Mushroom Hunt

Yesterday we met our friends at the park, and this time I took my camera with me. The whole thing is currently overrun by mushrooms, toadstools, whatever. It’s not like I can identify any of them apart from the red toadstool that says “do not eat”. One day I#ll sign up for a “learning about mushrooms” class, but until that day, I will just collect their pics. the big advantage here is that they’re all good that way.


©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved



  1. kestrel says

    Oh fantastic -- we had a drought here so no mushrooms for me this year. I agree, they are gorgeous and wonderful to photograph. And hey, no need to eat them to appreciate them! After all bird watchers don’t capture and eat the birds they watch -- they just watch them! I’ll wait for Charly who knows more than I but that red one with the white dots is Amanita muscaria, then you seem to have an Agaricus of some type, and then I think that last one is a Coprinus. Wonderful, like seeing old friends!

  2. wereatheist says

    Last pic indeed shows coprinus comatus, which is edible, and tasty, but very soft/slimy when cooked.
    It’s one of the very few species I’d collect without worry.

  3. says

    The third picture could be some edible Agaricus, but to be sure one would have to look at the underside whether a skirt is present or not. If not, it might instead be several other mushrooms, maybe even poisonous Entoloma sinuatum. I do not dare to make more precise identification, I probably would not even in person. I can recognize edible Agaricus species with confidence high enough to gather and eat them, but not the similar but inedible taxa.

    I was mightilly disappointed just this week when throwing organic waste on the compost heap when I found big mushrooms on there resembling Agaricus campestre from above, but turning out to be something else on closer inspection. Instead of tasty dinner I got disappointment.

    The last one is probably correctly identified by wereathesit. Coprinus are considered edible, but its is probably not safe to drink alcohol for a long time afterward because some species interfere with its metabolism in a rather unpleasant way. Also, the mushrooms grow, age and decompose into blacks slush really fast (within hours) and they do not stop growing and decomposing when picked. So if you try to gather them, you must pick young ones and process them really fast.

    Coprinus, as the name implies, like to grow in places where there is some old poop in the ground. That makes them sometimes very prolific on pastures and around dungheaps. For someone who wants to eat them that might be too much information, I guess.

    I am not above eating something that grew on a compost heap (the tomatoes and pumpkins are exellent), but I did not eat Coprinus yet. Not for squeamishness, but because I never lack better, higher quality mushrooms to pick around here, and ones that need not be cooked and eaten within next few hours.

    @wereatheist. Is the phrase “collecting mushrooms” somehow inherently ronk Englush? I have used it a lot in the pas. Oopsie?

  4. Jazzlet says

    In the UK we call that paticular Coprinus the Shaggy Ink Cap, they are good if you fry them briskly, they were the first mushroom I collected for myself as they are so distinctive. charly is correct that you must not drink alcohol for 48 hours before or after consuming Shaggy Ink Caps as they contain chemicals that inhibit the breakdown of alcohol in the liver, and you will end up with a headache almost immediately, the stronger the alcohol the quicker the effect.

  5. wereatheist says

    @Charly: I dunno about rong Eenglish, but “collect” has some feel of “adding to a collection” with it, so “gather” fits something so quickly disintegrating better.
    I’ve occasionally had a glass or two of wine with these, and never noticed anything bad, but this could be due to genetics, e. g. my variant of alcohol dehydrogenase won’t be blocked.

  6. kestrel says

    I think the people worried about Coprinus and alcohol are referring to atramentarius. You can read more about it here: although I am not wild about the photos they used. (Because I don’t think they are very typical.) As far as anyone knows, Coprinus comatus does not have the same effect. I was hesitant to identify that as comatus because it’s already started to deliquesce and at this stage does not look typical for the species. Coprinus is a big family. However you guys could well be right, it could be comatus. It does not look like atramentarius to me, I have seen it before, and this just does not look like it.

  7. says

    @kestrel, this is one instance where even the mycologists during my university studies erred on the side of caution. That is, the Coprinus species that can be found around here are edible and cannot be confused with poisonous species, but they might be confused between themselves. So unless one is absolutely sure that the fungus they collected is one of those without the toxins -- which even those experienced mycologists said they cannot be always sure -- then they recommended to not drink alcohol after consuming them just as a matter of course.

    I never drink alcohol after eating mushrooms as a matter of principle, but that is no hassle to me for I drink so little alcohol that I am nearly a teetotaler.

  8. wereatheist says

    After reading the wiki article referenced by kestrel, I think it’s my aldehyde dehydrogenase which won’t be blocked.

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