Earth Fan (Thelephora terrestris)
If you trudge across heathland or through conifer woods in the late summer through to early winter you may well encounter this common fungus, the Earth Fan.
It is easily missed because the 'fans' can look just like dead leaves and in any event always look like a dead fungus! The dull brown withered appearance does give the impression they are past their best!
There are a bit unusual though as they are a bracket type of fungus and one usually associates brackets with dead trees and stumps so to find one growing on the ground and out of earth is not what one expects.
They are not edible but then they look very dry and withered I am sure no one would fancy trying them anyway!
Find out more about the nature of Dorset at my website www.natureofdorset.co.uk