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Schizophyllum commune

   (Family: Schizophyllaceae)
Common name: Split gill EDIT
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Edibility: EDIT Edible
Size: 10 - 40 mm
Whitish buff or creamy cap
Spore bearing structure:   Gills
Flesh: Flesh fibrous usually pliable (like grass)
Spore colour:
Smell / taste: not distinctive
Fruiting season: winter
General info: EDIT
Delicate, Fluffy bracket. Upper surface Hairy Grey-white with an uncured lobed margin. Edible in Zambia and in some regions of Zaire, this species is eaten particularly towards the end of the rainy season when other, less tough species are no longer available. It is tenderized by boiling in ash water.
Pileus (Cap) / Gill: EDIT
Pileus (Cap) shape: none
Pileus (Cap) decorations: fibrous
Gill attachment: none
Gill has decurrent tooth:  
Gill spacing: crowded
  Pileus (Cap) / Gill info: EDIT
  Pinkish tan Unusual in that they split longitudinally and curl apart in dry weather to protect the spore-bearing surface and thus look like double gills.
In wet weather the two halves move together and the spores are discharged form the space between the gills.
Stem: EDIT
Stem shape: none
Stem base: none
Annulus: none
Habitat: Grows on wood
Habitat info: EDIT
Probably the most widespread fungus in existence, being found on every continent except Antarctica, where there is no wood to be used as a substrate. There is a single common worldwide species, although there are a few less common species of Schizophyllum. The genus name means "split gill," and thus this is the split gill fungus. It does not appear to be very closely related to the other gilled mushrooms, and most researchers place it in its own order the Schizophyllales. The gills function to produce basidiospores on their surface. They appear to be split because they can dry out and rehydrate (and thus open and close) many times over the course of a growing season. The fruiting bodies above are probably a year old or more. This is a great adaptation for a climate with sporadic rains. Unlike other mushroom species, the mycelium only has to produce one set of fruiting bodies per year, which can then dry out and rehydrate and keep functioning. It's a great strategy for reproduction.
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