Serpula lacrymansThe infamous dry rot fungus that in North America is confined to wooden buildings. As it needs a source of moisture to successfully rot timbers, it was probably much more common in the days before central heating and poured concrete foundations. And was the scourge of the wooden hulled ships. Fruiting bodies up to 1 m diam and 1 cm thick, the intensively wrinkled (merulioid), rusty brown, rather gelatinous hymenial surface is distinctive. In infested buildings its presence is often detected by the red brown dust that is an accumulation of millions of spores settling from the air. Breathing spores can cause allergenic reactions. Jim Ginns
Photographed in Syracuse, New York by Jim Worrall.