Sunday, June 15, 2014

Mushroom ID Technique: The Spore Print

Was it an edible "Green Cracking Russula" (Russula virscens) or a mere moldy-looking shroom? If the former, according to the books, it's three weeks early, so I wasn't certain. One credible form of evidence is a spore print. Cut the cap from a fairly fresh shroom and lay it gills down on a plain white or black surface for 2 to 24 hours; when you don't have a guide to tell you whether the spores of your suspect mushroom should be light or dark, tape together pieces of black and white paper and lay the cap in the middle. The spores here left a ghostly white print, as the book said; other ID indications are the cracked, "mosaic-like" greenishness on top, cream-colored gills, size (3"), situation (often found singly, as this one was), convex top, brittleness, and thick stalk. Edible, even said to be good, but not appetizing. And also on the plate were what I thought might be chanterelles, again about two weeks early, but there are many trumpet-shaped mushrooms, some not good eating. These must have been older; they did not leave a spore print.

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