Learning About Mushrooms

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There are lots and lots of mushrooms here, and I’m super interested in learning about them. Sounds easy enough, but there are soo many different types of mushroom! It’s pretty overwhelming.

I bought a copy of Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest and I am slowly working my way through the different fungi. Above are all the different specimens I collected on ONE walk in the 707 Community Park. Have I figured any of them out yet? Um, no. But I have some hunches.

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Let’s start with some mushrooms that I am certain I can identify; chanterelles! The only reason I’m 100% about these is because we bought a pound of them from the Woodfire restaurant. These ones were collected from Duncan, BC.

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^ Another one that has been easy to identify is the Helvella Lacunosa. Apparently these are edible (caps only, not stems) though I haven’t tried them yet. There have been several small bunches of them along the trails on the island including on the Tin Can Alley trail leading into the 707, along the side of the road leading down to the ferry, and in the Yogi Trail in Cox Community Park. They are also referred to as the Elfin’s Saddle, which is pretty adorable.

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This one looks to me like an Amanita Gemmata or Gemmed Amanita, and is apparently toxic. Pretty, though.

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Pink mushrooms! These look most to me like a type of Agaricus. At first I thought they were Meadow Mushrooms (Agaricus Campestris), which are edible, though because of where they were found (under some tree cover in the woods and not in a field) and the slightly browner cap surface with the more prominent ring on the stem, I now think they are likely Agaricus Hondensis, which are poisonous. This is hard! The two types look pretty similar but obviously with produce way different results if eaten.

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Here they are in the location I found them in… clearly not a grassy field so right away I’m suspicious. They are also not white on the cap so that also makes me think they are not meadow mushrooms.

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Here is another pink gilled mushroom, though the surface of the cap is even darker, especially in the centre, which makes me think this one is a Agaricus Moelleri, also poisonous.

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Phew, tricky business! Anybody out there good at identifying the different types of Agaricus? There is a good article on honest-food.net about telling the difference between meadow mushrooms and their poisonous lookalikes, though none of the mushroom samples I collected stained yellow. Reading the description of meadow mushrooms being very similar to button mushrooms but with pink gills again makes me think that these are different members of the Agaricus genus.

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Orange Peel Fungus! This one was easy, Aleuria Aurantia not having any lookalikes. This one is pretty, but I’m not sure what to do with it. According to the The North American Audubon Mushroom Field Guide this little guy is edible, though not choice.

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^ This one looks like a Fomitopsis Pinicola, also known as the Red Banded Polypore. It is inedible because of it’s woody texture but can be used as tinder for burning (though that seems mean, somehow.)

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Russula Xerampelina, or Shrimp mushroom. These guys are super edible and considered the best of their genus. Apparently they smell like seafood, or something else… the mushroom expert says it best here. Hahaha. Also in the mushroom guidebook several members of the russula genus are described as smelling “spermatic.” Mushrooms are neat AND hilarious.

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Here are some more photos of neat mushrooms I’ve seen out walking but haven’t sorted them out yet.

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MUSHROOMS. If you can identify or confirm any of the mushrooms I’ve photographed please feel free to do so in the comments! This goes without saying, don’t use any of my ID’s as definitive or base any decisions to eat mushrooms on what I’ve said as I’m totally not 100% about anything other than the chanterelles I bought locally.

7 comments

  1. my family and I have been mushroom hunting for a few years and find it to be a wonderful and relaxing hobby, I only try to find edible mushrooms and skip indemnifying the poisons ones… I have found a very handy book titled ” Wild Edible Mushrooms but Hope E Miller that makes looking for edibles safer and faster if you want to eat them… I also have lots of mushroom photo at my blog site also.. have fun the world is fun so much wonder!

  2. I plan to reblog your post in my blog https://hellocreativestimes.com. Since you have enabled reblogging on your post, I am assuming that you are allowing others to reblog this post. However, if you have any objection to reblogging your post, please let us know as soon as possible. Thank you.
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