Can mushrooms cry? Some mushrooms weep as well as professional mourners. One is the Red-Belted Polypore (Fomitopsis pinicola), shown here, which mostly grows on decaying trees.


Why the tears? Experts have a number of theories, but we’ve seen no definitive conclusion. Dr. David Porter, our favorite Maine mushroom maven, theorizes that spore-producing tissues of Red-Belted Polypores harden when a new pore layer is grown; as they harden, moisture is squeezed out of them. (Brooklin, Maine)