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About DufferinShroomer

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    Morchella Senior Member
  • Birthday 07/26/2009

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    Southern Ontario Dufferin County

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  1. chanterelles family?

    If you find a good patch of these in a spot where nobody else is likely to pick them you can sort of farm them. The caps will grow to a bit more than an inch across and if you harvest only the biggest of them the rest will continue to grow if conditions are right. I once milked a patch doing that for a period of 3 weeks and I harvested thousands. The interesting thing is that if you leave the small ones even if someone finds the patch they will likely leave it alone because there are only the small ones there. My best haul was 700+ in one picking. Slow work though.
  2. Ontario Mushrooms

    The very best course of action is to join the Mycological Society of Toronto www.myctor.org .They will ding you 30 bucks for a family membership and it is worth every penny. Their main deal for beginners are the organized forays which run spring and fall and are open to members. At a foray the group meets at 9:30 am and everyone heads out into the woods to collect as many different species as they can find (and if you find a whack of edibles you have supper). The group returns to the starting point at 12 or 1 PM with their catch and everyone's finds are spread out on tables where each species in turn is identified. You get to ask questions, talk about look-alikes and handle the mushrooms. If you were shrewd enough to hook up with an experienced person when you started into the woods you can get some in the woods lessons. The fall series of forays starts around the beginning of September and there will be forays almost every Saturday and Sunday until usually the end of October. The club also hosts identification courses and meetings with guest mushroom speakers. This is a really good deal for anyone beginning with mushrooms. They also run a spring series of forays but the truth is that the spring forays are pretty much just morel hunts. How many species get found on a typical fall foray? I have seen the group bring back 150 different species in 3 hours and they rarely find fewer than 60. This club also generally has one summer foray that happens in July and is generally not well advertised. See if you can track down the foray director and ask if there will be a summer foray in the next week or so.
  3. Can you help identify this mushroom

    I would toss Clitocybe subconnexa onto the table as a guess.
  4. The famous Lactarius Indigo?!?!

    Indigo lactarius is fairly common where I live in Ontario. I quite like the flavor and texture of these although the flavor is a bit mild and an Asian stirfry will overpower them. One issue we have with them here which may or may not be an issue where you live is bugs. Here we have a very tiny white worm that eats its way into the stem in large numbers and then quickly eats its way up the stem into the cap. The quick way to tell if the specimen is infested is to look at the base of the stem where you cut it when harvesting and if you see a bunch of tiny holes you can be pretty sure they were made by larva eating their way up the stem. I have seen these larva infest even buttons that were not yet fully out of the ground. The good news is that as summer progresses the bugs become less and less of a problem and by September it is rare to find a buggy one. This is tasty mushroom with an excellent firm texture that will stand up to all sorts of abuse. And yes, as Tasso said a bit of blue color will leach out during cooking and will turn your scrambled eggs green.
  5. Meadow? Horse? Something else?

    The cap of that mushroom looks dirty. Did you brush dirt off it before you took the photo? To me it resembles Agaricus bitorquis aka the sidewalk mushroom. Once you are certain a mushroom is in fact an agaricus the way to tell if it is a bitorquis is to look at the ring around the stem. The bitorquis is a bit unique in that the edge of the ring closest to the cap is a bit loose and raised and so is the edge that is closest to the ground, so both edges are raised up a bit. Actually the name bitorquis loosely translates to 2 collars which refers to the double raised feature. Many Agaricus emerge cleanly and show a nice clean white cap. Not so with bitorquis, which only barely fully emerges and seeing quite a bit of dirt on the cap is normal. They are called sidewalk mushrooms because they have a real affinity for hard packed soil. I have seen them fruit in the middle of a hard packed gravel road and there are reports of them pushing up through asphalt. I have a nice little patch that fruits right beside my gravel driveway every year and gives me a half dozen really tasty mushrooms. Here is a vid I made beside the driveway: and here is a link to a text description: http://urbanmushrooms.com/index.php?id=19 Of course none of this means your mushroom was a bitorquis but from the photo Im leaning that way.
  6. Wild Mushroom Edibility

    Dave feel free to modify it in any way you choose. What I posted wasnt any sort of attempt to make any sort of definitive statement about anything really. Sometimes I get nervous about folks who want to charge off into the woods and eat everything they see and I get the urge to post up a caution. I agree with everyone who has suggested that the site should have at least one firm warning about the potential dangers of eating wild mushrooms and if somebody wants to use what I wrote as a starting point for that and borrow from it then I say go for it.
  7. morel progression map

