Fungi Fridays: Laccaria amethysteo-occidentalis*

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[280 words, 1-3 min read]

On certain rainy days, when the conditions are right and spores happened to touch down along your trails, the brilliant Laccaria amethysteo-occidentalis can be seen popping through pine scrub and brush. These particular Laccaria are spectacular to behold after heavy rains. Bright, saturated blooms of purple shining through the mud and rain. I love being able to expect these on my rainy day hikes.

Found in the western US (in absence of L. amethystina, which is found in eastern states), the L. amethysteo-occidentalis is edible and smells delightful—to me at least! They give off a similar scent to blewits, what people often say smells like frozen orange juice. I’ve read that they are eaten in soup if eaten at all, but I rarely forage mushrooms in the Laccaria genus. Not meaty enough for (my) sustenance.

Stem is strongly grooved, and cap fits the id description to a T. These have a super distinctive cap, about 7 cm in diameter with a characteristic central depression. These ‘shrooms are much prettier to behold than they are enticing to eat. I can see why people use them in soup. Seems like they’ll break apart easily (not much use in a stir-fry).

 

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Genus: Laccaria

Species: amethysteo-occidentalis

Edibility: edible, not choice

Sources

http://www.mushroomexpert.com/laccaria_amethysteo-occidentalis.html

http://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/54893-Laccaria-amethysteo-occidentalis

 

*Disclaimer: This site is provided for informational purposes only. Taylor assumes no responsibility or liability for any consequences of readers actions. Though every reasonable effort is made to present current and accurate information, identifications may be incorrect (Taylor *is* a novice)—but that’s where community input helps! Please, feel free to correct misinformation you find (or just add your two cents) in the comments!

Happy foraging!

Fungi Fridays: Hypholoma fasciculare*

[200 words, 1-2 min read]

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Hypholoma fasciculare, or the Common Sulfur Tuft

I don’t know of any edible lookalikes for this ‘shroom, what looks like the Hypholoma fasciculare (a.k.a. the Common Sulfur Tuft). The Hypholoma capnoides, or Conifer Tuft, is questionably edible, but sources say to steer clear of it. Besides,  people report this mushroom is extremely bitter—so you probably wouldn’t like it anyway.

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They commonly grow from wood OR soil, depending on the species. Fasciculare is usually found on dead or decaying conifer stumps. Sulfur Tufts are also known as the Sulphur Tuft or Clustered Woodlover, and they often grow in bunches in absence of any other mushrooms.

 

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Genus: Hypholoma

Species: fasciculare

Edibility: inedible

Sources

http://www.mushroomexpert.com/hypholoma_fasciculare.html

http://www.mykoweb.com/CAF/species/Hypholoma_fasciculare.html

 

*Disclaimer: This site is provided for informational purposes only. Taylor assumes no responsibility or liability for any consequences of readers actions. Though every reasonable effort is made to present current and accurate information, identifications may be incorrect (Taylor *is* a novice)—but that’s where community input helps! Please, feel free to correct misinformation you find (or just add your two cents) in the comments!
Happy foraging!