Types of Mushrooms
Honey Mushrooms (Armillaria) get their name based on their color rather than their endearment to mankind.
They are a forest genus generally described as parasitic on their hosts. The aggressive growth patterns of some species such as Armillaria ostoyae can be problematic.
Research shows that their rhizomorphs (black looking filaments) continues to spread wherever their hosts are found, making large tracts of land with suitable hosts susceptible to damage. In fact, the world's largest organism, Armillaria ostoyae, was recently discovered in Oregon, extending three miles through a National Forest.
Eventually host trees suffer root rot, weaken, and die off.
The picture shows a group of honey mushrooms in their natural environment. They tend to fruit in bunches during the fall.
Because tree root systems tend to extend along hiking paths, their fruiting often occurs under the presence of human eyes.
© 2010 Patricia A. Michaels