Echinodontium ballouii

Picture taken by Bill Neill, sometime in 2005.  This mushroom likes to grow under the base of a dead branch.

In the Fall 2007 Mushroom The Journal is an article that described the discovery of a mushroom that has not been seen since 1909 and thought to be extinct. It was originally discovered by Bill Ballou and is called Echinodontium ballouii. The original was found in a cedar swamp in New Jersey and there were only 3 fruiting bodies in existence. Bill Neill found several fruiting bodies (about 6) growing on Atlantic White Cedar in a swamp, in 2005. Bill N had a sidekick in this effort to find this mushroom, Larry Millman, but it sounds like Bill N did most of the work, and was the first to spot it.

Bill and Larry did their hunting in the winter when the swamp is frozen over and easier to explore. This mushroom normally grows high up in the White Cedar and only on very old trees. Bill Ballou found the first mushroom when he climbed the tree to check out a bird nest. He must have been half monkey since the White Cedar that I saw had no branches on the lower 20 feet or so. Bill N found his first at eye level.

So here is another mushroom you can hunt in the winter.  This your chance to find a mushroom that only 3 people have found before.

Below is a picture of Bill Neill in 2005, standing next to a White Cedar, pointing to branch nubs under which this rare mushroom can be found .