Friday, June 18, 2010


I found some mushrooms right in our own (neighbor's) backyard!

It's an Agaricus, but not an edible Agaricus, which is unfortunate because for a second I had visions of cast iron skillet pizza with goat cheese and mushrooms...YUM!
But I'm glad folks at work could get it straight. It wouldn't have been deadly poisonous mistake, but the inedible Agarics will give you a mighty stomach ache and "spring cleaning" as someone put it :)
The feature I overlooked was the staining. Many mushrooms will stain or bruise certain colors, a feature that can be used to identify groups of mushrooms. In Agarics, there are edible specied that stain red and inedible species that stain yellow (this is the simple version to illustrate a need more information than staining alone!).
I cut the stem and it slowly turned red, and the mushroom had a general favorable "mushroomy" odor, like some of the edible Agarics.
But, later, Joe scratched the base of the stem and it turned yellow, and when he broke open the base of the mushroom it smelled like chemicals - a sign of the inedible Agarics.

You can see in this photo the red stain when I cut the mushroom on the right, and the yellow stain where it was scratched near my thumb nail.
I had incorrectly looked for the indicators and thus misread the signs.
Oh, and never figured out exactly which Agaricus this was, but we think it was one of the yellow staining fall species that came out early because of the strange rainy weather .
Lots to learn, lots to learn...

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