    Here ya go: http://www.morelmushroomhunting.com/morel-progression-sightings-map/ Scroll down past the photos to find the map. Mr. Matherly appears to update the map every few days so it provides a good idea of where morels are actually being found. The finds generally progress northward at the rate of about 100 miles per week depending on weather and left leaning politicians. Has to be a pile of effort to keep the map current and we should be thankful he provides the service.
  8. Help identifying these mushrooms

    Diamond, if you get some sort of mushroom field guide you will quickly see that mushroom people like to slot mushrooms into one of 3 general categories: edible, inedible, and poisonous. EDIBLE: about 10% of wild mushrooms are considered edible. That usually (but not always) means they wont hurt most people and there is nothing about the mushroom that would cause most people to absolutely refuse to eat it. Note that being edible doesnt mean that it is tasty. It also doesnt mean that it is completely safe either. Where I live it is illegal to send a kid to school with a peanut butter sandwich because clearly peanuts are poison and they kill quite a few folks every year. Chocolate coated slugs are also apparently edible but Im not going to eat one. Probably less than 5% of mushroom species are good enough to want to eat them. POISONOUS: This is another sort of vague category. In general it means that if you eat a mushroom in the poisonous category you are going to regret doing so. You might regret it because it kills you dead. You might also regret it because although it doesnt kill you it makes you very sick. In general if some book or expert calls a mushroom poisonous dont eat it. About 10% of mushroom species can be called poisonous. INEDIBLE: This group covers the remaining 80% of mushrooms. They might not be poisonous but they have some feature which will make you not have any interest in eating them. Those hard shelf mushrooms that grow on the side of trees are probably not poisonous but no amount of boiling will soften them up enough to let you chew them. Other species might have the texture of a slug or a horrible smell. Some mushrooms are seriously bitter and there is just no way you can get one down. Others might be so small that it would take a week to gather enough for a mouthful. Some taste pretty bad. Interestingly most of the mushrooms reputed to have medicinal value come from this group. You cant eat them really, but if you dry the right ones and then grind them to a powder you can make a tea which probably will taste pretty bad but which might have some health benefits. EXCEPTIONS: There are not very many rules with mushrooms that are always true so you have to take what you find in a book in context and even then be careful. Let me give a few examples. Almost everybody will agree that the morel is right up there in the top 3 best tasting edibles. Morels are also probably the mushroom that sends the most people to the hospital. Seriously. The issue is that they contain a toxin which dissipates when the mushroom is cooked. If you eat raw morels you are just begging for trouble. Another troublesome mushroom is the honey mushroom. Almost all books call this a tasty edible. The truth is though that the honey mushroom causes about a third of the population to experience a nasty 3 day belly ache. There is a work around though. Parboil them for 3 minutes before cooking them and almost everyone can eat them without problems. There are also some serious issues with some mushrooms in some places. Tricholoma equestre is one such mushroom. Millions of these are eaten every year with no problems. In Europe however these mushrooms have killed dozens of people and many European countries outright ban their sale. No one is completely certain why folks in North America arent dropping dead from these. It may be that the the North American version is a different species than the European species and it just looks the same. Are they ok to eat in North America? Maybe, but I wont eat them. The thing is that it is tough to learn to eat mushrooms safely from a book. Far better is to learn from someone who knows what they are doing plus a book. Let me add one sobering thought then I'll quit typing. I live in Ontario Canada where we are thought to have about 2,000 species of mushrooms. Many mushroom books will show about 300 species with pictures and descriptions. So I can find a mushroom and identify it from that book with 300 species and say yah there it is right there on page 87. But what if instead of being that mushroom on page 87 it is really one of the 1700 species that didnt get included in the book? Be careful out there.
  9. Agaricus Mushrooms?

    Im not agreeing with agaricus on this one. No certain reason really just an overall look. The cap doesnt look thick enough or meaty enough especially around the edges. The stem break doesnt look quite right for agaricus either. Agaricus often breaks cleanly at the cap. The photo looks to show a stem that might be a bit hollow or stringy or something not agaricus like. The photos arent adequate for a positive id but agaricus just doesnt look right to me.
  10. Morel Hunting in Minnesota (Episode of a Show)

    Ya I have helped Rob pick pine plantation yellows. Strangest thing ever. The pines had snuffed out all vegetation so that the forest floor had zero weeds - just a bed of pine needles with big honkin morels sticking up. You could spot them from about 40 yards away. Rob, it is the quaking aspen you want for morels and especially for honey mushrooms and pleurotus populinus. Big tooth aspen will support leccinums and cinnabar chants but not much else that is tasty. It is pretty tough to tell the 2 aspens apart before they leaf out in the spring.
  11. Oyster Mushroom?

