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Registered: 02/23/04
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Last seen: 7 years, 11 months
California Wild Mushroom Idenfification Help
    #2372139 - 02/23/04 03:31 PM (14 years, 3 months ago)

Since I'm a newbie here, I can't post all my pictures so I will link you all to the post I made on mycotopia.net.

A couple of interesting mushrooms including some sort of morel look alike that I can't ID and this odd purple one. Any help would be appreciated.

Link to Forum thread. http://www.mycotopia.net/discus/messages/2/115241.html?1077564913

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Re: California Wild Mushroom Idenfification Help [Re: effgee]
    #2372459 - 02/23/04 04:40 PM (14 years, 3 months ago)

Since you seem to have the most interest in it, we'll cover your false morel first. At first glance it appears to be close to Gyromitra esculenta, which is deadly poisonous. Without a microscope it will be impossible to be certain of the ID to species. Several closely related species are also deadly poisonous, although many of them are eaten. The toxin has the odd characteristic that it produces no symptoms until you have consumed very nearly a fatal dosage. As a result, many people eat them without realizing how close they may be coming to poisoning themselves to death. The toxin takes a long time (many days at least) to be eliminated from your body, so poisonings have occurred when somebody eats some one day and a few more the next.

You state (on the other board) that the purplish mushroom has a cream colored spore print. That suggests that it is Clitocybe nuda, considered a choice edible mushroom. Did you do the spore print on white paper? To judge the color correctly it needs to be done that way. Most books describe the color for this species as pale pinkish tan. If the spore print color is that color, then you have C. nuda or one of its very close relatives which are edible also. Another thing to verify is that they usually have a fruity odor. If you decide to try eating any, thoroughly cook and eat only a small piece (smaller than a fingernail) and keep the rest in your refrigerator. If you don't get sick by the next morning then it's ok to eat the rest. If you get sick and go the emergency room, take the part you left in the refrigerator with you. They will be able to get a local mycologist to look at it and verify what it is. Incidentally, none of the lookalikes are deadly.

For the others, you state that the spore print was rust colored. Your photos show that the gills are free and there doesn't appear to be any sign of a cortina. If you look at the spore print again (hopefully you did them on white paper) in white light, could they be described as a deep fleshy pink to red color? Their overall appearance suggests Pluteus to me. If so, they should have been growing from wood. Pluteus cervinus is considered edible, but not something you should bother avidly seeking.

Let us know about habitat for them. What were they growing from? This is very important for accurate identification.

Happy mushrooming!

Happy mushrooming!

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Registered: 02/23/04
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Re: California Wild Mushroom Idenfification Help [Re: ToxicMan]
    #2372775 - 02/23/04 06:08 PM (14 years, 3 months ago)

Thank you for your wonderful reply. I thought as much about the Morel look alike.

Well, all these mushrooms were found withing a 300 yard radius within each other. Along with some Boletes that were already rotten.

The white one was found in an open area among various wild grasses, and were found in small isolated spotting all over the grassy hillsides I was at. The purple ones, much rarer over the hillside, but found in the same general conditions.

The morel was found in same type of grass under an oak tree which was rich in oak leaves in various states of compost.

All spore prints were done on white paper. I will get pictures of the spore prints when I can, but I would agree with the spore color of the Clitocybe nuda as being what you said.

The spore print of the white mushrooms was definitly rust colored. Dark redish, not pink though. The one I picked was found in the grass area, but I do recall seeing several groups flourishing on rotten logs nearby. All these were found 2 days ago in the Central Valley in California. So, fairly temperate zone as well.

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Mushrooms, Mycology and Psychedelics >> Mushroom Hunting and Identification

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