This cluster of mushrooms was growing on the cap of an old Russula mushroom!
The caps were convex, brown, and powdery. Gills were brown and poorly formed. Stipes were dry, white, and soft with white basal mycelium.
Habitat: Growing on a rotting mushroom in a swampy, coniferous forest.
The powdery cap of this mushroom is the result of its reproductive strategy! They can survive with or without genetic diversity. The poorly formed gills occasionally bear basidia and produce sexual spores; but, the cells on the cap surface also produce asexual "chlamydospores", which are ready to clone the organism and result in the powdery texture.
''Asterophora lycoperdoides'' is a species of fungus in the Lyophyllaceae family. It grows as a parasite on other mushrooms, mainly Russulas. Its gills are poorly formed or nearly absent. Asexual spores are produced on the mushrooms cap which enable the organism to clone itself easily. The spores are star shaped hence the name Star bearer.