Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mushrooms Identified - Scaly Vase Chanterelle, Berkeley's Polypore, Old Man of the Woods

Here are some mushrooms we have identified through many guidebooks and with the generous knowledge of Connecticut Valley Mycological Society. We see so many mushrooms that are difficult to identify on our own, so we joined the CVMS to learn techniques and proper ways to gather, identify, and possibly consume wild mushrooms. Robert has photographed several mushrooms, and we try to take spore prints for further confirmation.

Here is a partial list of the books we use:

Mushrooms of Northeast North America: Midwest to New England by George Barron
The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms
Edible Wild Mushrooms of North America: A Field to Kitchen Guide by David W. Fischer
Mushrooms Demystified by David Arora

Scaly Vase Chanterelle cluster
Young scaly vase chanterelles
Gomphus floccosus is also known as Wooly Chanterelle, or Scaly Vase Chanterelle. We came across a small group of them at the Salmon River State Forest. It is a funnel-shaped mushroom that tends to grow on the ground in coniferous or mixed coniferous and deciduous forests throughout North America. It fruits from early summer through midfall, and we found it in mid-July. The top is 2"-6" wide, orange fading to yellow-orange, and depressed but soon becoming hollow and sunken like a funnel. The top also has cottony or woolly scales. The underside is creamy-colored and is wrinkled or veined all along the stalk. The flesh is white and fibrous. Spore print is ochre, but we did not gather or print this mushroom. It's edibility is questionable, with many reports of nausea and abdominal pain, so we will avoid eating it.

Gillian holding the Berkeley's polypore
Berkeley's underside and white spores
Bondarzewia berkeleyi is commonly known as Berkeley's polypore. We found this one growing from some tree roots in Salem, CT. It grows in the Northern US and Canada, to Louisiana and Texas from July to October. It has the appearance of several overlapping creamy-white to grey fans growing from a single base. When very young, it looks like white fingers, but specimens can get very large, up to 3 feet across. The undersides of the caps is white with circular to angular pores. The spore print we took was white. It toughens and becomes bitter with age, so we trimmed the outer 1/2" from the edges for a meal. Edibility is based upon the age of the mushroom.

Old Man of the Woods, underside

Cut, staining to red
Strobilomyces floccopus is known as Old Man of the Woods for it's shaggy, unkept appearance. We found a specimen in Groton, CT and saw several more that had been found at Salmon River SF. It grows on the ground in mixed hardwood and coniferous forests from July to October. The cushion-shaped cap is 1"-6" across and is covered with dry, shaggy scales. The underside of the cap is white or grey, becoming darker with age, with large pores and tubes. The flesh is white, but slowly stains red then black when cut. The spore print we took was black. Our mushroom was a bit old, so we did not try it. Younger specimens are edible, although not particularly desirable.
Old Man of the Woods topside and spore print

No comments: