Monday, October 02, 2006

Mushrooom ID class

I signed up for an introductory course on mushroom identification at PSMS, and went for the second class on Sunday night. The first class covered some of the basics terminology and groups of mushrooms, and walked us through the use of a key to identify a mushroom. The second class mainly focused on keying mushrooms people had brought in. Almost everyone had been out over the weekend hunting for mushrooms, and there were some really impressive specimens!

A and I went out to Tiger Mountain earlier on Sunday and managed to find quite a few along the Bus Loop trail and Tradition Lake loop. Here are some of the mushrooms I found.

  • Boletus Chrysenteron. I had a fairly old specimen which made identification tricky. The stipe had started blackening and the normal reddish colour was almost impossible to see. Not good to eat - I tasted a little bit to see if it was peppery (to decide one keying question) and it had practically no flavour.
  • Conocybe Filaris. This turns out to be one of the most poisonous mushrooms in the Pacific NW! (Go me!) Luckily it's small and not likely to be something you'd pick accidentally to eat. Still, good to know... It commonly grows on compost, mulch and wood chips.
  • Pholiota Aurivella (Golden Pholiota). These were growing all over a dead tree right next to the path. I initially missed and luckily A spotted them. Mine were small and most still had the partial veil still intact which made them look like puffballs.

The class also keyed this one that someone brought in: also has a decent hyper-linked mushroom key, which looks quite nifty. (Not all Pacific NW mushrooms are there though). We use Mushrooms Demystified in the class. A hyper-linked version of that would be cool!

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