thefirststep2000
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is this mushroom edible?

I found this mushroom in our front lawn... we have a lot of these kind of mushrooms... wondering if i can make any use of them?

How to upload images?

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lorax
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For images, you need Photobucket, Picassa, or similar - then use the [img] tags and post them here.

If it's a mushroom you found in a fairy ring, they're generally edible when they're very small, and only in small quantities. If it's something else, we'll need to see pictures.

tedln
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Most members of the Amanita family of mushrooms grow in "fairy rings" as the true fungus spreads outward below ground. The above ground mushroom is only the reproductive part of the fungus. The Amanita family also includes the "Death Cap" and "Destroying Angel" varieties which are among the most deadly. Other than a liver transplant, no cure exists for poisoning by these mushrooms. Both mushrooms look very similar to the little "button" mushrooms found in grocery stores. I didn't look on your post to see where you are from, but the Death Cap is thought to be almost endemic on the west coast, mostly in Northern California. Some estimates claim it comprises almost 80% of of visible mushrooms in Northern California. They are usually found under Oak Trees. It is also found in the Northeastern United States to a lesser degree and is normally found under pine trees.

Many people who have died from eating the death cap in the United States were Asian immigrants who mistakenly thought they were finding their favorite mushroom back in Asia called the straw mushroom. The straw mushroom and the death cap are very difficult to tell apart.

Rule of thumb, if you don't know mushrooms, don't eat them from the wild. Don't ask someone elses opinion unless you perform all the steps to identify it such as checking the spore color, attached veil or detached veil, gill structure, and a few others. Most identification can be found on the internet. Start by doing a google search for "Mushrooms found in your geographic area"..

Ted
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lorax
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The difference being that Deathcaps have white gills, and straw mushrooms yellow.

I definitely wouldn't advise eating anything without a concrete ID.

tedln
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You are right Lorax, but color is not a reliable indicator because the mushroom (including gills) may exhibit different colors depending on age, location, growing conditions, available moisture and other things. Most visual descriptions of the Death Cap contain the modifier "usually" regarding color. The Destroying Angel is typically described as pure white in color, but can have variations of color. The one color that seems to be stable in varieties is the spore color. That is determined by placing a mushroom cap on a white sheet of paper with the gills down. You can tap on the mushroom and some spores will drop onto the paper for color identification. The best way is to leave the cap on the paper overnight and most of the spores will drop from the cap to the paper. Once you have identified the spore color, it is only one of many indicators used for positive identification.

Another thing people need to understand is the fact that many common lawn mushrooms, while not traditionally defined as toxic; may contain psychotropic or hallucinogenic compounds giving them the common group name of "Magic Mushrooms". They have the same effect as LSD and their physical possession is controlled by laws. There have been reports of users dieing from an overdose of the compounds after consuming the mushrooms or drinking tea made from them.

Ted
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Kisal
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tedln wrote:Another thing people need to understand is the fact that many common lawn mushrooms, while not traditionally defined as toxic; may contain psychotropic or hallucinogenic compounds giving them the common group name of "Magic Mushrooms".
Indeed! I find those in my yard quite often. I had a guy come knocking on my door once, asking permission to pick them ... which he did not get, btw! They were in my back yard, which he couldn't get into without being confronted by my Komondor. He had seen the mushrooms ... and, I presume, the very large barking, dog :lol: ... through my chain link fence. :roll:
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lily51
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Only eat a wild mushroom if it has been positively identified by an expert.
Several years ago in this area, 6 friends/family weren't careful, all ended up hospitilaized and 3 needed liver transplants. Not to overreact, but they are better left alone if you don't know what you are doing.

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applestar
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Last fall I became interested in growing culinary mushrooms. My plan was to eventually graduate from growing from commercially available indoor kits to growing "seeded" patches of mushrooms outside in the garden.

During my research, it occurred to me that just like being able to identify intentionally grown vegetable plants vs. weeds, I would need to learn to positively identify ALL mushrooms growing in my garden (and I can think of at least 1/2 dozen different looking "wild" mushrooms I've seen out there -- yet unID'd) and find out how safe they are if I intend to grow mushrooms outside.

As it turned out, we had the worst drought ever this entire season, so I'm kind of glad I wasn't able to proceed with my outdoor mushroom growing project early this spring.

As we "speak" there are some very interesting white-capped mushrooms growing in my tomato bed.... 8)

sciencegal
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I live the very dry high desert. We've had some rain but days apart so the ground dries out before the next rain. A few days ago I was walking the property and saw a huge white mushroom growing in an open hillside area. It was about a foot across and had a stem that was about 5 inches in diameter. It was pure white and round in shape. It looked like a big white ball. I thought it was a rock at first. It was so surprising because it seemed so out of place growing near a small cactus. I didn't eat it.

tedln
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Sciencegal,

That sounds like a giant western puffball mushroom. They are considered "choice" edible eaten pan fried, grilled, or many other ways. Simply dice them into soups or stews, or slice them 1/4" thick and dip them in egg wash and flour before pan frying them. They need to be harvested before the inside turns to spores.

They grow as large a a soccer ball and it's not uncommon for a kid to kick one that has matured. At that point, a huge cloud of brown to black powder erupts. The powder is the spore.

The following link provides some photos of the puffball. Don't pay any attention to the last photo because it is a soccer ball which the writer considers the only dangerous member of the genus.

https://www.wildmanstevebrill.com/Mushrooms.Folder/Giant%20Puffball.html

Ted
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sciencegal
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Thanks. It didn't look like the western puffball but it did look like the giant puffball although not quite that large. I'll keep my eye out for more of them

tedln
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The nice thing about puffballs is the fact that it is difficult to make a fatal mistake. I'm not aware of any toxic varieties. You may find some that simply don't taste good or you may find some that are aged past their prime eating stage. I think the prime eating size is about 6" in diameter.

