What You Should Know
Spathulariopsis velutipes is an odd little mushroom that looks like a spatula or a canoe paddle, though perhaps in a half-melted kind of way. The similar Spathularia flavida look like claymation characters in a kid's movie about kitchen utensils. Though they can be difficult to distinguish from each other, these two species are not likely to be confused with anything else in the mushroom world; the flattened, clearly distinct, spatula-like head that descends the stem on either side is very distinctive.
Spathularia velutipes is a synonym.
Other names: Velvety Fairy Fan.
Spathularia velutipes Mushroom Identification
Saprobic; growing gregariously or in clusters on the well-decayed wood of eastern hemlock—or on the ground around hemlock stumps and logs; sometimes reported (possibly erroneously) under other conifers besides hemlock; summer and fall; distributed east of the Great Plains, especially where hemlocks occur. Originally described from Vermont.
Roughly spatula-shaped, with a flattened head portion at the top of a stem, usually running down the stem on either side of it. Head 5–25 mm across; 10–30 mm high; dull yellowish; bald and often somewhat wrinkled; moist when fresh. Stem 20–40 x 3–8 mm; more or less equal above a slightly enlarged base, or slightly constricted just below the head; bald and pale toward apex, but dark brown and very finely fuzzy below; becoming hollow; attached to bright orange mycelium. Flesh insubstantial; brownish. Odor is not distinctive.
KOH negative on head and stem.
Spores 40–55 x 1–2 µm; aciculate; often slightly curved; smooth; hyaline and multiguttulate in KOH. Asci 70–120 x 8–15 µ; fusiform; hyaline in KOH. Paraphyses 70–150 x 1–4 µm; cylindric; flexuous; apices rounded, or subclavate; often curving, hooking, or curling past the asci; smooth; hyaline in KOH.
Photo 1 - Author: natureluvr01 (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic)