Sightings – Lichen, Moss & Mushrooms

Observer: Kurt Buermann

Observation Date: 7/14/13

Observation Time: 11:00 a.m.

Observation Location: backyard

Common Name: Bondarzewia

Scientific Name: Bondarzewia berkeleyi

Comments: This was growing on an old oak stump. Very large, 2 ft long clusters. It grew very quickly, over a day or so. This is not chicken-of-the-woods, but is edible if gathered when very young.

More Information:



Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 12/4/09

Observation Time: 3:30 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road opposite soccer fields

Common Name: British Soldier Lichen

Scientific Name: Cladonia cristatella

More Information: Backyard Nature: Lichen

British Soldier Lichen

Compare the British soldier lichen to the pink earth lichen below. These photos were taken at about the same time, and in the same area.

British Soldier Lichen


Observer: Kurt Buermann

Observation Date: 7/30/2017

Observation Location: Rattlesnake Hill, Sharon

Common Name: Cinnabar Chantrelle

Scientific Name: Cantharellus cibarius

Comments: Sought after edible mushroom with slight peppery taste. Slight apricot aroma.

More Information: The Mushroom Forager

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/17/10

Observation Time: 9:10 a.m.

Observation Location: near Gavins Pond

Common Name: Common Greenshield Lichen

Scientific Name: Flavoparmelia caperata

More Information: Wikipedia

Common Greenshield Lichen

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/30/10

Observation Time: 6:10 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Fly Agaric mushroom

Scientific Name: Amanita muscaria

Comments: Mushrooms of the genus Amanita account for most mushroom-related deaths. See:

Fly Agaric Mushroom

Observer: Kathy Farrell

Observation Date: 1/5/17

Observation Location: Path off Mountain Street, Sharon

Common Name: Ground Pine Club Moss (a.k.a. Princess Pine)

Scientific Name: Lycopodium obscurum

Comment: Also known as a “princess pine.” It looks like a baby pine tree, and stays green even in the winter.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/26/12

Observation Time: 2:05 p.m.

Observation Location: Near the train station tennis courts by Beaver Brook

Common Name: Honey Mushroom

Scientific Name: Armillaria mellea

Comments: Honey mushrooms are a plant pathogen and cause Armillaria root rot in many plant species. They appear around the base of trees they have infected. The symptoms of infection appear in the crowns of infected trees as discolored foliage, reduced growth, dieback of the branches and death. The mushrooms are edible but some people may be intolerant to them. This species is capable of producing light via bioluminescence in its mycelium.

Armillaria mellea is widely distributed in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. The fruit body or mushroom, commonly known as stump mushroom, stumpie, honey mushroom, pipinky or pinky, grows typically on hardwoods but may be found around and on other living and dead wood or in open areas.

More Information: Wikipedia

Honey Mushrooms

Honey Mushrooms

Honey Mushrooms

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 10/17/10

Observation Time: 10:00 a.m.

Observation Location: 4 Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Lingzhi mushroom

Scientific Name: Ganoderma tsugae

Comments: This mushroom specimen was growing in the tamarack (larch) grove in my back yard. It is probably growing on a root, as it was growing on the ground right next to a big tamarack tree. Since tamaracks are coniferous, this specimen is presumably Ganoderma tsugae, rather than Ganoderma lucidum, which grows on deciduous trees.

Apparently, these mushrooms are valued for their medicinal properties.

More Information: Cornell Mushroom Blog

Lingzhi Mushroom

Observer: Constance Keegan

Observation Date: 10/1/10

Observation Time: Daytime

Observation Location: By a large oak tree in my yard on Moosehill Pkwy

Common Name: Maitake mushroom

Scientific Name: Grifola frondosa

Comments: Also called “hen of the woods,” G. frondosa should not be confused with Laetiporus sulphureus, another edible bracket fungus that is commonly called “chicken of the woods.” Like all polypores, the fungus becomes inedible when older, because it is then too tough to eat.

More Information: Wikipedia


Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/9/12

Observation Time: 2:50 p.m.

Observation Location: Sandy Ridge Circle

Common Name: Pigskin Poison Puffball

Scientific Name: Scleroderma citrinum

Comments: Also known as “common earthball,” this yellow-white spherical fungus has no stem. It eventually bursts open to release spores.

More Information: Common Earthball

Pigskin Poison Puffball

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/12/09

Observation Time: 11:00 a.m.

Observation Location: near Gavins Pond

Common Name: Pink Earth lichen

Scientific Name: Dibaeis baeomyces

More Information: Lichens of North America

Pink Earth Lichen

Pink Earth Lichen

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/24/10

Observation Time: 3:40 p.m.

Observation Location: Beaver Brook near tennis courts

Common Name: Princess pine

Scientific Name: Dendrolycopodium obscurum

Comments: Despite its name and pine-like appearance, princess pine is not related to pine trees. It’s actually a type of clubmoss, an ancient group of plants that had its heyday long before there were pines, dinosaurs, or flowering plants. Also known as “ground cedar,” it is also called “fan clubmoss” because of its fan-like branches. It grows from a creeping stem at the soil surface.

More Information: Westborough Land Trust

Princess Pine

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/20/15

Observation Time: 4:20 p.m.

Observation Location: Lake Massapoag (near boat ramp)

Common Name: Puffball mushroom

Scientific Name: Genus: Calvatia, Bovista and others

Comments: There are many kinds of puffballs. Some are edible and some are poisonous.

More Information:

Observer: Kathy Farrell

Observation Date: 10/30/2018

Observation Location: Mountain Street

Common Name: Rock Tripe lichen

Scientific Name: Umbilicaria mammulata

Comments: This lichen is edible (after boiling several times). It is considered to be “starvation food.” There are stories of George Washington’s troops eating it when they had nothing else. I found it in a rocky cliff area.

More Information: and

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/9/12

Observation Time: 3:10 p.m.

Observation Location: Sandy Ridge Circle

Common Name: Russula mushroom

Scientific Name: Russula spp.

Comments: I don’t know which species of Russula this specimen happens to be.

More Information: Wikipedia

Russula Mushroom

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/22/13

Observation Time: 2:20 p.m.

Observation Location: King Phillip’s Rock area

Common Name: Sulphur Shelf Mushroom

Scientific Name: Laetiporus sulphureus

Comments: Sulphur shelf mushrooms are reportedly edible, but never eat a mushroom you find in the woods unless you are absolutely sure it is not poisonous. More pictures of sulphur shelf mushrooms can be seen at:

More Information: Wikipedia

Sulphur Shelf Mushroom

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/30/10

Observation Time: 4:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Violet toothed polypore

Scientific Name: Trichaptum biforme

Comments: Tree fungus growing on a dead tree. The specimens in this photo are past their prime. Younger specimens exhibit a violet fringe that gives this fungus its name. See

More Information: InsectImages

Violet toothed polypore

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/9/12

Observation Time: 3:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Sandy Ridge Circle

Common Name: Viscid Violet Cort mushroom

Scientific Name: Cortinarius iodes

Comments: This striking violet mushroom has a watery sheen.

More Information: American Mushrooms

Viscid Violet Cort Mushroom

Viscid Violet Cort Mushroom

Viscid Violet Cort Mushroom