Received this photo of Armillaria from Bob Souvestre in East Baton Rouge Parish this morning. Tentative identification from Dr. Cathie Aime, our mycologist, is that it’s most likely Armillaria tabescens, which has been fruiting rather profusely in the area the last couple of days. This fungus is a root pathogen of a wide variety of trees and shrubs, but it is particularly common on oaks and fruit trees, although we’ve seen quite a bit of this on roses, too. The fruiting bodies are always found in clusters with usually 8-10 of them occurring together, although larger clusters are not uncommon. Although the mushrooms are reported to be edible, they may also cause mild gastroenteritis , so should be avoided.
Donald M. Ferrin, Ph.D., Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge, LA