Puffball cooked in soups, broths, or stews reminds me of tofu except it has a distinct mushroom taste.

Ted
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garden5
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My personal mushroom rule: If it's growing in the wild and resembles a mushroom.....I'm not eating it!

Now, this is just me. There are folks who have eaten wild mushrooms their whole live and been fine......then there are others who haven't been so fine. It's these "others" that have inspired my rule.
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wymansmind
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Turkey tail mushrooms

I have recently been collecting wild turkey tail mushrooms and drinking tea made from them. They are very easy to identify, and a lot of research has been done on there medicinal properties. The tea has a nice flavor sweetened with a bit of honey, not bitter at all.

tedln
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I don't remember the scientific identification of the "Wild Turkey Mushroom", but if I remember correctly, it is what is known as a shelf mushroom usually found growing as a shelf on the side of dead or dieing trees. It is very hard and woody making it inedible to the human pallet. I didn't know they made tea from it. What are the benefits of the tea? I don't remember it having any psychotropic effects which is the most common use for mushroom tea.

Ted
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wymansmind
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Turkey tail mushrooms

It's not hard like the artist conk, also a shelf mushroom, more of a leathery consistency , It has no psychotropic effects. The benefits are for boosting immunity, and certain types of cancer.

tedln
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I've always been aware that mushrooms contain many different chemical compounds. Some are insignificant yielding no benefit and no harm to humans. Others are psychotropic and others are highly toxic. I'm not familiar with the medicinally beneficial properties of mushrooms. I assume most of those beneficial properties are identified as "antioxidants" which destroy free ions. Some plants like the Pacific Yew contain compounds like Taxol which have been scientifically proven to be beneficial in the treatment of breast cancer. Taxol has now been synthesized by the pharmaceutical industry and is widely used. What are the claims made for the compounds found in the Wild Turkey Tail mushroom and how have they been proven. Is it only a homeopathic remedy or has it been synthesized and used as a specific treatment?

Ted
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applestar
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I've been eye'ing what appears to be Wild Turkey mushrooms that occasionally grows in my backyard, but in my research I came across a mention of False Turkey Mushrooms. So I haven't been brave enough to try them.

HOWEVER, it's a coicidence that this thread has been revived. This very afternoon, I came across a mushroom that looked every bit like a puffball mushroom in my front yard. It was about the size of a good sized grapefruit -- I don't know if that would put it in the right size range for the Giant Puffball mushroom. It was growing where the weeping Cherry tree has grown a very long root reaching almost to the house, probably to take advantage of where the rainspout drains out. Last year, I found a large salad plate sized mound of brown powder in the grass that I had guessed had been a Puffball mushroom that had gone to spore, and it had been located above another long exploratory root of the same Cherry tree.

Now, I have read many, many descriptions of (Giant) Puffball mushrooms, and that they are nearly the safest wild-picked mushroom to try as a neophyte. I cut it open top to bottom as recommended and it looked like I'd cut a bread/pizza dough ball in half. All within safe ID parameters. So I decided to go ahead and take the culinary plunge. :bouncey:

I sliced, EVOO/butter sauteed and ate a piece. Yum! :D Over about two hour period, I ended up eating almost 1/4 of the entire mushroom (probably more than I should, if there was any doubt at all but it was really good... :roll:). I've sauteed the other 1/4 with some greens and am now cooking it with brown rice and green shelled California #5 black-eyed peas for dinner. I've sliced up the other 1/2 and put them in the dehydrator since DH is refusing to trust my ID and I don't want to eat the whole thing by myself right away. (Well, it's probably better that at least ONE of us remains cautious :oops:).

If I you don't see me come back to the forum tomorrow. You'll know what happened. :wink: :lol:

wymansmind
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Turkey tail mushrooms

Her is a link for some information on this mushroom. https://wildbranchmushrooms.com/turkey-tail
I hope this is helpful.

I have not found any of the giant puffballs up here in New Hampshire, But i have read that they are really good.

We had a really good rain last night, and i found an abundance of mushrooms on my hunt today.

tedln
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I rarely search for mushrooms anymore. Don't know why, just seems like there is always something else that needs to be done. If I lived in the cooler climes of the North Eastern United States, my favorite to search for would be the Morel. There is a false Morel that many people mistakenly eat. It isn't toxic, but it also doesn't taste very good. Probably the most common highly desirable mushroom in the North East is the Oyster mushroom. Many people call it the Elephant Ear mushroom. It is prepared by dipping it in egg wash and then dusting with flour, salt, and pepper. It is then deep fried until crisp. They are absolutely delicious. You need to find them before they are more than a couple of days old. They quickly become infested with tiny black flies or beetles which can be washed off, but it is hard to get all of them out of the gills of the mushrooms. Most people simply submerge the mushrooms in a large bucket of water and let the bugs float out of the mushrooms. The nice thing about the oyster mushroom is the fact that when you find one, you will probably need a five gallon bucket to haul all of it home. If you harvest it and go back in a week, it will have been replaced.

Most of the giant puffball mushrooms I find are in dry, arid areas. Often they are found when it hasn't rained in weeks and no other signs of life exist on top of the dirt. Suddenly you look up and see what looks like a soccer ball without the polygon lines on it. So long as they have the white mozzarella texture on the inside, they are good to eat.

Ted
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applestar
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Hey, I'm still here! :D :wink:

Ted, that basically describes the weather conditions around here. Drought all summer, then the excessive fall rains including northward passage of TS Nicole that initiated 3 flood alerts.

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applestar
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Here are some photos of the mushroom that I ate.
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image8174.jpg[/img] [img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image8175.jpg[/img] [img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/Image8173.jpg[/img]

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