In addition to the usual mushrooms, in nature there are species that are not quite similar to them either in appearance, or in lifestyle and purpose. These include felt stereum.
It grows on trees and is a parasitic fungus that attacks sick and dead or alive, healthy trees, feeding on them and causing wood diseases. But at the same time, it is not devoid of useful properties, which are worth knowing about, as well as about the distribution area, appearance and similar types of felt stereum.
Where the felt stereum grows
On the territory of the Russian Federation, the one-year felt stereum is distributed throughout the forest zone. Most often it can be found on the wood of dead trees, but the fungus also occurs on living deciduous species (birch, oak, aspen, alder, willow). From conifers, stereum chooses pine trunks for life. Its usual habitat is on stumps, dead wood, twigs. Mushrooms arrange their fruiting bodies in the form of tiles in large groups. Their fruiting period is in summer and autumn, right up to December. In regions with a mild climate, growth continues throughout the year.
Important! Sometimes felt stereum can be found in settlements, where it easily takes root on construction wood and is capable of causing white rot.
What does a felt stereum look like?
At the beginning of growth, the fruiting bodies look like a yellow or brown crust, spread over the surface of a tree or other substrate. Later, its edge is folded back and a hat is formed. It is thin, laterally grown or sedentary. It is attached practically at one point where there is a small tubercle. The thickness of the cap is about 2 mm, its shape is in the form of a shell with a wavy or simply bent edge. In diameter, the head of the felt stereum reaches 7 cm.
Fruit bodies are arranged in rows in large groups. Later they grow together with the sides of the caps, which together form intricate long "frills".
The top side of the stereum head has a velvety felt-like surface. The edge is clearly defined, it is lighter than the rest and has concentric rings. Over time, it darkens, covered with green epiphytic algae.
The color of mushrooms depends on their age, climatic and weather conditions, and the place of growth. Shades of felted stereum vary from gray-orange to red-brown and even bright lingonberry.
The bottom of the cap is smooth and dull, while in old fruiting bodies it is wrinkled, of a faded gray or brownish color. Concentric circles are present, but they are weakly expressed in dry weather and much more pronounced in rainy weather.
The flesh of representatives of the species is dense, very tough, it has practically no smell and taste.
Is it possible to eat felt stereum
In addition to edible and poisonous mushrooms, there are inedible ones. These are considered species that a person does not eat for various reasons. They are not poisonous. They can become inedible due to bad taste, unpleasant odor, the presence of thorns or scales on the fruit bodies, or their very small size. One of the reasons for inedibility is the rarity of the species or the unusual habitat of mushrooms.
Felt stereum belongs to the inedible category due to its rigidity.
Species close to felted are considered to be coarse-haired, wrinkled and multicolored trametes.
Its fruiting bodies are brighter in color and have a woolly surface. The zones of the lower part of the caps are somewhat less pronounced than in the felt stereum and have very bright colors. After the onset of winter and frost, this species changes its color to gray-brown with a lightened edge.
The stereum of this variety has perennial fruiting bodies that merge with each other and form stripes and spots on the surface of the substrate. The hymenophore of such representatives is bumpy, brownish with a gray bloom, after damage it becomes red.
The fungus belongs to tinder fungus. His fruit body is perennial, has a fan-shaped shape. It is attached to the wood sideways. Its base is narrowed, silky to the touch. The color is very bright, multi-colored, consisting of white, blue, red, silver, black areas on the cap. It is extremely difficult to confuse such an instance with other species.
Despite the inedibility of the species, the felt stereum has a number of medicinal qualities, which are associated with the fact that substances with antitumor and antimicrobial properties have been found and isolated in its fruiting bodies.
The mushroom extract has a high antibacterial activity against the rod-shaped bacteria, which is the causative agent of a rare form of pneumonia.
Substances obtained from fresh fruit bodies are able to fight Koch's bacillus, start necrotic processes in cancer cells.
Important! The medicinal properties of the felt stereum are still being investigated by scientists, therefore, the independent production of drugs and their treatment is contraindicated.
Felt stereum is inedible, mushroom pickers are not engaged in harvesting it, but it is another representative of living nature, combining the features of plants and animals - the kingdom of mushrooms. Knowledge of the characteristics of the growth of culture helps in understanding nature and provides the basis for the study of mycology.