Friday, August 10, 2012

A Neat Mushroom Find

While I was out and about this weekend, this enormous mushroom caught my eye. It was growing alongside our road, between the neighbor's mailboxes and their drive way. It was the largest mushroom I have ever seen in our area. The cap alone was easily 8 inches across and the stem was really thick. I was especially surprised to see a new mushroom growing in August. Normally our mushroom "seasons" are April and then again in October, after the rains have returned. We haven't had any significant moisture now in over a month.

I took a bunch of pictures and returned home. I then got out my Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest book from Timber Press ( thanks Santa!). After a little searching and comparing I think I have a positive identification.

I am pretty sure this is "Agaricus augustus" - the Prince. It describes this as a fairly common mushroom that appears in the Summer, particularly in well watered areas underneath true cedars. It is also found in forests, along disturbed areas, such as trails or roads. Among its distinguishing features are its large size and the warm brown color of the cap scales. My find matches this description pretty well.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi, Lexa, I just found one tonight that was not quite so far along but nearly the same size. I had to de-maggot it, I found out they are much better when young, but then fried it for quite a long low simmer in butter only and a dash of salt and black pepper, and it was delish! To be sure of no bad reaction I only ate about 5 slices, saving the rest for tomorrow's omelet with mung bean sprouts and a little water chestnut, black olive and sharp cheddar.
The world is still a beautiful place even though it is going crazy.
I also found some oyster mushrooms 5 feet up on a tree, angelic with the light...I ate em after I was sure. Yum, going to try to grow them myself with a kit I picked up at grocery outlet. No fuku dust that way.
The previous week my 3x3 pea patch was invaded by another mushroom which is edible but apparently disgusting...I didn't eat it but it was what sparked a renewed interest in fungi and mycology.

Happy exploring. Be safe and verify before you eat.