toxicity of mushrooms.


Camarops petersii

Camarops petersii

Camarops petersii

Camarops petersii

Camarops petersii

Camarops petersii

© MushroomExpert.Com

Cite this page as:

Kuo, M. (2007, February). Camarops petersii. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: