What’s that Thing growing on Locust Street? Call in the National Guard? Or a biologist?

HAPPY SUNDAY! Hope you’re enjoying this hot, hot weather. Anyway, I’m looking for any tree growth experts, botanists, mycologists (would that be a proper term?) to share their theories about what this Thing is. A Crazy reader, Walnut Creek Street Walker, sent these photos in. Street walker was out doing, I suppose, what street walkers do, and happened upon this strange formation … Right in the Middle of our Downtown! … And Street Walker snapped some shots–photographic evidence!–of its existence.
It’s actually pretty beautiful, isn’t it? Maybe a little Georgia O’Keeffe-esque? Many thanks Street Walker for sending in these shots.

10 thoughts on “What’s that Thing growing on Locust Street? Call in the National Guard? Or a biologist?

  1. SM,
    That is a bracken fungus. They are saprophytes on dead trees and parasites on live. These are common in the wild and there's no reason they should not appear on urban trees occasionally.


  2. It's the fruiting body of a brackeT fungus, some of which are known as brackeN fungi. This one is of genus Laetiporus, commonly known as sulphur shell.


  3. I gave you no permission to photograph my bracken fungus. Please remove this picture from your world wide web internet website or I will report you to the googles and the internet explorers and you will be taken off your computer forever.


  4. That's wild! I'll have to look for that tree. I was too busy at the Walnut Creek and Martinez Farmers' markets today. Hauling about $1500.00 worth of produce and chatting with dozens of farmer friends. It was a fun day – but too too hot!


  5. Anna:

    It will stay there until (and if) someone removes it. As it dries, it will become ratty-looking and then it will harden. Since YOU are the lemon lady, perhaps this is a good time to mention that Laetiporus is considered an edible delicacy by some….. like rattle snake meat and 99% of everything else we choose to sample from the wild??….. “tastes like chicken”. WARNING: only experts should collect and eat wild “mushrooms”.


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