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Dave W

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Everything posted by Dave W

  1. A species from genus Entoloma. Toxic! There are several different types of Entoloma mushrooms that appear during the spring. I think these may qualify as Entoloma vernum, although these also look a lot like one of the E. strictius varieties (which are believed to be summer/fall species). You correctly point out that, in general, it's necessary to see additional traits in order to propose an ID... gills, gill attachment to stipe, stipe base, other details. In the case of these mushrooms, seeing the shape/color of the caps including the prominent umbos, the radially silky sheen, and the longitudinally lined stipes is sufficient for a confident proposal of genus Entoloma. (Actually, not all Entoloma mushrooms look like these; the genus includes a lot of species exhibiting significant morphological variation.) Spore print for these --as with any Entoloma mushroom-- would be salmon pink. Mushrooms in genus Pluteus also have pink spore prints, and confusion with Entoloma is possible. Most types of Entoloma mushrooms are toxic.
  2. For at least some of the section Arvenses species of Agaricus, spore size matters. A. crocodilinus has larger spores than fissuratus. Upon inspection of spores at 400x, I have IDed quite a few of my local Horse Mushrooms as crocodilinus. I see that Mushroom Expert has dropped the species name "arvensis". Amanita praecox (and perhaps some other similar species) typically loses it's ring early on. In the second photo down (above) the white arc seen lying near the stipe base looks like it may be a remnant of the PV.
  3. Sue, do you use the Tree Ears while they're still fresh? Or do you dehydrate them first? I have been under the impression that Auricularia is best used after dehydrating/rehydrating. Also, I'm not saying your ID is incorrect. But, I'm wondering if you had considered Gyromitra leucoxantha as the ID for the "Tree Ears"? Honestly, I can't tell from the photo (which is a good photo). But, I believe there is reason to pose the question. Auricularia tends to fruit on wood that's not very long dead/decayed. Some sources list conifer wood as potential habitat for Auricularia (of which there are several recently documented NA species), although in my experience it typically fruits on recently dead branches or trunks of hardwood trees. I have found what I believe to be Gyromitra leucoxantha on well decayed logs https://mushroomobserver.org/364338?q=nFnr . Here's another G. leucoxantha observation, this one supported by microscopic analysis https://mushroomobserver.org/275687?q=nFnr . https://www.mycoquebec.org/bas.php?trie=G&l=l&nom=Gyromitra leucoxantha / Gyromitre blanc-jaune&tag=Gyromitra leucoxantha&gro=86 Nice ramps! About 8-10 years ago, my wife and I transplanted some onto our property, shady area near a small stream. Now there's a couple patches there from which we may sustainably harvest a few each year.
  4. Okay... Now I recognize this. It's one of last year's Calvatia fruit bodies (puffball). The purplish tint to the "blob" (spore mass/ mature gleba) points toward C. cyathiformis http://www.mushroomexpert.com/calvatia_cyathiformis.html . Not all that unusual, although this one's in surprisingly good condition for an over-wintered puffball.
  5. The caps of Stropharia rugosoannulata are best when young. The stalk material becomes kinda fibrous as the mushroom matures, and post-mature cap material develops a flabby texture. I usually use young S. rugosoannulata caps the same way I would use store-bought Agaricus (white "button" mushrooms).
  6. If not Amanita praecox, then another species of section Amanita that's very close to praecox. According to Rod Tulloss, A. praecox always occurs in association with hemlock. There's another name that I had thought may apply --to the ones apparently associated with spruce or pine-- A. stranella. As part of the North American Mycoflora Project, I submitted a collection of praecox-like mushrooms found under pine in August (hemlock not present; this species or something that looks just like begins to appear in late May or early June in the same location ) https://mushroomobserver.org/326553?q=nKHY . Subsequent DNA analysis suggests this particular collection represents the species A. crenulata. So, perhaps either A. crenulata has a more variable morphology that I had previously expected, or A. praecox has a longer season and associates with a wider variety of trees than previously believed. I tend to thing the latter is unlikely, as Rod Tulloss has spent a fair amount of time studying praecox. But, there's a third possibility... the spruce and/or pine associate may represent yet another taxon (stranella?). Bobby, yours certainly looks like praecox. And as you say, the timing is right for this species. Might there be a single hemlock in the area? A few years back I was visiting friends in the Pittsburgh area late in May. We went out into the woods in a few spots. Here's an example of A. praecox I found in a predominantly hardwood forest (mainly oak). There were a couple of hemlocks right near where the amanita was found. https://mushroomobserver.org/239481?q=nFnr
