Cow flop? No, an unusual fungus

Out walking in cow country in the mountains above Pocatello, ID the other day, I came across this large fungus. Does anyone know what it is?

In the Bannock Mountains. SE Idaho. Copyright Ralph Maughan. Oct. 2009






  1. Barb Rupers Avatar
    Barb Rupers

    It may be Phaeolus schweinitzii on page 462 of David Aurora’s Mushrooms Demystified first edition; page 570 2nd edition.

  2. Ralph Maughan Avatar
  3. paulWTAMU Avatar

    That thing is disgusting looking.

  4. Barb Rupers Avatar
    Barb Rupers

    It may be listed in older books as Polyporous schweinitzii. A common name is dyer’s polypore and another red-brown butt rot because of the type of rot it causes in conifers. Another Arora book “All That the Rain Promises and More . . .” shows a border collie (?) with her chest dyed yellow by mushroom mush; she looks quite pleased with the results!

  5. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Yes, Barb, by looking at other photos on the web, it looks like a polyporous. It wasn’t growing under a conifer, though. Some very large Douglas fir were not too far away and their roots probably extended as far as the location of this.

  6. Barb Rupers Avatar
    Barb Rupers

    Ralph, check out the pretty picture of hair pieces dyed by the mushroom under discussion. I couldn’t find a picture of the cute collie. “Tom Volk and Dorothy Beebee modelling the latest in Phaeolus schweinitzii hairpieces!”

  7. timz Avatar

    Can you sautee that and put in on a steak?

  8. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    Anybody that could eat a steak that big, deserves to die from blocked arteries!



Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan