In Greek mythology, Daedalus created a labrynth to house and imprison the Minotaur (the half man-half bull creature). The underside of this fungus cap (pictured right) has a maze-like structure – hence, maze polypore is its common name. The scientific name of the genus, Daedaleopsis, is a direct reference to Daedalus and an interesting connection to its distinct structure.
Daedaleopsis is a polypore fungus. “Polypore” (many pores) is descriptive of the pores or tubes on the underside of the fungus cap. It is a white rot fungus, and many (although not all) can be found on tree trunks and rotting wood.
We found this Daedaleopsis specimen on a recent mushroom exploration field trip (mushroom foray) at Spangler Park in Wooster, Ohio. Several members of the Department of Plant Pathology joined the Mycology class, taught by Jason Slot, on this cool October Saturday. It was a nice opportunity to examine the subjects of our classroom lessons in this natural setting.