Tag Archives: Toadstool

The Clouded Agaric

If I had found just one of these fungi on it’s own I would probably have passed it by. It would have seemed unexceptional and pretty indistinct to me.Clouded Agaric

Clouded Agaric

Clouded AgaricWhat made it beautiful was the scale. These were big mushrooms.

Clouded Agaric

Clouded AgaricSo now we need to find out what it is. The pictures above are nice and they contain some important information but not enough for an ID.

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.

Clouded Agaric

Clouded Agaric

Clouded Agaric

Clouded Agaric

Clouded Agaric

Clouded Agaric

Clouded Agaric

Clouded AgaricEven with these pictures there is still a very good chance that I won’t be able to identify the species. There are other things that you can look at. Does the fungi have a noticeable odour.

Sometimes scent is quite faint and the best way to smell a mushroom is to put some in a bag.

Clouded AgaricLet the scent concentrate in the bag for a few minutes, then open it up and breathe it in deeply. (Scratch you screen now)

Clouded AgaricWow! 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.

Clouded Agaric

Clouded AgaricBut it is just as important to know that it doesn’t discolour as it is to know that it does.

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.

Clouded Agaric

Clouded Agaric

Clouded AgaricSo what did I get from all of this discovery?

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…

“My God, what a lovely flavour.”

and the other one said…

“Really really tasty strong flavour”

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.

Clouded Agaric

Is this Blue?

I don’t know. I can’t tell without a microscope. It is probably blue. It is beautiful and I am going to post it.

You have probably seen this a hundred times. Somebody will post a picture of a fungi…

Unidentified Toadstool.

Unidentified ToadstoolCan anyone tell me what this is?

No of course they cant! I don’t do that I photograph specimens in great detail and when I still can’t get a positive ID I get very frustrated.

FrustratedI know that you are frustrated too but you see, I am being paid to be mean to you.

Friends are just the stepping stones on the path to success.

I was ambitious once. I will get a bottle of whiskey for looking after her for five days and some things are more important than friendship 🙂

Before I even think about photographing a new mushroom there are certain criteria that must be met.

There must be something distinctive about it, something that makes it stand out from the rest. That will make it easier to identify and it also means that I will recognise it again when I see it.

The other thing is that I must have good specimens. There is no point at all in photographing a single, old, half decayed cap, that will tell you nothing. I want a fresh young fungus in good condition but even better than that is a group of them showing different stages of development.

The big plus for me is if it can also be beautiful (almost a necessity)

This group tick all of the boxes.

StrophariaThe pictures that you are about to see are not good enough/ do not contain enough information for a positive ID. Please keep that in mind when you are photographing new fungi for yourself. You have to give us a chance if you want to know what it is.

Stropharia

Stropharia

Stropharia

Stropharia

StrophariaOkay  I am going to leave that little family group intact in case I want to come back and have another look. There is a little one on the outside of the picture that I am  going to look at closer.

StrophariaHello Baby 🙂

Stropharia

Stropharia

Stropharia

Stropharia

Stropharia

Stropharia

Stropharia

Stropharia

StrophariaSo it is Stropharia species. If you find a blue mushroom like this it is almost certainly a Stropharia. They are commonly called Roundheads.

These are probably Stropharia caerulea, Blue Roundheads, they are the most common species but without microscopic examination we can’t know for sure. It might not be blue, it could be Verdigris. (much rarer)

So it goes. They are beautiful and worth posting.

StrophariaNow I am going to take Miss Grumpy out and try and put a smile on her face, even if that means feeding the sheep some popcorn 🙂

Grumpy