Some Random Mushrooms

The weather has been relatively cooperative in the upper parts of South Carolina for the past couple of weeks, providing some decent rain and good conditions for mushroom finding.  We haven’t done any major mushroom forging but we have managed to find a few here and there (and even a couple worth making a light meal out of).  Here are some pictures taken by Eliza and I.

mycena pura

This is a Mycena pura, a small saprobic (aka consumes decaying matter) mushroom common in the woods after a good rain. It smells like radishes. It is reported to be poisonous.

mushroom on a log

Small mushroom on a log. Probably saprobic.

oyster mushroom

Some type of oyster mushroom. Not sure of the exact kind.

The littlest mushroom

The size of mushrooms can greatly vary greatly. Here is a mushroom on the small end of the scale. On the large end I found a mushroom that weighed over five pounds and was about a foot and a half wide.

bag of mushrooms

I like collecting mushrooms in a mesh bag like this because it allows for the spores to fall out.

bitter bolete

A bitter bolete. Not poisonous but inedible due to its extremely bitter flavor (seriously, the bitterness will not go away if you taste a bit of it)

boletus ornatipes

Boletus ornatipes (also called Retiboletus ornatipes). A bright yellow bolete that will stain your hands a similar color. The stem is quite reticulate. Very bitter and undesirable to consume.

random amanita

Some type of amanita

random agaric

A random lawn agaric. It had lovely pink gills

lactarius corrigus

A side view of Lactarius corrigus. This mushroom extrudes a white latex when cut or damaged. The latex will stain paper brown. This is an edible lactarius.

lactarius corrigus

Cap view of the Lactarius corrigus. A lovely rusty red color.

chopped mushrooms

Clockwise from top left: Lactarius corrigus, Boletus edulis (aka Porcini), Boletus frostii (discarded due to mixed reports of edibility), and Boletus bicolor (one of my favorite edible mushrooms, also a relatively easy one for IDing)

As always I feel obligated to point out that it is very dangerous to eat any mushrooms without careful IDing (pictures are never enough!!!).  Some mushrooms may just be too hard to ID to be worth the risk.  I always discard these.  Others, like Boletus frostii, are relatively easy to recognize, but because of ambiguous reports are not worth the risk as far as I am concerned.  When in doubt don’t eat!  You are not going to lose anything by not eating a potentially poisonous mushroom, though you could lose quite a lot if you take careless risks.  Enjoy mushrooms for their bizarre beauty and the fun of finding them.  If you successfully ID a few edibles consider that a bonus to the greater fungi enjoyment.

Update: Monday Aug. 16th, 2010.  Here are some more recent mushroom finds and pictures.

mushroom in the moss

A tiny little mushroom growing amongst moss


Some random bolete. Not sure of the exact kind. A lot of boletes are hard to identify specifically.

mushroom log

After the abundance of recent rains there were a number of logs out in the woods covered with masses of various fungi. Yay for fungi doing their decomposition jobs!

moldy mushroom

A lot of mushrooms get parasatized by molds. This one was formaly a bolete which has succumbed to a mold (a mold that seems to target a lot of boletes). Even if the host mushroom was IDed as edible it is not recommended to consume mushrooms with molds on them.

strange club fungi

A clump of what I think are some kind of club fungi. They look very odd poking up out of the ground.

black trumpets

Black trumpets, also called horns of plenty, are lovely mushrooms. They are also crazy hard to find due to their dead leaf like appearance. Previously I had only ever found a few of these at any given time. On this particular foray we came away with a couple hundred of them. Very exciting.

lots of black trumpets

Here is one basket showing a lot of the black trumpets we found (as well as a few other random mushrooms).

baskets of mushrooms

Baskets full of mushrooms are very exciting things to see.

a pile of mushrooms

One of my favorite things to do after a good foray is lay out all the various finds and try and identify the different mushrooms. Even if most are not edible (see disclaimer above) it is a lot of fun to look at all the various forms.

large mushroom

A relatively huge mushroom (though I have found larger). There is something amazing about how big some mushrooms can get. Compare this with the uber-tiny one above.

cooking black trumpets

Black trumpets are considered by many to be a very choice edible. Here we just quickly cooked a few up with butter. Delicious!

~ by Nathaniel on August 12, 2010.

3 Responses to “Some Random Mushrooms”

  1. Hi from Toronto Canada. In the forests near where I live, I sometimes pick a bolete I believe to be Boletus ornatipes. The ones around here are mild and tasty, and I can’t say I’ve noticed any bitterness. I enjoy your mushroom photos. You can find some of mine over at my blog…check the posts tagged mushrooms.

    • That is neat. I’ve heard that in some places B. ornatipes is not bitter and quite good, but almost all that I’ve encountered here in South Carolina have been in the inedible and bitter category. Thanks for the comment, I’ll definitely be stopping by your blog to look at your mushroom posts.

  2. Do you guys have any I.D charts I can look at? New at it I’ve been trying to find a chart with South Carolina mushrooms. Thanks

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