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September 27, 2010


So here are my guesses for the mushrooms. Again, they are just guesses:

A. I have absolutely no idea, but I've seen this pretty pink mushroom in a bunch of places: in the woods and in the grass under oak/hickory trees.

B. Parasol mushroom / Lepiota procera (edible)

C. Russula xerampelina (edible)

D. Blewit / Clitocybe nuda (edible)

E. Not sure. Maybe Mycena haematopus or stipata? (inedible)

Anyone want to confirm or debunk?

I know nothing about mushrooms, except for chantrelles, of which there are none pictured. I must confess, I'm not a mushroom fan.
You might be interested in the many interesting columns about mushrooms and mushroom foraging on columnist Leslie Land's blog. Her husband Bill is a mushroom expert. Interesting articles and great photos.


scroll down to the post below the apples.
Ali in Maine

oh, and congrats on your continued good health!

Glad to hear that you did not try to eat any of these. I don't see a picture of A. B is an Amanita (poisonous). C is a Russula, impossible to say which one so not for eating (they're generally not very tasty even when edible). D is more likely a Cortinarius than a blewit and is poisonous (blewits appear right around frost). E is probably a Mirasmius, don't know about edibility so wouldn't eat it.

A. looks like many of the milkcaps i saw in the forest in Finland. May need a better picture of it though and you can check by bruising the gill to see if any white sap oozes out. If it is, there is a chance you could eat it, but they must be boiled first, water thrown out.
Do you love how vague this all is? :)

I don't know a thing about mushrooms, but A looks like a cupcake. Mmm.

Tammy -

B. is definitely an Amanita of some kind. Even the experts tend to avoid those, since the edibles and the deadly ones are way too close for comfort.

Here's the thing: a single photo holds never enough information to make a reliable ID. For example, had you dug that amanita up (taking care not to break it off from the base) you'd find it had an egg-shaped sac at its base, known as a volva, a sure indicator it is an Amanita.

There are many features beyond color and shape of the cap and stem that help a mushroom hunter to sort out what is what: shape, color, and orientation of gills (or pores), spore color (take a spore print by placing the cap on white or dark paper and waiting for spores to fall), presence or absence of rings on the stipe (see that amanita), presence of a volva, discoloration upon cutting or bruising, smell, even taste (a tiny bit of a mushroom, even a deadly one, is not toxic if spit out). So on and so on. It's overwhelming for a beginner, and even for experts.

Here is what I always suggest to those interested in learning to forage for edible fungi:

1) Join a local mushroom club. Books are great, but the only way to really learn (and to gain confidence) is to forage with people who know what they are doing, and test your ID skills against theirs. Foraging in groups means that one person's ID is tested against numerous others.

2) Always use multiple guidebooks to verify an ID. You'd be surprised how they differ from one to another, even the reliable ones. And use the key, not the photo to make the ID.

3) Those caveats aside, there is one way for beginners to forage for edible mushrooms with confidence: stick to the few never-to-be-confused with poisonous species around, and don't go beyond those until you are an expert. There are six such "safe" edibles that do grow around here that can be found and ID'd easily: oysters. hen-of-the-woods, chicken-of-the-woods, morels, shaggy mane, and giant puffballs. How to find and id each of these can be found in the best book there is for the beginning mushroom hunter: Start Mushrooming by Stan Tekiela (http://is.gd/fA5MC).

Happy Hunting!

This is fun! More pretty mushroom posts please!

This is the 2nd time this website has been weirdly serendipitous, or just coincidental for me. I just got really excited to tell someone that putting a BLACK TRUMPET mushroom into a bottle of white wine for a day, and then drinking it in the evening is AMAZING!! Think of a whiff of a truffle and then...white wine, with every sip!
These are from my Mushroom CSA, which, Tammy, you emailed me about months ago. (and then I was starstruck)
Anyway, was thinking of emailing you directly, then just checked FontheF, and ...a mushroom post. Nice. Didn't really have time to read it because I'm too excited about the trumpet wine, but saw the word AMINITA....and...remember all of the vomiting dogs...seems like Golden Retrievers are the only ones to fall for the toxic mushrooms. At least on my watch.
Maybe this is longwinded...my point being: mushroom people: PUT A BLACK TRUMPET IN A BOTTLE OF DRY WHITE WINE!!!!


Sis: Thanks! I give credit to the mushrooms.

KC: Wow, neat that we have this cosmic mushroom connection between us! Glad your mushroom CSA is working out. You can bet I'll try this mushroom-in-a-bottle trick just as soon as I get my hands on some black trumpets! Awesome.

Danielle: I have a feeling you'll get your wish!!

Andrew (Dikaryon): Thank you for your great comments! In fact, I have my first date with the local mushroom club this weekend. God, I hope they let me in. That book recommendation is fabulous, too--I will definitely check it out. Learning to identify some never-to-be-confused-with poisonous-species mushrooms and sticking with those sounds like the best and safest way to start.

Louisa: Doesn't that top mushroom look delicious?! Bet it's totally deadly.

ccw: Vague but fun! You're the only one who had a guess on the pink one! I'm imagining a pretty Scandinavian vista with pink mushrooms as far as the eye can see.

Laura: So what you're saying is that I'm waaaaaay off. I should have suspected as much. Since most of my guesses veered toward edible species, I suspect some wishful thinking was involved.

Ali: Thanks for that GREAT link. I clicked over and spent quite a bit of time over there. Wow! A wealth of information. THANKS for this great resource!!

Oh jeez. I don't even want to comment.
Wait, did I?

Magic mushroom spores
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