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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Why I Am No Mycological Expert

Here's a pretty little orange mushroom. Looks like it would be easy to ID, right?

orange mushroom

Ha! OK, it's either Jack-O-Lantern (definitely poisonous), or Red Chanterelle (highly edible), or a False Chanterelle (not really poisonous, but not great to eat). Well, that info doesn't help one little bit.

Size- these ones were about 1.5 to 2 inches across. Not huge, which seems to suggest not Jack-O-Lantern. Location- growing from the ground (not on dead wood or from tree roots or stumps), same suggestion as above.

Gills- I did remember to take a picture. It does not help much. The gills extend down the stalk, called decurrent. General shape- starts flatish, becomes funnel shaped with downcurved edges. All of the choices are ditto.

orange mushroom

Here's a difference. The chanterelle gills are forked. Let's look closer. I see those forks! That pretty much eliminates the Jack-O-Lantern.

orange mushroom

Now, what about the False Chanterelle? The main difference (except the color of the spore print which I simply can't be bothered to deal with... collecting samples, labeling, bringing home, drying, placing on light and dark paper, waiting... see I care more about plant ID than fungus) is that the false one has many branches in the gills.

The true Chanterelle has blunter edges on the gills and the base of the stalk can be white to yellowish. Seems right. But the false one is broader at the base, which fits this one. Of course any of these things could have an exception on one sample.

My best guess is Red Chanterelle, Cantharellus cinnabarinus. Am I certain enough to eat it? Not on your life.

The book says ID of Red Chanterelle is fairly easy. Well, I think I'd want more samples confirmed by an expert. Experience is a great teacher, and I'm sorely lacking in this field.

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Ann said...

You can come way closer to and ID than I could. I wouldn't have even been able to come up with those 3 possibilities. The color alone made me think pumpkin though

Secondary Roads said...

I've eaten some that grow on my lawn. They were good. They've not been seen in recent years. So we buy fresh from the food market.

The Oceanside Animals said...

hello sharkbytes its dennis the vizsla dog hay i do not no wot manner of mushroom that is but its orandj so dada likes it!!! and i bet if yoo put it on a pizza he wood eet it!!! ha ha ok bye