Fistulina hepatica (Confistulina hepatica – the anamorphic stage)

I spotted this very oddly-shaped fruiting body of the beef-steak fungus (Fistulina hepatica) last summer, and from quite a distance. I was at some traffic lights and, whilst waiting for them to turn green, I gazed across towards a line of oaks around 30m away and spotted an odd orange shape at the base of one of them. And so I pulled up by the tree a few minutes later and came across this bizarre thing. Clearly a beef-steak fungus, I had obviously marked it as being Fistulina hepatica, though just of a much more avant-garde morphology. The other week however, when I made a blog post using this image explaining about the heart rot fungal strategists, I was informed it may instead be the fungus’ anamorph stage Confistulina hepatica. You can note, therefore, that it lacks its sexually reproducing structures (basidia) – it has no underside from where spores are released (hymenium). Also, it is worth recognising that this is still a Fistulina hepatica, as the current nomenclature system means all ‘stages’ of the fungus’ growth are headed under one ‘banner’ (scientific name).

And so, below are some additional images! Please don’t have nightmares.

Just weird…!
…yep, absolutely weird! Its ‘nose’ is rather interesting – it has made contact with the ground, and not only altered in colour slightly but has ‘spread’ itself too.
A side profile shows how it stands from the oak’s base.
A nice bit of mould in there, amongst the guttating part of the bracket.
A slightly closer look at the surface of the fruiting body reveals a slightly mottled texture.
Fistulina hepatica (Confistulina hepatica – the anamorphic stage)

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