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Everything posted by vitog

  1. Those are morels and are edible; however, if you have not eaten morels before, you should start with a small amount to check if you have an allergic reaction (fairly rare).
  2. I see small Lepiotas like the ones in the photo frequently in the fall; but I avoid them and have never tried to identify them, because there are several similar species and some are known to be poisonous. If there is any chance that someone or a pet might eat these, I would definitely remove them as soon as they appear. Their presence or absence should have no impact on the plants in the pot.
  3. Morel season has started here in southwestern British Columbia. I found a few burn morels just over a week ago and got my first (still very young) natural morels on Saturday. Also on Saturday, I went back to the burn and collected about 8 liters (2 gallons) of mostly mature morels. This burn is one of the least productive and most difficult to explore burns that I have ever searched, but it does offer some occasional rewards. The photo below shows one patch where I picked 33 morels and tossed about another dozen that had mold. And not too far from there I found another larger patch that produced 81 good morels. Between these two patches I filled the 6 liter bucket visible at the upper left corner of the photo. During the 8 hours I spent in that burn, I only found 2 additional liters of morels. The terrain is a steep mountainside full of mostly dead underbrush, fallen trees, rock cliffs, and boulders, but fortunately, no ticks. That is one advantage of burns; ticks don't seem to survive the fires. Fortunately, there are several more reasonably close burn areas at higher elevations that should produce morels later in the season. I just hope that there will be enough rain to bring them up.
  4. Assuming that the underside comprises fine pores, these might be old specimens of Polyporus badius.
  5. I've found morels associated with many different kinds of shrubs and trees, but I noticed that many of them are either in the willow family or in the rose family. Some examples that I've experienced: willow, cottonwood, aspen, English Laurel, cherry, apple, and plum. Since hawtherns are in the rose family, I'm not surprised about that association and have been checking them out whenever I see them. The only type of tree outside of these two families that has produced for me is ash. This applies to natural morels in the Pacific Northwest that reappear consistently in the same area. Burn morels are different and primarily occur under many different conifers, especially pines. I'm sure that different associations occur in eastern North America, but I think that most of the above examples apply there as well.
  6. I think that it is more likely that Verpa bohemica rather than any Gyromitra would be mistaken for a true morel. Here is a photo from 2011 showing a V. bohemica that has darkened ridges similar to black morels. You have to look closely to note that the bottom of the cap isn't attached to the stem. Also, I've read that these Verpas are available commercially in Europe, as well as North America. I presume that they would be more dangerous than true morels if undercooked.
  7. This reminds me of oyster mushrooms sprouting from grow kits, but it will be difficult to ID such immature buttons. If you can find an older specimen and provide photos of mature gills, caps, and stems, it will help a lot. A spore print would also be very useful, but you won't get one from these. They don't look like anything dangerous.
  8. It could be algae that give it that green color.
  9. Note that the article says that 11 other diners suffered from symptoms similar to those of the person who died; so, it was not likely to be an allergic reaction. I suspect that it was a case of undercooked morels. There was a similar incident at a wedding in Vancouver, BC, some years ago. Quite a few people became ill from raw morels in a salad provided by the caterer.
  10. Including a picture of the entire stem of the mushroom would help a lot for identification.
  11. All of the scientific studies that I've read say that it doesn't matter very much if you cut or pull your mushrooms, although some studies showed a slight improvement in production of Chanterelles when they were pulled instead of cut. I always pull any sizable mushroom that's being harvested and then cut off the stem butt just above the dirt line, for two reasons. First, I get the longest possible stem for eating (most stems are just as tasty as the caps). Second, I don't leave behind any cut stems to show any competitors where the mushrooms are growing (the stem butts are tossed far away). For small mushrooms, like Winter Chanterelles (Craterelles), which grow in clusters, it's more efficient to harvest them by cutting clumps, especially if you use scissors.
  12. Assuming that these are a saprobic type of morel, they probably won't fruit again, at least not in the same area where they have used up the available nutrients. If there is a lot of mulch around, they may spread to and fruit in another area that has not been colonized yet. Another possibility: they may fruit again if you add some more of the same kind of mulch that they are already growing in.
  13. A couple of hours in a ziploc bag won't hurt, as long as they're not exposed to direct sunshine.
  14. Welcome to the forums; we've gained quite a few Floridians lately. I've never heard of a mushroom that was dangerous to pick up and have been handling them for over 50 years without any kind of reaction. They're much safer than plants like Poison Ivy, Stinging Nettles, or Giant Hogweed. Just don't let your dog eat them before you're sure of their ID.
  15. Both H. chlorophana and H. flavescens are listed for Washington state in "Pacific Northwest Distributions for Macrofungi", Website: http://www.svims.ca/council/distri.htm , along with several other yellow Hygrocybes.
  16. I wasn't sure whether they are annual or perennial; so I looked at the Ganoderma entry in Wikipedia, which said they are perennial. However, checking MushroomExpert.com verifies that Vermonter is correct. Therefore, the Reishi types will not be available in March in Southwestern BC or Washington; however, the Artist's Conk is quite abundant in our area.
  17. With Boletes, staining reactions can be critical for identification. Did you notice any blue staining after handling the mushroom? There appears to be a faint blue streak across the pores in the 2nd photo.
  18. If they were growing in clusters on buried wood and have a white spore print, they might be old specimens of Flammulina velutipes.
  19. That looks like Clathus ruber, a stinkhorn mushroom. I'm not familiar enough with them to know if there are other similar stinkhorns.
  20. There are several species of Lion's Mane mushrooms in the Genus Hericium, with varying lengths of teeth. The teeth are also shorter in young specimens. It is possible that the nutrients in grow-bags are used up before the mushrooms can reach maturity, which would also limit the size of their teeth.
  21. Any low elevation conifer forest near the coast would be appropriate. I see Ganoderma conks all over the mountains north of Vancouver, and the rain forest trails in Washington's Olympic National Park should be snow free (but not rain free) in March. You can find good terrain in any part of the PNW by using Google Earth, which shows popular trails in addition to access roads.
  22. As far as I know, all Ganoderma mushrooms are perennial; so, there should be no problem finding them in March wherever they grow.
  23. In a good year we might get several that size, but this is a bad year for all fall mushrooms.
  24. I don't know about hens, since they don't grow in my part of the world; but, generally, anything that you do to the fruiting body (mushroom), such as picking, has no negative effect on the mycelium. I remember speculation by DaveW, and had the same idea myself, that picking immature mushrooms encourages the mycelium to produce more fruiting bodies, since the purpose of the mushroom is to propagate the species through spore production. So, it wouldn't surprise me if picking very young hens would result in more hens to pick. But I haven't seen any scientific studies about this topic.
  25. Another safe (and delicious) species is Hydnum repandum, the Hedgehog Mushroom. It is even safer than Chanterelles; I can't think of anything else that even resembles it.
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