Time lapse Phaeolus

I  feel blessed to be living with a rainforest just outside my door, never more so than during mushroom season. Even though this year has been terribly dry and the season late, with few mushrooms to be seen so far, the  Phaeolus schweinitzii, or Dyer’s Polypore, have proved the exception, guaranteeing  some golden dyepots this year, at least.

I can always count on one old, mossy stump near a swampy area to come through with a beautiful specimen, and this year it surprised me with twins on its top surface. This provided the perfect opportunity to photograph how their growth progressed over the three weeks after I spotted them, by which time they were in prime condition and fairly begged to be harvested.

Amazing what they accomplished in three short weeks!

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8 thoughts on “Time lapse Phaeolus”

  1. Thank you for sharing your photo record of this remarkable fungal fantasy!! Stephen Spielberg should be in awe!! Do you know the tree identity which hosts this miracle? Marie Willard Sent from my Jitterbug

    1. They are remarkable, aren’t they? In this area the Dyer’s Polypore grow exclusively on Douglas fir, usually on old, mossy stumps and logs or on the roots. I do have a few trees out back that have them growing 20 or 30 feet off the ground, but I’ve seen this only on the old giants.

  2. Hi Ann Thanks for sharing those pictures! Without your timely post, I may not have spotted the specimen growing in our driveway, at the base of a big red cedar tree! Isabelle, Denman Island

    1. Yes, it’s remarkable how quickly these grow and change. From these I’ll get gold – bright, almost neon from the young buttons, changing to a duller gold as they age – and a dark green on fibre premordanted with iron, brown on fibre premordanted with copper. When the season is finished, they turn dry and crispy, at which point the dyepot will be a dull brown, which I don’t bother with, but they can still be used for papermaking at that stage. If you go back through the archives on my blog, you can see examples of Phaeolus colours. This has been a particularly good year for these beauties!

  3. Just realised your Sunshine Coast is in British Columbia. Sorry for sending you to Queensland. Your book – I would buy it but am wondering how relevant it would be to me in England. Does it matter that my fungi would be different to yours? I.e. are the processes the same for all fungi worldwide? Thanks. Ann

    1. I was just getting ready to write back and tell you that I’m on a different Sunshine Coast in a different hemisphere! The process for dyeing with fungi is the same the world over, and in fact there are a couple if fibre people who attend the Fungi & Fibre Symposium from England every time (we held it on this Sunshine Coast exactly one year ago – it will be in Norway in August 2018). If you look on The Mushrooms page on my blog, you’ll see the fungi I dye with here, and you can see if any are similar to your local ones. Happy dyeing! If you’re on Facebook there’s a page called Mushroom and Lichen Dyers United where a lot of people share their experiences.

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