Identification: Leccium insigne

Discussion in 'Fungi, Lichens and Slime Molds' started by allelopath, Jul 20, 2006.

  1. allelopath

    allelopath Active Member 10 Years

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    Is this Leccium insigne (Aspen orange cap)?

    According to "Mushrooms of Colorado and the southern Rocky Mountains", it is edible, but then it cautions:

    The Rocky Mountain Poison Center received occasional reports of serious gastric problems, some requiring hospitalization, from eating moderate amounts of so-called orange caps, usually well cooked, found under aspen in various part of Colorado. Mycophagists are urged to report to the Rocky Mountain Poison Center any problems associated with eating Aspen Orange Cap or similar Leccinums. It is becoming obvious that Coloardo has a poisonous species or variety of L. insigne or L. Auranticum, but so far it has not been identified.

    Anybody know anything about this? I don't want to be a statistic, so I think I'll pass on eating it.

    I did indeed find it in a stand of aspens, in northern New Mexico, which is very similar to Colorado (at least the part that I'm in)
     

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  2. chickenofthewoods

    chickenofthewoods Member

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    I would say that the reports referred to are similar in kind to the reports of morels causing illness. Or Chicken of the Woods. Or almost any other edible mushroom.

    I think, regardless of whether the anecdote says "thoroughly cooked" or not, that the blame more often lies with one of two factors:

    Improper cooking is the most common mistake folks make with ANY mushroom. The cell wall is made up of indigestible proteins, including chitin, which tend to give the stomach serious issues if not cooked WELL.

    The other factor would be OVEREATING.

    For your own sake, cook all mushrooms thoroughly....

    I think your ids are correct by the way, good eating.

    i have to go suddenly....
     
  3. allelopath

    allelopath Active Member 10 Years

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    Found quite a few more specimens...here's a more mature one.
     

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  4. Chuck White

    Chuck White Active Member

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    Guys, I try to stay healthy by calling them ALL 'toadstools' and not eating ANY of them!
     
  5. Harri Harmaja

    Harri Harmaja Active Member 10 Years

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    Guys, let's take allelopath's report seriously! Exactly the same has been noted repeatedly in my home country Finland. The red-capped species of Leccinum are concerned: L. aurantiacum coll. (companion of esp. Populus) and L. versipelle coll. (companion esp. of Betula). Both species have been "split" into some segegate species, even by Finnish mycologists, but very recent molecular work has abandoned most of them. However, I do not consider the specicific taxonomy being yet settled though.

    These fungi are still considered not truly poisonous but edible here but requiring thorough parboiling and rinsing which should inhibit the stomach troubles to develop.

    Harri Harmaja
    http://www.fmnh.helsinki.fi/users/harmaja/vasculars.htm
     
  6. allelopath

    allelopath Active Member 10 Years

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    I received the following in an email from Marilyn Shaw (a mushroom toxicology expert):
    "
    I believe at least some, if not all, species of Leccinum contain a GI irritant-type toxin, that can rise to a level capable of causing fairly severe illness, but only under certain as yet undetermined conditions (habitat, weather, etc.), even when well cooked. Leccinum should never be eaten raw. Gastrointestinal symptoms and general feelings of malaise may persist for two or three days. Contrary to some published reports, these illnesses are not confined to Colorado. Illness may occur in individuals who have eaten Leccinum before without ill effect. I advise that those who wish to do so may continue eating Leccinum, but that they should never serve them to others, nor tell others they are a recommended edible. In my opinion, they are not a choice edible. I would appreciate reports from anyone who has had a problem with any cooked Leccinum.
    "
     
  7. Mycos

    Mycos Active Member

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    Leccinum

    That's very interesting because I've never heard that before. In fact, if it weren't coming from anyone less than Marilyn Shaw, I'd take this with a grain of salt. But she has long worked in conjunction with large and reputable poison control or toxicology committees. I see her name on any number of articles or papers on this topic, so I'm going to have to change my ways on this one it seems.

    What I'm speaking of in particular is that I've long felt that the Boletes (Leccinum, Boletus, Suillus.... a few others genera with few species) are generally safe to eat as long as you avoid those with red pore-mouths. And since they're quite plentiful in the forest and fleshy like a regular gilled mushroom (the pores are often slimy and should be stripped out), I thought that knowing how to ID the group was a good tip to give people who may ever want (or need) to forage for food in the wild. Darn it all!!

    As for the species you have there, theres a few that look quite similar to that. Those ones are best ID'ed by noting the tree they grow under and any color(s) they stains when cut open. A couple of them are rather amazing, starting from white then going through red or wine, burgundy, ink blue to purple then almost black, all right before your eyes....sometimes in only a few minutes for the entire sequence. I don't know...maybe you have to be a mushroom nut to appreciate it, but it seems pretty bizarre to me.

    And speaking of Marilyn Shaw, I was sent a couple of summaries of the reported poisonings in N.America. Her contribution was substantial it appears. I'll forward an email copy to anyone who is interested. I'm not sure if the UBC site here has control of my email addy, but if so, I am giving permission to release it to list-members who asking for it. If that's a problem, let me know here and we'll work something out.
     
  8. allelopath

    allelopath Active Member 10 Years

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    It is indeed interesting, To me, its another indication of how little humans know about nature and also how dynamice nature is . Like this:
    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/storie...OOMS?SITE=CAVAL&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT
    "But recent genetic mutations have made some mushrooms, consumed for years in Indian communities, newly poisonous,"

    I see only 2 Lecciums here, L. insigne and L. fibrillosum, both readily identifiable. I collected and consumed L. fibrillosum once. I'm not too disappointed in this news because, while they are edible, I would not call them choice, mainly because the flesh turns a dark, dirty brown when cooked. Not attractive.

    If someone wants the summaries, I would think something could be worked out via private message.
     

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