A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife
Schizophyllum commune is easily recognized. Its tiny fruiting bodies lack stems, and they attach themselves like tiny bracket fungi on the dead wood of deciduous trees. Unlike a bracket fungus, however, Schizophyllum commune has what appear to be gills on its underside, rather than pores or a simple, flat surface. On close inspection the "gills" turn out to be merely folds in the undersurface--and they are very distinctively "split" or "doubled. Fruiting Body: 1-5 cm wide; fan-shaped when attached to the side of the log; irregular to shell-shaped when attached above or below; upper surface covered with small hairs, dry, white to grayish or tan; under surface composed of gill-like folds that are split down the middle, whitish to grayish; without a stem; flesh tough, leathery, pallid.
Ecology: Saprobic on dead wood or occasionally parasitic on living wood; growing alone or, more frequently, gregariously to clustered; on decaying hardwood sticks and logs (even on planks and boards); year-round (it survives by shriveling up and waiting for more moisture); widely distributed in North America and throughout the world.