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About Vermonter

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    Agaricus Newbie

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    East-Central Vermont (Upper Valley)
  • Interests
    nature, communication, music, art, food, movement, stillness

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  1. Vermonter

    Pleurotus survey - oyster aficionados wanted

    Thanks a lot Dave W! I was initially concerned about the possibility of Pleurocybella porrigens with the white ones, but then learned that the maple tree ruled that out. I read about the illnesses and deaths attributed to P. porrigens and definitely plan to avoid them, even though I know some people continue to eat them.
  2. Vermonter

    Help identifying large mushroom?

    You're right, troutddicted, it would be awfully big. I was thinking Scleroderma citrinum could get close to that big, but wouldn't have so much of a stem. I was just looking at photos of the species of Calvatia that Dave W specified, and see that cyathiformis seems a very good fit. Sorry to be needlessly alarmist!
  3. Vermonter

    Help identifying large mushroom?

    I think this looks like an earthball, genus Scleroderma, rather than a puffball. Earthballs are generally considered inedible or poisonous.
  4. Vermonter

    Pleurotus survey - oyster aficionados wanted

    Thanks a lot for your input, Dave W! I didn't bother with spore prints, because I had read that the various Pleurotus species have the same range of colors: white-yellow-gray-lilac. Mushroomexpert.com for example has "whitish, grayish, or lilac" for P. pulmonarius and "white to faintly yellowish, or lilac" for P. ostreatus. However, other sources name other overlapping combinations within that range. I'm interested to hear that you have noticed a clear distinction. I really enjoyed the flavors and textures of both of these finds. I harvested some of the late season ones after they had frozen solid, and found them to taste sweeter than before freezing. But the Pleurotus I found most delicious this year were ones I believe to be P. dryinus (posted here)--surprisingly, because they don't have a great reputation as an edible.
  5. Vermonter

    Pleurotus survey - oyster aficionados wanted

    Thanks for your input Steve B! I think the white ones are a good fit for P. pulmonarius also. However, when I first posted pictures of them on a local facebook group, a member with a good deal of experience believed them to be P. ostreatus. That's why I'm looking for more opinions.
  6. Vermonter

    Pleurotus survey - oyster aficionados wanted

    Thanks for chiming in bobby b!
  7. Nice light-colored reticulation on the upper stem--classic edulis appearance.
  8. Here are photos of two finds in Vermont this year. I like to think they are different species, pulmonarius and ostreatus, to explain their drastic differences. The white ones: September 21, maple tree, weather still fairly summery. The brown ones: November 9, log of uncertain variety, weather cold for autumn. I feel confident that the brown are ostreatus, but I believe many would consider these both ostreatus, and attribute the differences to environmental factors. What do you think: different species or the same? Or different subspecies?
  9. Vermonter

    Can't Find Anything Like It!

    Looks like Monotropa uniflora--ghost plant. It's a plant, not a fungus. Rather than getting energy by photosynthesis like most plants, it is parasitic on certain fungi.
  10. Vermonter

    Odd Yellow Shroom

    Looks like it might be Hygrocybe chlorophana (golden waxycap).
  11. Vermonter

    Inquiring Great Minds - Reishi in March??

    Ganoderma lucidum and G. tsugae, the species most often called "reishi" are both annuals. It may depend on the climate, but the ones I've found are pretty mushy and not usable by this time of year. I have not harvested any (yet), but I believe people usually harvest in mid-summer where I live. G. applanatum, the artist's conk, is a perennial, and is also used medicinally, but I don't think people usually call it reishi.
  12. I found two mushrooms back in the middle of October—both growing singly out of clefts on standing maples near my home in Vermont. I eventually concluded both were specimens of Pleurotus dryinus (veiled oyster). It was hard to be sure. Most characteristics fit, but all the descriptions I found emphasized significant hairiness or fuzziness on both stem and cap—mine were relatively smooth. The one with the smaller, rounder cap was entirely hairless, while the one with the larger, broader cap had areas of velvet on the stem and scaliness on the cap. After finding no other likely candidates, I settled on P. dryinus, concluding that the degree of fuzziness must be more variable than descriptions I had found implied. Pleurotus dryinus is generally considered an inferior edible to the more common, widely-appreciated members of the genus Pleurotus—and is described as tough and sometimes unpalatably hairy. The caps of my specimens felt leathery—reminding me of young birch polypores. My expectations were low. The stems were indeed tough—similar to the stems of shiitakes, which some people discard, but I have grown to like—tough but chewable with persistence. The caps, however, were not at all tough when cooked—they had a tender-chewiness that I found very pleasant. The flavor was mild but quite savory, with a noticeable sweetness—I found the overall effect delectable. I exclaimed to my wife as we were eating one, “this is as good as scallops!” (we both love scallops)—she agreed that it was remarkably tasty, especially considering we were eating something I had just brought out of the nearby forest. It is possible that the weather conditions here in Vermont last month conspired to produce unusually bald and tasty specimens of Pleurotus dryinus, but I will certainly be on the lookout for these in the future. If anybody has a suggestion for alternative ID, or experience with P. dryinus, I would be very interested.