Yesterday I went to a brilliant fungi foray! We learnt lots about how to identity different species and lots about them like which are edible and poisonous! Here is what I learnt:
LILAC/ROSY BONNET (Mycena Pura) – This is a common species in both deciduous and coniferous woodland, but it also occurs in some grassland sites. These beauties have a radiant sort of smell that I think is like a radish and contain a bit of poison and so should not be eaten!
WOOD BLEWIT (Clitocybe nuda) – These lovely coloured mushrooms have to be one of my favourites! They have a blue/violet cap and are edible – I took some home for my dinner!
CANDLE SNUFF (Xylaria hypoxylon) – A very common fungi in the UK and grows in groups on dead wood, especially on rotting stumps of broadleaved trees. It is often found growing through moss. This fungus has medicinal properties; it is both anti-viral and active against tumours.
COMMON PUFFBALL (Lycoperdon perlatum) – Always found growing in soil, this fungus is edible (as well as all of the other species of puffball if the inside is white) – I also had some of these for my dinner!
STUMP PUFFBALL (Apioperdon pyriforme) – When young and fresh, Stump Puffballs are a whitish colour, whereas those pictured below have darker outer surfaces and the spores masses inside them will be maturing. At this stage these fungi will have become inedible.
PEDESTAL PUFFBALL – this puffball can be easily confused with earthballs which look similar on the outside but are black on the inside and are poisonous!
COMMON FUNNEL (Clitocybe gibba) – This beautifully coloured fungus grows in leaf litter in deciduous woodland and rough grass or heaths. The dark cream or pale brown cap can be 10cm diameter at maturity.
GREEN ELF CAP (Chlorociboria aeruginascens) – Although the actual fruit bodies are infrequently seen, the green staining of the wood is commonly seen! They are such a beautiful turquoisey colour and are found in decomposing wood!
JELLY FUNGUS – A number of the jelly fungi can be eaten raw; poisonous jelly fungus is rare. However many have an unpalatable taste and texture.
Did you know there are over 14,000 species of fungi, so get out into nature and find some for yourself!
But please be careful if you are foraging for fungi for eating purposes as different species can be easily confused and some are very poisonous and deadly!