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December 04, 2016
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Dyer’s polypore: a visual delight

This dyer’s polypore specimen emerged as a small body that resembled a blueberry muffin. I continued to photograph its fascinating evolvement over a period of several weeks. In its full expression, the fruit body achieved the size of a dinner plate and a magnificent design as fine as any artwork.
TRR photos by Sandy Long

August 28, 2013

A spectacular specimen of Phaeolus schweinitzii has grown at the base of a dying hemlock tree in my yard over the past month. Commonly known as dyer’s polypore or velvet-top fungus, this attractive mushroom is a pathogen of conifers that causes the roots and base of the tree to rot. While it is not edible, it can be used for making dyes of green, yellow, brown and gold. The fungus is named after Lewis David de Schweinitz, an important early American mycologist born in Bethlehem, PA.
Many forms of fungi are abundant throughout the Upper Delaware region right now. Take a walk and enjoy the highly varied specimens you will see.