Thursday, April 24, 2014
Mushroom Identification Challenge #1
Mushrooms are I.D.'d more by their shapes and gills and stems and location rather than their size and color; size and color can vary with age or conditions. This bulbous thing had no shape, no gills, and no stem. Didn't have the mushroom handbook along. Didn't want to cut it and take it home; it was a protected area, and I had no knife or basket with me. So I took photos and at home enlarged and studied them, and downloaded and consulted a mushroom-I.D. app ($1.69 at Google Play, and worth it) I can use next time I'm in the field.
This is a Bearded Tooth (Hericium erinaceus), so fresh its beard hasn't had time to grow long and shaggy. Yes, it's edible, but I was not hungry, and it is good mushroom-hunter ethics to catch-and-release for someone else, or someone hungrier, to enjoy. Looks kind of like a coconut-covered Hostess Sno-Ball. Or a white bath mat.