Thursday, May 20, 2010


Today, while day dreaming during work, I spotted one of these mushrooms from my window growing on the mulch across the street. First I must say that my building is quite distant from the sidewalk, and that the mushroom was on the other side of the street, and on the other side of the sidewalk (i.e. far away). What got my attention was the bright cap reflecting the afternoon sun and the thick white stem that popped out from the dark mulch. Once I saw it (or I thought I saw it) I was decided to stop by after work and check if I was suffering from delirium fungi ;-) or if it was really true that I could see a mushroom from that far.  To my surprise (or not) it wasn't one mushroom, but in fact, it was a cluster of seven or more individuals on the recently applied mulch. Given that there were mushrooms at multiple stages I decided to collect three (one small, one medium and one large) and bring them home. Below are my notes:

Date: 05/20/2010
Habitat: Urban, growing on mulch, gregarious

Stipe (stem) length - 6.0 | 9.0 | 13.0 cm
Stipe diameter apex - 2.0  | 2.0 | 3.0 cm
Stipe diameter at middle - 2.5 | 2.5 | 4.0 cm
Stipe diameter at base - 3.5 | 4.0 | 5.0 cm
Pileus (cap) diameter - 6.5 | 9.0 | 14.0 cm
Pileus height - 1.0 | 1.5 | 2.0 cm

Pileus convex to plane, irregular (with bumps) and shallowly depressed, margin incurved, purple/brown, surface dry but shiny, with cracks showing white flesh below cuticle, flesh is firm, white/turning light yellow with time, hymenium is gilled, lamela are close, soft, grey/purple, adnexed.

Stipe - clavate, solid, white inside, beige with longitudinal striations on the outside and below the annulus, white above the annulus, annulus located 1.5-2.0 cm from pileus, curly and painted purple/grey on top due to spores, partial veil present on younger specimen, white colored. Odor is non-distinctive.

Spore print - purple/grey

These specimens seem to be from Stropharia rugoso-annulata Farl. ex Murill species. It is also called wine-cap and is a member of the Agaricales order (Family Strophariaceae). This nice-looking mushroom is a common urban inhabitant that usually grows in mulch or soil and which is a good edible. Roody suggests that it is better eaten when young, since older specimens are "unappealing". As a cautionary note, one should remember that all gilled mushrooms can be mistaken my potentially lethal lookalikes and that, therefore, one should not take lightly the importance of being 100% sure of the identify of such mushrooms before eating them. Michael Kuo in his book "100 Edible Mushrooms" suggests that one should make sure that 100% of the expected characteristics are observed (in doubt, throw out). Please refer to those books (and others) if you feel like eating any mushroom.

No comments:

Post a Comment