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Shroom I.D.
updated: Dec 01, 2012, 5:56 PM

By Edhat Subscriber

Any mycologists out there? These are 8" across. We'd love to know what type they are. Thank you.

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Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 349315 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-01 06:24 PM

You need to talk to "Dr. Bob" (Bob Cummings). He was/is at SBCC and is the guy to talk to about mushrooms, toadstools and odd fungi in this area. I thought I had his e-maill adds but can't find it. The goggle monster is being no help

Here is a video with him in it.



 COMMENT 349316 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-01 06:24 PM

I'll bet it's chlorophyllum molybdites.

Wikipedia sez, "Chlorophyllum molybdites probably causes more poisonings in North America than any other species. The symptoms are predominantly gastrointestinal in nature, with vomiting, diarrhea and colic, often severe, occurring 1–3 hours after consumption."

If the gills turn greenish as they get older, then it's just about a sure thing.


 COMMENT 349326 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-01 06:35 PM

I think its just an Agaricus - you can also take mushrooms to the Ag Commissioner's Office


 COMMENT 349328 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-01 06:37 PM

Or a Shaggy Parasol, but can't say with just those pictures.


 COMMENT 349340 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-01 06:55 PM

Does Dr. Bob do educational walks? I have a couple mushroom identification books but I'm not about to test my proficiency on myself! A lot of us must be interested in this local information-- discerning the difference between free food and free poison.


 COMMENT 349342 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-01 07:07 PM

I noticed a new specimen popping up in my yard this afternoon. Be extremely careful with shrooms and dogs it's sadly very common for dogs to eat toxic mushrooms. I yank them out of the ground as soon as I see them to prevent my dog's curiosity from getting the better of her.

Bob Cummings is definitely THE Shroom Man in SB and I just Googled him and found he is teaching a class (Friday lecture and Saturday morning field trip) at the SB Botanical Gardens in January! Check it out! And good luck!


 YIN YANG agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-01 07:45 PM

Mushroom on the left in first photo:
I can't be the only one to see it as a barn owl!
it looks like a barn owl face complete with beak, no?


 COMMENT 349352 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-01 07:58 PM

Barn Owl for sure, but not editable unless road-kill since they they are wild birds and never in season.


 COMMENT 349358P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-01 08:26 PM

Edible or editable? I wouldn't touch a mushroom unless I knew the credentials of a mycologist AND had known the mycologist for many years! Nor would I eat an owl or roadkill unless and until I was literally starving. Same goes for insects; that's my cultural conditioning. :-)

I think; I hope, that the OP was interested in ID for the sake of ID, not food!

One of my favorite novels::
"The Debt to Pleasure" by John Lanchester
"Winner of the Whitbread Award for Best First Novel and a New York Times Notable Book, The Debt to Pleasure is a wickedly funny ode to food. Traveling from Portsmouth to the south of France, Tarquin Winot, the book’s snobbish narrator, instructs us in his philosophy on everything from the erotics of dislike to the psychology of the menu. Under the guise of completing a cookbook, Winot is in fact on a much more sinister mission that only gradually comes to light."


 BULLSEYEB agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-01 10:10 PM

YIN YANG, I toally saw the Barn Owl! Glad I'm not the only one having visions of things...and I didn't even touch the shrooms!!!


 COMMENT 349381P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-01 10:29 PM

Bob Cummings was my Plant Diversity prof at SBCC. Talk about a tough class. I had a wannabe gynecologist seated to my left and a wannabe microbiologist to my right. Me, the straight-A student, barely scraped by with a 'B.'

Bob will tell you to leave mushrooms alone. Remember the guy who ate some shrooms up on Wilcox property about five years back? He barely made it to the hospital before he was pronounced dead. And he was a shroom picker from way back. Any of you want to take a chance with mushrooms? Be my guest. Me? No Way.


 COMMENT 349411P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-02 07:49 AM

Why does 58P have an ad for a book? Is it about mushrooms?


 COMMENT 349421P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-02 08:18 AM

The OP didn't say he wanted to eat these, he just wants to know what they are. The simple curiosity of a mycophile. This looks like a Parasol (Lepiota). According to David Arora's book All That the Rain Promises, Lepiota are edible but give some people upset stomachs. Obviously you never eat a mushroom without a confident id, especially a white-gilled mushroom. We have a bunch of white-gilled mushrooms coming up in our barrel full of parsley and chives right now. I think I've identified them as Ma'am on Motorcycle. Thanks for the tip, 342. I'll try to get to that class in January.

Once I found a Destroying Angel and a Death Cap growing within a few feet of each other near the Natural History museum. Made me a little shaky just to see them for the first time, and realize what I was seeing. The Destroying Angel is a spectacularly beautiful mushroom--you can totally see where it got its name.


 COMMENT 349439P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-02 08:55 AM

Do a spore identification -- mushroom placed gills down on a piece of paper drops its spores which are looked at under a microscope and thus the mushroom is identified, with the help of an expert. These white slightly ruffled types of mushroom are hard to identify without a spore test.


 COMMENT 349483 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-02 10:50 AM

Chlorophyllum molybdites vs. Lepiota rachodes: green spores in the former, white in the latter. L. rachodes is possibly the only white-gilled white-spored mushroom that grows around here that is edible. Many white gilled/spores mushrooms belong to the most toxic, even fatal if eaten family---Amanita. I used to grow L. rachodes in my backyard. Makes awesome cream of mushroom soup. So I knew what they were and that they were free of dog pee or toxic soil. You've got to take that into consideration.

Part of keying out mushrooms is to recognize it's environment, what it is growing on, the season, it's growth habit and, most importantly, the spore identification. There are not very many choice edibles that grow around here---learn them. There are not many poisonous one's either---learn them. But lots that are make for great photos!


 COMMENT 349492P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-02 11:13 AM

58P here -- it's not an ad for a book; I just shared info and a link to a favorite novel because some people who read this discussion might be interested in it. Yes, there are mushrooms in the story. The OP made me think of it, so I shared. Sorry if it looked to you like I was selling rather than sharing something.


 COMMENT 349551 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-02 05:07 PM

Looks poisonous to me do not ever eat any mushroom unless it is mature and you absolutely know it is edible, never take chances.
I am from the Midwest and we know that any mush room with a ring on its stalk is probably an Amanita, deadly poisonous.


 ACF agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-03 02:00 AM

I finally saw an easily identified mushroom on a trip to Colorado: it was bright red with yellow spots! Who would eat that?! It was an amanita, of course.
To 11P and 58P: of course the book reference wasn't an ad. Remember the subject?


 COMMENT 350255 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-04 05:20 PM

Probably Lepiota rachodes, the shaggy parasol. I'm basing this on several assumptions:
1. It is growing on soil (not in lawn, as does Chlorophyllum molybdites).
2. The spore color is white when mature (C. molybdites spores are gray/green.
3. It bruises orange when handled (but so does C. molybdites, but not as strongly.
4. It is growing in December (C. molybdites usually appears in warm summer to late summer months).

The scientific name of the shaggy parasol has changed many times, from Lepiota rachodes to Macrolepiota rachodes, etc., but is currently listed as Chlorophyllum brunneum. The shaggy parasol is considered edible but the chances of confusing it with Chlorophyllum molybdites are high. Not for beginners to experiment with.


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