A giant, characteristically hairy/tomentoss head. Almost 19" wide when found in fairly moist condition

Velvet-top fungus
(Dyer's polypore, Dyer's mazegill)

Phaeolus schweinitzii

Growing "in brush," on some well decomposed tree roots or stump under the soil. Many holes with red beetles walking in and out as it had been kept moist in a plastic bag. This fungus causes brown cubical butt rot in conifers, both pine and fir. Used by dye makers for coloring yarn.

Found by Suki Nishizaki along the horse trails which parallel the eastern portion of Yorba Regional Park, Anaheim, Orange County, CA. Mid-December 2015. Photos © Joanne Schwartz

Family: Polyporaceae

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Inch scale

Underside. Firmly grounded in soil and very decomposed tree stump or roots

Tomentose cap, with insect holes

Multiple layers on edge