One Crazy Mushroom: Deep Root

By William T. Hathaway

Deep Root Mushroom (Oudemansiella radicata)

Of the thousands of mushrooms and hundreds that we may have observed, this species is particularly interesting. Unlike the vast majority of mushrooms, it has an apparent “root” which isn't a root but a pseudorhiza or false root. Of course it should be understood that mushrooms, a fungal species, possess no root systems equivalent to those of most typical plants. This long rooting base belongs to the species known as Deep Root (Oudemansiella radicata) that appears in late spring to fall near the base of hardwood trees. The small caps and long, tapering stem are giveaways as to its identification.

I now refer to this mushroom (in my lexicon of fungal names) as “crazy,” since one of my former students asked, “What is that crazy mushroom with long stems and small caps?”