Mushroom Hunting – Part 2

Yesterday we saw Part 1 of Nightjar’s quest to find mushrooms as a Tree Tuesday post. Today, the mushrooms have been found and Nightjar’s photos of them are so wonderfully evocative that I can almost smell that earthy forest scent.

... and here are the mushrooms! The yellow Tricholoma equestre were the ones we were searching for, and we did find enough for a meal. And then there were some pretty ones of unknown edibility (to us). There were more, but the mosquitoes make photography a very difficult task.

Thanks for braving the mosquitoes to get these photos, Nightjar, and thanks for sharing.


1. A mushroom-promising sight. © Nightjar, all rights reserved

2. Tricholoma equestre is what we came here for. ©Nightjar, all rights reserved

3. Also pretty burgundy fungi. © Nightjar, all rights reserved

4. And brown. ©Nightjar, all rights reserved

5. And red. ©Nightjar, all rights reserved

6. And textures. ©Nightjar, all rights reserved



  1. Jazzlet says

    The red one loooks like a waxcap, which in the UK at least, are edible, though it’s rarely worth bothering as they are small, so unless you find a lot you are unlikely to end up with a meal’s worth.

  2. kestrel says

    Beautiful mushrooms. I would guess the burgundy one to be a Russula. Sure looks like it… All just really lovely and a great example of how fantastically beautiful fungi can be.

  3. rq says

    I’m really, really lichen the first photo, it’s gorgeous.
    And my favourite is the brown mushroom, though they’re all pretty. The red colour is quite sharp, too.

  4. Nightjar says

    Thanks everyone, and Jazzlet and Kestrel for the ID information. My ability to identify mushrooms is very limited, so I really only feel comfortable eating the two species that I was taught how to identify and cook by my family (Macrolepiota procera and Tricholoma equestre). I know there are so many more edible species, but unless I’m with hunting with someone who has eaten them all their lives I’m not going to risk it.

    Slugs clearly think the little red ones/waxcaps are delicious, there were several of them and none was intact!

  5. says

    Nightjar, I have some bad news for you re: Tricholoma equestre.

    The mushroom was long time considered to be edible and it was thus described in atlasses. In year 2014 informations about its toxicity emerged. Further research has found out that it causes severe rhabdomyolysis, dissolving sceletal muscle tissue.
    The poison is cumulative in nature, so one or two meals cause mostly no harm, but a third one in short time span can be critical.
    The toxins were identified by team of prof. Jikai Liua from Kunming botanical institute of Chinese Science Academy. They are saponaceolid B and saponaceolid M. To induce poisoning their concurrent and repeated consumption is necessary.

    source (in Czech) -- click --
    English ling on pubmed: -click-

    Apart from that it can also be confused for other, even more poisonous species.

  6. Nightjar says

    I am aware of those investigations, Charly, and of their poisonous look-alikes. The toxicity of T. equestre is a matter of debate. No poisonings have ever been reported in my geographical area despite the fact a lot of people consume them repeatedly here this time of the year. From all that I’ve read I do not think there is sufficient evidence to consider it poisonous, frankly, or at least any more poisonous than any other mushroom including Agaricus bisporus (see this recent review for reasons why, and this recent epidemiological study). And I’m completely unconcerned about eating a mushroom that I’ve cooked and eaten with my great-grandma, my grandparents, my parents and on my own. I will need a higher standard of evidence to consider T. equestre poisonous (at least the locally occurring variety).

  7. Nightjar says

    Also, this:

    The toxins were identified by team of prof. Jikai Liua from Kunming botanical institute of Chinese Science Academy. They are saponaceolid B and saponaceolid M.

    isn’t true, although I’ve seen it claimed by numerous sources. These toxins were isolated from Tricholoma terreum and when the authors examined T. equestre for their presence they couldn’t detect either toxin. I’m all for guidebooks erring on the side of caution when it comes to wild mushrooms and understand the classification of T. equestre as poisonous (although I disagree), but that statement is to the best of my knowledge false.

    Not that you should know that, Charly, of course, as I’ve said plenty of sources claim this and if I hadn’t researched this subject in detail (because I eat them) I wouldn’t know better either.

  8. Jazzlet says

    I wonder whether people that were being poisoned after apparently eating three meals in close succession were really eating T. equestre. A big problem with some edible species is the ease with which they can be confused with similar species if you don’t really know what you are doing, and of course the evidence has usually been eaten so you can’t check the identification. We don’t have several of the most poisonous Aminitas in the UK, though we we do have the Destroying Angel and Death Caps; the Safe Edible Mushroom Identifiction course I went on advised agaist the edible Aminitas, because the consequences of confusing them with the poisonous ones are so severe, and all too easy to do if you don’t really know your stuff. Another problem is there are some mushroooms that most people can eat perfectly safely, but that will give others a bad stomach upset. It is certainly an area where you need to be very confident of your identifiction!

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