The cap colour is indicative, the name “Clouded” comes from the grey/white colour of the cap which is always darker in the centre and the crinkled edges of the older fruits are also true to this species but many fungi have these characteristics. The other information that I am getting from these pictures is the way that they are growing together in quantity, that is also indicative of this species.
We want to find out what it is, so I am going to gather as much information as I can.
I need to look at the stem and the underside of the mushroom. Is there a ring on the stem? does it sit in a cup? Is it hairy or scaly? I need to know if this mushroom has gills, many of them don’t, they often have a flat porous underside and it is absolutely vital to record this. When I cut it I am looking at how the gills join to the stem and the colour of them.
The way that I approach this is to try and photograph everything that I can possibly think of.
Sometimes scent is quite faint and the best way to smell a mushroom is to put some in a bag.
Wow! OW! That wasn’t really necessary. This mushroom has a very strong odour. I have heard this smell described as unpleasant but I didn’t think so. It had a strong mushroomy/earthy smell and my first thought was that I would like to eat it 🙂
Something else that you should look at is if it discolours when cut or bruised.
Here is an old video of a friend and I demonstrating a fungi called Blushing Bracket. “Blushing” because it bruises very easily.
Some fungi does, ours didn’t.
The other thing that you should take note of is where you found it. If it was growing on wood do you know what kind of wood? What trees are around and what other plants. Soil type might be important and if you know what plants are growing there that can say a lot about the soil. If you don’t know then photograph them.
The next thing that you can do is to take a spore print but up until now everything that I have done has been on location and has only taken me a few minutes. I didn’t need a spore print for this one so we will do that in another post.
This may all seem like a lot of trouble to go to but this is what I like. I go out looking for things that I don’t recognise and I identify them and learn about them. I was pretty determined to identify this mushroom.
If you do want to identify a fungus then please at least give us the cap, stem and gills if it has these things. It makes it so much easier.
The most interesting thing that I found out concerned it’s edibility. The common advice is to avoid it. It is not poisonous but it can have an adverse effect. It causes gastric upset in a lot of people and some people it doesn’t effect at all. Tummy upset? Not very serious 🙂
I quickly found two blogs where people described eating it, one of them said…
and the other one said…
The trick is to try a little and then wait for twenty four hours. Find out if you are one of the lucky ones. There is a lot of it and it will regrow in the same spot. I think that if it is that good it is worth taking the test 🙂
Note: there are a few white gilled, pale capped fungi that are more poisonous than this one. Make sure that you know what you are playing with.