Monday, October 31, 2011

Clavariadelphus truncatus -- Flat-Topped Coral Mushroom

Spent several hours today walking in a couple of different woods after two weeks full of long days at work that did not allow me to get out. I walked a long way and saw thousands of mushrooms, but for the first two hours, none of them edible.

I finally found and brought home some Chanterells (several white, two golden) and two Boletus mirabilis, the Admirable Bolete. I had seen Mike Orr's video of the Admirable and although I had not remembered seeing any before, low and behold, today, I saw three of them! Only two worth bringing home, but the one I left in the woods (past it's prime) was the largest.

I also saw great quantities of Clavariadelphus truncatus, in both locations. It is a fungus I had not seen before, and so left in the field. I took two pictures with my iPhone and identified it when I got home:

Turns out I should have gathered some. "This is a fine edible wild mushroom -- often firm, always tasteful, and certainly unusual...Saute it or bread and deep-fry it for an unusual side dish." raves Fisher and Bessette in Edible Wild Mushrooms of North America.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Coprinus micaceus (Glistening Inkcap) or Coprinus Atramentarius (Alcohol Inky)

I shot some footage of a lovely mushroom growing on the side of a dead tree. I think it is Glistening Inkcap or possibly Alcohol Inky and will check further when I have time to do some reading.

Here are some still shots:

Sarassis crispa (Cauliflower Mushroom)

Last weekend I found two nice specimens of Sparassis crispa, or Cauliflower Mushroom. The first one was emerging from under some woody debri near a decaying stump:

The second was in a fairly public spot and I didn't take a photo of it. I cut 1/2 of each specimen to take home and left the rest to grow larger.

Today I found the first site undisturbed and the remaining fruiting body had grown, emerging out from it's hiding place.

The second more public site did not contain anything. The 1/2 mushroom I had left was gone but the harvester had used a knife to cleaning remove it. So it should come back next year.

Trudell and Ammirati say that Sarassis crispa looks more like egg noodles than cauliflower, and I would agree. They also say that it would be hard to confuse this mushroom with any other and although I had identified it solely from books, I ate some last week and more today. Last week when very fresh I just fried some in butter with my breakfast and it was good. Today I par-boiled and fried it along with some chanterelles. The texture is definitely chewy but the flavour is very nice.

Suillus luteus and Suillus lakei

I found three boletes today and I wasn't sure if they were the same or different. The first was on a stoney shelf in the moss under conifers, mostly Douglas fir and cedar. It clearly had the remnants of a veil, ruling out Suilus brevipes (short-stemmed slippery jack), although that was my first guess because of the bald cap and lack of scales.

Matchmaker posited many different options none of which seemed right. So I did a spore print while I ate turkey dinner, and have now run it again. The spore print is olive to olive brown, there is a veil, and it does not stain to blue but does turn darker brown when cut. Matchmaker now gives me Suillus luteus (Slippery Jack) which seems right. Matchmaker described the spore print as '"sayal brown" to "clay color" -- Bessette. This is very accurate to what I am looking at.

The other two boletes seemed much easier to key. The first had clear scales on the cap and a ragged veil so going by J. Duane Sept, it sure looks like Suillus lakei (Western Painted Suillus). Interestingly Matchmaker did not give this result at first, but after entering as much information as I could think of it did, so I feel pretty confident about this one.

The last one was much more yellow but since it was not blue staining and had the veil, I'm going to peg it as the Suillus lakei too.