Garden Oddity: What the heck is it?

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Out picking beans yesterday, I noted the appearance of three huge fungi, one at the inner base of each pole, on one "teepee" of my pole beans. This is the first I noticed them so I have no idea how long they've been there. Seems like it can't be too long since I pick beans at least every other day. I've searched and searched but cannot seem to find a pictorial database of fungi so I can identify these critters. They are a mottle ecru and light adobe color and look similar to those oyster fungi in that they are kind of layered. But I can't be sure what (or why) they are since I can't seem to find a large library of pics for comparison.
The beans are great and don't seem to be affected--- yet anyway. It is interesting that they are growing at the base of each pole. The beans on this particular pole are mostly rattlesnake beans but I can't imagine the relevance. I wonder if it is some kind of symbiotic relationship. They are so large, I fear spading them out will ruin the roots of my bean plants. One is a good 9 inches in diameter. And I can't take a pic right now since my DH has the camera and is away on business.
Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.
Isabella
--
"I will show you fear in a handful of dust"
-T.S. Eliot
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Mushroom growth is a sign of very healthy soil. I personally enjoy seeing them almost as much as wildflowers in all their form and beauty. :-)
Are the bases of your bean teepees wood? If so, they are probably feeding off of _that_, not your beans.
If the beans look good, enjoy and ignore them!
--
Peace! Om

"Crime does not pay as well as Politics".
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Mushrooms sprouted all over my gardens since the rain 2 days ago. I wish I knew how to tell the poisonous ones from the ones good to eat.
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I know what you mean. There might be a local mushrooming club...
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Peace! Om

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Yes the 10 foot stakes are wood. I suspect you are right. The fungi are very hard, woody. And weird. :)

Gosh have we had nice beans this year. I've already frozen over 25# and put up some as dilly beans in addition to eating them fresh in some form nearly every day. Our black-eyed peas are ripening now so that'll be fun. :)
Isabella
--
"I will show you fear in a handful of dust"
-T.S. Eliot
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'Omelet[_4_ Wrote: >

Heck, and I always thought they were one and the same.
"This is a free country, young man."
"Yup, were free to do exactly what we are told."
--
Tim Perry


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How do you tell when a politician is lying?
Their lips are moving. ;-)
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Peace! Om

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Here's a place to start looking for photos:
http://mycology.cornell.edu /
For positive ID, you need to get a spore print. Cut the stalk off a mushroom cap; put the cap, gills down, on a piece of paper or half on a dark piece of paper and half on a white piece of paper; put a bowl over the 'shroom cap. Let it sit for awhile (up to 12 hours), then see what color spores drop out of the cap.
Or if you have a natural history museum or college with a biology/botany/horticulture dept. in your area, bring them a 'shroom for ID. There will be someone around who's a fan of fungi who will know what it is.
Jan
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I've spent over an hour poking around there and have yet to find a single database of fungi photos for the US midwest, let alone a taxonomic reference so that I might at least identify the class of fungi I'm looking at. This website is sorely outdated, I'm afraid. Nearly half of the links I've clicked on are dead. Nonetheless, I'll keep looking as time permits. I've seen hundreds of photos and have yet to find a single one that looks anything remotely like what we have.

Thanks so much for responding. These are not mushrooms. There are no recognizable caps or gills. These things are huge. One is nearly the size of a loaf of bread.... and growing.

Thanks.
--
"I will show you fear in a handful of dust"
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wrote:

Look at species Ganoderma for starters. Steve
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Thank you for that tip! I did find it on wikipedia and, while I'm not sure it's the right group, it did lead me to find a wealth of pics. These two somewhat resemble the ones in my garden:
<
http://www.shortcourses.com/naturelog/fungi04.jpg
<http://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20p?see=I_JP1510&resd0
What a fascinating array of fungi I've seen.
Isabella
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"I will show you fear in a handful of dust"
-T.S. Eliot
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Could be a puffball!!! Those are edible, but I'd want to be sure.
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Peace! Om

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Nope. I know what those are. This is very dense and heavy. I'm still looking.... as time allows.
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Look up "birch conk" or "artist's conk." IIRC, that's what Steve means by the Latin name he gave you. Something along those lines. Here's some pictures/photos of conks:
http://waynesword.palomar.edu/bracfung.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lingzhi
http://www.mushroomthejournal.com/startingout/whatsamushroom.html
Sorry about sending you a bummer link... I was trying to do three things at once and didn't chase any of those links on that site to make sure they were good or worked.
A funny looking thing that doesn't look like a mushroom is still a fungi, just not what you think of as a mushroom.
What sort of wood is it growing on? That's always a big clue with fungi.
Jan
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I posted a couple of pics, from the web of what they look like, in another post. My DH is coming home tonight (with the camera), so I'll try to take some pics tomorrow. My main concern was if we were doing something wrong in the garden to cause these fungi to grow. And I thought if I at least knew the fungi type, that might give me a clue.
I can't see that they are attached to wood but they are growing at the base of our wood bean poles. Soft wood I imagine--- pine, spruce? Mr. Bill bought the stakes at the lumber yard. I can ask him that tonight.
Thanks again for the help. What a fascinating topic.
Isabella
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sometime in the recent past Isabella Woodhouse posted this:

Isabella, even with the best pictures, if you could find them, won't be enough to correctly identify any mushroom except some of those with unique structures. But, we could be of a lot more help if you could post a picture at any one of dozens of free sites. No plug intended, but I set up an account at http://good-times.webshots.com/ with little trouble and have room for many postings.
--
Wilson N4439" W6712"

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sometime in the recent past Wilson posted this:

Oops! Just looked a little closer to the postings and I see that you already have an account with Webshots.com. Will be waiting for you 'shroom pics.
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Wilson N4439" W6712"

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Yes, I have a webshots account. But like I said in my original post, my husband is out of town with the camera.
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A true puffball will be solid inside, like a marshmallow, when you cut it in half. An immature amanita can have a little fetal looking thing inside. The amanitas are deadly poison. Puffballs are good eating if you pick them when they're really fresh. (We have puffballs all over the place here.)
Never eat a 'shroom that you aren't sure of. It's not worth the risk.
Jan
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Absolutely. :-)
BTW, Amanita muscaria is NOT deadly poison...
but it's better to let the reindeer eat it first. <g>
--
Peace! Om

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