We have been too busy to visit our usual yellow Chanterelle (Cantherellus cibarius) spot until yesterday. We were a bit worried that they would be totally dried, but thankfully we were wrong. Yes, we found many smallish specimens and some were too dry to take, but the bunch weighed in at 2 1/2 lbs. If it had rained recently, they would have been much heavier. Ron cooked them with olive oil, garlic, heirloom tomatoes, and a hint of anchovies over pasta. Yum!
We also found a small Hawk’s wing (Sarcodon imbricatum,) a small black Chanterelle (Polyozellus multiplex,) and fresh firm Coral (Ramaria sp?) as possible edibles. If all this sounds surprising in the drought, it is. We hunted in and near swamps, that weren’t swampy, on the west side. In a “normal” year, we find many more mushrooms and come home with wet feet instead of dry.
It is a popular deer and elk hunting area and the roads were busy with big trucks and dust. Be sure to wear bright colors out there and make lots of noise!
Today a couple of landscapers brought by a 5 gal. bucket full of Rhizopogons, all from one yard, hoping they were white truffles. No sooner had they left than I got a call from another man who was ready to eat what he was sure was Oregon white truffle -another large Rhizopogon. I didn’t have time to identify which Rhizopogons were in the bucket, but they seemed close to Rhizopogon occidentalis. There was likely more than one species in the bunch. According to Arora, this hypogeous fungi (fruiting underground, or near underground,) can fruit in profusion at times and may get as large as 3 inches across, just like today’s specimens! They are not truffles and in fact, are much more closely related to the Boletus family, and the genus Suillus specifically. Even though the book says these are “palatable,” please do not eat what you don’t know, no matter how tempting they smell.
Our common Rhizopogons love the roots of pine and fir trees (and other confiers.) They are a firmly spongy and inside resemble a puffball, though species differ in color. They are not marbled inside like truffles. Outside you will see small reddish veins running along a yellowish skin. Some in the bucket had no red veining and many were more beige than yellow. It takes microscope work to figure them out.
Paul P. sent and email about the Chloropyllum rhacodes fruiting in his yard this week.
“Last year in class I believe you identified the group of mushrooms from our backyard as Shaggy Parasols. I took some pictures of the same type of shrooms from the same place in our yard and wondered if you can confirm them as Shaggy Parasols.”
They do look like shaggy parasols, Chlorophyllum rhacodes. You can look at Clair’s photos from an email yesterday that I posted on the website. The trick here is to make sure there is no volva like in Amanitas and to do a spore print on dark and light paper of one of the older specimens. Make sure it’s WHITE. There is a look-alike that has made its way north into Oregon, though relatively rare. The look-alike, Chlorophyllum molybdites, has GREEN spores in maturity and will make you wish you had never touched them, but nothing life threatening. Look them up online. They look just like the yummy shaggy parasols!