  7. Caps are not fully expanded, so it's a bit tricky evaluating the gill attachment (as seen on the sectioned mushroom). But it looks like the gills may be free of the stalk (not meeting nor attached to the stalk). I think these are a species of Agaricus from section Arvenses. These types are sometimes called "Horse Mushrooms". The gills on immature Horse Mushrooms are a pale grayish color, but the color darkens to brown as the mushroom matures. Spore print color for these types of mushrooms is dark brown. The partial veil --membrane/covering over the gills-- forms a ring on the stalk that shows a "cogwheel" pattern. Species names applied to mushrooms of this type include arvensis, crocodilinus, and fissuratus. Here in Pennsylvania USA, I collect Horse Mushrooms to eat, provided they are found in a clean area. These types of mushrooms are known to uptake substances present in the immediate environment. Also, it's possible there may be species of Agaricus that occur in Romania that I don't know. As far as I know, the species placed into section Arvenses of genus Agaricus are not toxic. There are, however, some types of Agaricus mushrooms that are sickeners. Horse Mushrooms generally have a pleasant almondy/anise odor.
  8. Possibly a species of Agrocybe. The bright cap colors are unusual for Agrocybe, but this may be due to the mushrooms reflecting direct sunlight when photographed. Seeing the mushrooms after they become a bit more mature --and photographed not in direct sunlight (but outdoors)-- may be helpful. Agrocybe mushrooms have cigar-brown spore prints. The upward-flaring ring on the stalk reminds me somewhat of Kuehneromyces marginellus (formerly Pholiota veris), another brown-spored springtime mushroom. How large are these mushrooms?
  9. The large ones with the burgundy-red caps are Stropharia rugosannulata (Wine Cap, King Stropharia). The large ones with the paler caps are possibly also S. rugosoannulata, as the caps of this type mushroom often fade. Good indicators for this species are: robust stature, thick white flesh, gills that are whitish when immature but become dark gray at maturity, partial veil that forms a fairly thick "cogwheel" patterned ring on the stalk, white rhizomorphs (threads) attached to the base of the stalk, and very dark grayish/purplish to almost black spore print. http://www.mushroomexpert.com/stropharia_rugosoannulata.html There's a large number of mushrooms growing on these wood chips. They may all be the same species, or there could be more than one species.
  10. Need to see individual mushrooms that have been harvested and photographed so that all important features are observable... cap surface, underside (gills or pores), stalks, bases of stalks, presence/absence of a ring on the stalk, other evidence of partial veil (covering over gills/pores that often falls away). The photos may show one, two, or more distinct species of mushrooms. So, in a situation like this, it's good to harvest/photograph/describe several different individual mushrooms. When harvesting for discussion of ID, do not slice off the base of the stalk (which may contain useful traits), and so not remove deposits form the caps or stalks.
  11. For the sake of information, collect a spore print on both b;lack and white (non-absorbent) surfaces. A pale print will be more easily detected on the black, but any subtle deviation from white will be easier to assess in contrast to the white surface. Similarly, dark prints are easily seen on the white, but if very dark, any difference from pure black is seen in contrast to the black surface. Of the several species of Pleurotus (Oysters) some have prints that are either white or very close to white. Some have pale smoky grayish-lilac print (may need a generous deposit to see this). "White Oyster" does not refer to any specific species of Pleurotus. Most of the cultivated Pleurotus I have seen have caps that are not white (gray, blue, yellow, tan). Of the ones that are found in the wild, Pleurotus pulmonarius (Summer Oyster) is almost always white-capped. Pleurotus populinus (often found in spring) is also often white. Pleurotus dryinus (Veiled Oyster) is chalky-white. These types are all good edibles.
  12. I think this may be Stropharia rugosoannulata (King Stropharia, Wine Cap). The most common cap color for this species is burgundy, but there's also a yellow-capped type, and the wine-colored ones often fade to a very pallid grayish/tannish. The mushroom cap seen here is quite lacking in color. The patchy pattern is the result of the cap cuticle cracking and the resulting scales shrinking during a dry period of weather. The thick white rhizomorphs (threads) on the base of the stipe are a Stropharia trait. The attached gills (meeting the stipe) rules out genus Agaricus. The large/robust stature supports a proposal of S. rugosoannulata. Spore print for Stropharia is very dark grayish/purplish/brownish. When S. rugosoannulata has the burgundy colored cap, it's very distinctive. Could this one be something other than S. rugosoannulata? Nothing comes to my mind. There are a few species of Stropharia that are reportedly poisonous.
  13. I think those are Pleurotus (Oysters). Growth habit looks like Pleurotus. Gills seen in photo are what I'd call "short-decurrent". Sometimes Oysters have well-formed stipes, like what is seen in the photo. I see this a lot with the Summer Oyster (P. pulmonarius); not so much with the ones in spring (usually P. populinus). But I believe any type of Pleurotus mushroom may develop a stipe... at least all the types I see here in eastern NA. Knowing the type of tree the wood came from may help. We're getting to the part of the season when Crepidotus species start to appear. These brown-spored mushrooms grow in shelf-like groups on downed logs, but lack the rather thick well-formed stipes like the one seen here. Also, the flesh of Crepidotus mushrooms tends to be rather fragile/crumbly. Pleurotus mushrooms have resilient flesh that's often quite dense near the point of attachment to the substrate. When in doubt, a spore print can sometimes be helpful.
  14. Dave W

