October 26, 2021
This Monday’s mushroom was found today (10/26/2020) which is exciting. I found what I believe to be, after extensive googling, young Wood Blewits (Clitocybe nuda/Lepista nuda). They’re in the area where we store plants near my toolbox. I may wait a day or two for them to mature more and then I’ll collect a spore print to help confirm the identification.
Blewits, when young, have a pronounced blue/lavender color with in-rolled edges which is what the pictures indicate. They fruit in mid to late October, or when the nights start to get colder and approach frost temperatures. They can grow in urban environments, and are usually found near compost sites, so I don’t think it’s a coincidence they’re growing a few feet away from where I dump all my excess organic material from pruning and weeding. Another interesting fact is that the hyphae (long filamentous structures that together form the mycelium, the body of the fungus) seek out bacteria colonies, penetrate them, kill them, and suck up their nutrients. Gnarly. When the mushrooms mature the caps turn brown so that’s something to watch for as well. Edible when cooked, if so inclined.
Fabrice, Will, and I were also looking at what we believe to be oyster mushrooms (we went back and forth but think they’re Pleurotus ostreatus) growing on the dead wood of the sweetgum habitat tree by the bankrock woodchip trail. It’s an example of why it’s important to leave dead wood in the landscape as providing food for the oyster mushrooms is just one of the many environmental services that sweetgum still provides on the backend of its life.
If you want to check them out I can show you, but here’s a so-so picture to wrap up the email:
Have a fun Monday,