Identification: Found at the base of a large cedar

Discussion in 'Fungi, Lichens and Slime Molds' started by aceshigh, Nov 16, 2008.

  1. aceshigh

    aceshigh Member

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    Help a beginner here. I've seen these frequently over the years but need a positive id. Are they edible? Good?

    Thanks - Bob
     

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  2. Stilbella

    Stilbella Active Member

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    It looks like they stained red when you cut them. Did they? And over how long a period of time?
     
  3. aceshigh

    aceshigh Member

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    Hi,

    Nooo, the cut stems (purposely bruised) remained quite white, fading over several hours to a light gray. The gills, originally white, became a very, very light salmon pink. I am still waiting for a spore color print to show. Have changed from a white paper to a blue paper. No spore color yet.

    Mystifying - Bob
     
  4. Stilbella

    Stilbella Active Member

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    I'm pretty sure that your spore print will be chocolate brown, and that what you have is an agaricus, but which agaricus is the question. That they didn't bruise red when you cut them helps a bit (the photo of the cut mushrooms looked like there's some red on the stem, but many do discolour a bit reddish after handling, so that could be what I see). The keys that I have access to are difficult. Agaricus can be hard to pin down.

    Did you chance to smell them? Odour can be a very important piece of the puzzle when identifying mushrooms.
     
  5. aceshigh

    aceshigh Member

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    I agree with you that its probably one of the agaricales and that they are difficult to pin down. Odor is non distinctive, just the usual earthy mushroomy fragrance. I'll wait for that spore print tomorrow and go from there. In that these are appearing in my back yard and easy to harvest, I hate to pass up a good edible.

    Thanks for your help, stilbella - Bob
     
  6. fish dr

    fish dr Active Member

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    Hi Neighbour,

    You're just across the straight from us here in Victoria.

    They look like Agaricus praeclaresquamosus. They are about the most common mushroom found in quantity in this area, and for most people are not edible. They cause a lot of people gastric trouble. In my more naieve days I fried some of these up, and they smelled really unappetizing. Starvation food - maybe.

    When crushed they often emit a "chemical" smell of phenol,, however they often don't smell strongly when young and old. If you scrathc a bit of the surface off the cap, the flesh exposed underneath usually turns a soft, slight sulfur yellow within ten or fifteen seconds.

    These can be quite close to white, but in my experience always have a bit of a dingey gray look at the centre of the cap. Yours are very dingy looking. Perhaps they are a bit old.

    Alas, edible agaricus seem to be rather uncommon hereabouts, with the grand and wonderful exception of the Prince, Agaricus augustus, which is the next most common large agaricus in our area, and a few meadow mushrooms in the fall.

    These usually fruit in June and September, weather accomodating. This year they were late owing to scarce moisture.

    Although there may be some mushrooms of scientific interest that grow on cedar duff, or mycorrhizally with them, I have personally never found anything edible under what we call cedars, (and the rest of the world call arborvitae.) "True" Cedars have needles, not fronds.

    Maybe some of the others here will weigh in with different experience under cedars. (!?)

    Happy hunting
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2008
  7. Frog

    Frog Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    There aren't any known ectomycorrhizals with cedar (cypress), no large fruiting fungal associates. However, there are some big fungi (EM and otherwise) that fruit close to cedar as apparently there is some nutritional quality to the soil around cedars which is appreciated by some fungi.

    My memory says there are some arbuscular mycorrhizal associates with cedar (cypress) but the fruiting bodies of these are minuscule.

    Agaricus are not mycorrhizal at all.

    whee!
    frog
     

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