    I.d #5

    This has been a really excellent thread. We discussed identification information, compared with possible alternate IDs, eliminated some of the most troubling ones, and the collector/possessor of the mushrooms made the ultimate decision about the ID/edibility. This is the way such discussions should play out. My responsibility --as I see it-- is to proceed very cautiously, playing "devil's advocate" throughout the discussion. Unless it is completely obvious to me that a certain mushroom under consideration represents an edible type, I will refrain from recommending consumption. However, if the person holding the mushroom is willing to do the work and accept responsibility for ultimately making such a decision, then sometimes we end up with a happy result like we have here (and also always avoid a sad result). Also, good decision to include a modest portion of this mushroom as part of meal. Especially when trying a presumably edible mushroom for the first time, it's good policy to go easy on the amount. Some people are allergic to types of food that others consume without any negative consequence. Even with notably edible fungi moderation is recommended. Fungal material is not the easiest to digest. This is the way I generally consume mushrooms, as one component of a tasty meal of perhaps as a flavor-enhancer for another component.
  15. ?? Maybe the stick had some sort of fungi on it?
  16. I generally don't collect mature Pheasant's Back to eat. When it's young it's okay. I once had some that was sliced thinly and cold-marinated in spiced vinegar (pickled) and for me this was the best preparation. A common recommendation is to use the material comprising the <1" margin of the cap. I have not tried this.
  17. Dave W

    I.d #5

    Just saw this on Mushroom Observer https://mushroomobserver.org/366759?q=n9yM .
  18. Yup, Pheasant's Back, aka. Dryad'a Saddle, Ceripopus squamosus (formerly Polyporus squamosus).
  19. Pleurotus dryinus (Veiled Oyster) often --but not always-- leaves a thin ring on the stipe. The rest of the partial veil disappears quite rapidly. The flesh of P. dryinus tends to be a bit denser/chewier than the unveiled Oysters, and the color a chalkier shade of white. Pleurotus/Lentinus levis is quite similar to P. dryinus. I haven't ever tried eating P/L. levis. P. dryinus is a good edible, if found while still in decent condition and sliced thinly before cooking.
  20. Morels are winding down now in the areas around Luzerne County, PA. Maybe still some nice fresh ones to be found up along the New York State border.
  21. Dave W

    I.D #4

    Looks like a species of Scleroderma, maybe S. bovista. Very likely toxic, as at least a few species in genus Scleroderma are toxic. Very young Scleroderma fruit bodies can be white inside. One difference between Scleroderma and true puffballs --Calvatia, Bovista, Lycoperdon, etc.-- is that the interior of Scleroderma tends to be quite firm/dense. Also, young Amanita buttons --as well as a few other agarics-- can look lime puffballs. Slice vertically to see if there's an outline of an immature mushroom inside.
  22. One trick to getting good photos is to find a well-lit space. Outdoor locations are always best for clarity and natural color. But direct sunlight can produce too much glare and light colors tend to wash out. Too much shade does not provide enough light for the camera to record colors. In sunny conditions, I usually look for a shaded area near an opening so the the open area provides good ambient light. Experiment with different angles/shade/light. On a cloudy day it may be best out in the open. Regarding hunting for edibles, remember there are literally hundreds of mushroom species out there. Getting "locked in" to one particular species --like Cortinarius caperatus-- can cause one to have a sort of "tunnel vision". There are multiple physical traits to learn... cap cuticle, gills vs. pores, gill attachment, partial veil, universal veil, structure of stipe base, spore print color, and beyond all of this, microscopic features. Agarics --ie. gilled mushrooms-- are the most difficult and include the most dangerous types of mushrooms.
  23. Dave W

    I.d #5

    That's what I would do if trying to ID an alleged edible species for the first time... play "devil's advocate" and look for a reason why I might be incorrect. As for the spore print color. If you think it may be other than white, then collect a print on a non-absorbent white surface. Any deviation from pure white may be detected as contrasting with the white background. Interpreting color in a photo can be tricky, but this print looks white to me. The pale spore print (white/nearly white) does eliminate some major concerns... Entoloma has deep salmon pink print (much darker than this), Inocybe and Hebeloma have light brown prints. Lepista species have pale fleshy-pink prints, but to my knowledge there are no toxic Lepista species. The main concern here would be white-spored mushrooms... genus Tricholoma (mainly late season mushrooms in my area), Clitocybe (more likely in summer/fall, some of the small ones are toxic), and Leucopaxillus (bitter flesh).
  24. Dave W

    I.D #4

    Need to see a photo of the cross-section.
  25. Very likely a species within the Pluteus cervinus cluster. The spore print should be salmon-pink. However, poisonous Entoloma mushrooms also have salmon-pink spore prints (and some occur during spring). The gills seen in the photos appear to be free of the stipe, which supports the Pluteus proposal. Entoloma mushrooms often have sinuate gill attachment, which means the gills are attached to the stipe very thinly, and may break away from the stipe. When in doubt about Pluteus vs. Entoloma, viewing the spores through a microscope at 400x will settle this question.
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