    Both oysters and angel wings grow on wood. These mushrooms look to be growing from soil and if so that would rule out oysters and angels. Dig up a clump and show us what they are attached to and what the underside gill configuration looks like. I dont think I would be looking to eat them without a much more conclusive identification.
  12. Big Clitocybe Lepista Irina ?

    Oh man. If irina can get that big I dont want to even think about the hundreds of pounds of huge tasties I have ignored because I didnt think there was any chance of them being edible. ugggh. Maybe I better go for a walk tomorrow.
  13. Questions on "tasting" mushrooms to identify fungi.

    Ya do not taste a mushroom until after you think you know what it is and then only if you are sure that a taste will actually help with an ID. If there is any chance at all that the mushroom might be deadly you dont want to be tasting even a little bit. There really arent a lot of mushrooms where a taste will help with an ID so I wouldnt be madly tasting everything I found. Taste helps with some boletes. With some Russula as well although I know only one person who cares enough about Russula to bother tasting them.
  14. Big Clitocybe Lepista Irina ?

    Deep down Im not inclined to think that the giant mushroom you are holding is L. irina if only because nothing that big is going to be edible without being renamed Lepista ohmygodimus. Ontario has both C. gigantea and C. robusta and my thought is that the giant will be one of those species.
  15. 2 types Big Fall Mushrooms with gills

    I have found that the giveaway feature of C. subconnexa is its name which roughly means connected below ground. The ones I have been able to identify with any certainty have fruited in clusters actually joined at the base underground so that if you carefully dig up a cluster you can pick up for example any one of the half dozen stems and the rest of the cluster remains very firmly attached and comes along with the one you picked up. If that sort of cluster effect isnt present Im reluctant to call them subconnexa. The ones I have found have been big sturdy heavy solid mushrooms with caps in the order of 5-6 inches. I have been through the L. irina identification irony. At one point I had a barnyard full of big white mushrooms and I believed I had irina. Since irina was supposed to be a tasty edible I thought I would fry up a couple for a tiny taste test. When cooked I popped a piece the size of a pea into my mouth. It tasted so foul that I ejected it after about 1 second. What I had was definitely not something you could eat but I was curious about what it was. Turned out that next day there was an organized foray of the Toronto mushroom club so I picked a 6 quart basket and drove them down to the foray to see if the experts could help. Most of the foray wouldnt offer an opinion but a half dozen respected members seemed certain I had irina in spite of my protests that there was no way this mushroom could be eaten. One of the members took the basket home to eat and sadly I have never run into her again to find out if she was able to eat them. I am certain these were not irina. The next weekend a local noted naturalist was leading a mushroom walk so I brought a bunch to the walk to get his opinion. Yep these are L. irina. grrrr no they arent. About a year later I was corresponding with a friend in the Toronto mushroom club who had been through the irina puzzle on his own. He told me that he once spoke with a professional mycologist in USA about this mushroom and the pro told him that irina is one of the toughest mushrooms to identify with any certainty - even with a microscope. He offered the suggestion that if you stayed at them for enough years you start to be able to recognize them because they look like irina even though objectively if you try to key out the mushroom you will be stumped. As a result of that I gave up on them and now when I find big meaty white mushrooms I generally kick a few for sport and ignore the patch because I flat out cant be certain. Having said that, I can happily believe that other folks have no trouble at all identifying them, Im just not one of those folks. I will try to add a couple of photos. One is a clump of subconnexa that I dug up in which you can see how they are joined in a clump just below the surface. The other is a photo of one of the irina look alikes that totally stumped me. Sue, When you get to the point where you are sure you have a hypsizigus smell them. A hypsizigus will have that anise sort of aroma that is common to the oyster family although it wont be a strong aroma. Hypsizigus do grow on box elder (aka Manitoba maple) and they are commonly called elm oyster. Perversely I have never found one on either a box elder or on an elm. The ones I find have all been on common red maple and usually in a spot where the drainage is poor (Acer rubrum). Usually I see them on standing trees where they have a tendency to fruit in a line one above the next. I like eating these mushrooms although they can be a bit chewy so I usually slice them fairly thinly.