Mushroom: Scaly Pholiota, Pholiota squarrosa
Location: Berlin, MA
This is a nice-looking young cluster of Scaly Pholiota on a fallen maple or cherry tree. The caps haven’t expanded enough yet to break the veil concealing the gills. When this happens, there is a rupture in the scaly surface at the top of the stalk, so you can see its white flesh underneath the cap.
The latin name includes phol meaning scales, and squarrosa meaning that the scales stand upright. As you can see this gives it a spiny sort of appearance. It’s quite a distinctive mushroom.
They smell like garlic, but are not very good to eat. They’ll probably give you a stomachache. The Audubon North American Guide even classifies them as poisonous. These are common in North America on logs or stumps, or at the base of both deciduous trees and conifers, particularly aspen and birch. Their season is July – October.