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ID'ing a few finds

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Fairly new mushroom hunter in central Massachusetts. I'm pretty confident about most of these, but an expert opinion is always welcome.

Chanterelles. Found them growing in a pretty mixed forest, containing maple, oak, hemlock, and hickory with a couple pines, birches, and ashes tossed in. They appear to be growing on soil, but there's so much dead wood on my mushrooming hill that I can't rule out the possibility that they were on some long-burried dead log. I've found what appears to be 3 types. Type 1 is a buttery yellow, with caps approximately 3 - 7 cm wide and somewhat flute shaped and it appears to have the pseudo gills. The stems are all over the map in terms of length and shape, but tend to be the same color as the cap on the outside and whtie on the inside. They're also fiberous and pull apart like fluffy string cheese. I suspect it's C. cibarius or something similar. Type 2 has basically the same size and morphology as type 1, but is more orange in color. Type 3 is much smaller than type 1 or 2, the caps of the very biggest may be 2 - 3 cm across, and they're a much more vivid orange. I have photos of types 1 and 2, but I can't get a decent pic of the tiny guys.

Type 1 on the ground. The knife used for scale is 10 cm long.


Click for larger sizes (http://www.flickr.com/photos/7564185@N02/9297132988/sizes/z/in/photostream/)

Type 1 closer view


Click for larger sizes (http://www.flickr.com/photos/7564185@N02/9368877251/sizes/z/in/photostream/)

Type 1 bisected


Click for larger sizes (http://www.flickr.com/photos/7564185@N02/9371657260/sizes/z/in/photostream/)

Type 1 closeup of underside


Click for larger (http://www.flickr.com/photos/7564185@N02/9371655210/sizes/z/in/photostream/)

Type 2 on ground


Click for larger sizses (http://www.flickr.com/photos/7564185@N02/9294351911/sizes/z/in/photostream/)

Type 2, closeup of underside


Click for larger sizes (http://www.flickr.com/photos/7564185@N02/9368876395/sizes/z/in/photostream/)

Type 1 and 2 side by side


Click for larger sizes (http://www.flickr.com/photos/7564185@N02/9294361107/sizes/z/in/photostream/)

Lobster mushrooms: these guys are found pretty randomly distributed amonst the leaf litter, though some areas seem to be more heavily effected than others. They're uniformly coated with a slightly textured orange/red coating (sometimes redder in patches) that seems to have smoothed out the features of the gills. When cut, the interior is white, and damned if they don't smell faintly like lobster shells.

My biggest question about the lobsters is, how good are they to eat? I'm always concerned they may be derived from a toxic Russula (the woods around here are FULL of red-capped Russulas, but also full of corrugated and volumenous latex milkys)

Lobster on the ground


Click for larger (http://www.flickr.com/photos/7564185@N02/9368886221/sizes/z/in/photostream/)

Lobster bisected. Sorry the flash washed it out.


Click for larger (http://www.flickr.com/photos/7564185@N02/9368884615/sizes/z/in/photostream/)

How'd I do on my ID's?

I've also found a sulfur shelf (big shelves, 30+ cm across, concentric orange banded top, porous sulfury yellow bottom, smells like oranges) growing out of a dead log. I've read that sulfur shelves might be unsafe when growing on dead wood. Is there validity to this statement?

Thanks muchly.

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Thats the challenge with lobsters, knowing which variety of mushroom they infected. If you are certain the species is edible then they are very good to eat. However if you are finding them where you are finding sickeners and cannot ID the original species of the lobster mushroom it may be a bad idea.

Sulfur Shelves are quite edible and tasty. The only rule to my knowledge is to not eat them if they are growing on conifers dead or living for that matter (in your area at least). The conifer variety does make some people a little sick. However, it is also one of the mushrooms that seems to only affect certain people, others can eat them off any type of tree with no ill result. Heart burn I believe and maybe nausea. Also, they should always be cooked through before eating. The large ones can get kind of woody in texture. In that case you have to trim away the woody parts. Edges are typically still tender on large Sulfur shelves.

Hopefully someone else speaks up on the chants as they are uncommon in my area.

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The deal with lobsters is that basically anything is possible in terms of host species but as a practical matter there is no evidence that anyone has ever become sick from eating them. I gleefully eat them without a second thought and I like to dehydrate a gallon for use over winter. If you worry about the host though you wont want fear being part of your dinner. Word on the street is that the parasite is a pretty discerning mycologist based on about a century of evidence but I doubt that their safety will ever be proved beyond a shadow of a doubt. shrug. Nobody has proved that morels cant hybridize with deadly amanita either I guess.

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Finally got some decent pics of the little orange chanterelle-like things. I'll admit, I may be way off in my ID here, but they might be C. cinnabarinus, they're a pretty vivid orange and seem to have the pseudo gills. The biggest specimens are about 2 - 3 cm across, the rest are much smaller, ~1 cm. They grow from soil, around hickory mainly.

Little guys on the ground, the knife is 10 cm long


click for bigger (http://www.flickr.com/photos/7564185@N02/9380082328/sizes/z/in/photostream/)



click for bigger (http://www.flickr.com/photos/7564185@N02/9380090280/sizes/z/in/photostream/)

Another closeup


click for bigger (http://www.flickr.com/photos/7564185@N02/9377306527/sizes/z/in/photostream/)



click for bigger (http://www.flickr.com/photos/7564185@N02/9380088682/sizes/z/in/photostream/)

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Yes, you have three species of Cantharellus. The first one is a cibarius type (all the names are in the midst of being changed) and the second looks kind of like a peach chanterelle C. persicinus and the third is C. cinnabarius or cinnabar chant. All edible except the ones that are hollow like that are bug ridden and the stipe should be solid, not hollow. As for lobsters, there has never been any proof that Hypomyces that has taken over a "bad" russula has proven to be harmful. There is no way to separate them out, so really all are considered edible. I personally don't much care for them but I know plenty of people who rave about them. Try them and see for yourself but just try a small amount to begin with. Good luck!

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