Colorful Winter Mushrooms

Leonard Weber

January 10, 2023

They are small and, at this time of the year, they lead to pleasant stops on nature walks in Eliza Howell Park. They are mushrooms, found on dead wood, that just started fruiting or remained fresh-looking as December ended and January began.

One of these is called Crowded Parchment.

This fallen oak branch is slender, but it was bright enough to be seen from a distance on December 29. It invited close-up views.

Many fallen logs and branches that retain their bark are home to multicolored shelf fungi from the Fall into the Winter. These can be found over a number of weeks..

These sorts of mushrooms are usually referred to Turkey Tail (because of the flat, fan-shaped, multicolored appearance), even though some might be Fals Turkey Tail or possibly even something else.

One mushroom that is truly a Winter mushroom (more of them may still appear later this month) is often found low on a standing dead tree or stump. It is known as Velvet Foot.

(I thank Kathleen Garrett for calling my attention to these, photographed on January 10.)

There was point in time, not too many years ago, when I thought that the last of the colorful mushrooms each year were to be seen in the Fall. I know now that this is definitely not the reality.

2 responses to “Colorful Winter Mushrooms”

  1. Darlene Randazzo Avatar
    Darlene Randazzo

    I enjoy your Eliza Howell nature walk comments so much, and I thank you for your efforts to educate us. I have learned a lot from your notes.


    1. Thank you! For me a big part of the enjoyment of nature is the joy of learning.


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