Edible Mushrooms

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Admirable Boletus

The Admirable Boletus Mushroom is also known as the velvet top mushroom. It has a semi-sweet, spicy aroma and a slightly milder taste than the king or red cap boletus mushroom. This mushroom grows all over Vancouver Island. Sometimes in the hundreds. Its quite amazing to see them growing in such abundance, and to take some home for the frying pan is wonderful. Read More….

 

 

Albatrellus Flettii Mushroom

There are two North American Albatrellus species that are blue, the eastern Albatrellus Caeruleoporus Mushroom and the western Albatrellus Flettii Mushroom. There are 12 Albatrellus species in North America. This mushroom’s beautiful blue color is only around for a short while and after the first few days, it quite often turns into a rather plain-looking mushroom. Read More….

 

 

Angel Wing Mushroom

Angel Wing Mushrooms are a white fan-shaped mushroom that grows shelf-like. It is a very thin fleshed mushroom which feels dry and smooth to the touch, they could be hairy to the touch on top. The gills are quite crowded, narrow and range in color from white to cream, the spore print is white. Angel wings are one of my favorite wild mushrooms, if only for their beauty alone.  Read More….

 

 

Apricot Jelly Mushroom

Apricot Jelly Mushroom, Vancouver Island, BCThe Apricot Jelly Mushroom is a beautiful little gem that is very easily recognized. It’s the color of salmon flesh and looks a bit like a human tongue sticking out of the ground. You will find it growing on well-rotted wood in conifer forests, its quite common on Vancouver Island. It can grow up to 15 cm high but is usually smaller than that, it is funnel-shaped but always has a slot down one side. Read More….

 

 

Bears Head Tooth Mushroom

Bears Head Tooth Mushroom, Vancouver Island, BCBears Tooth Head Mushrooms ( Hericium ) is such a wonder to behold. You can find these mushrooms growing on trees and fallen logs on Vancouver Island, looking like waterfalls frozen in time. There seems to be a variety of Hericium that grow on Vancouver Island but I think, in the end, we will discover that they are one and the same. They may seem a bit different due to habitat, elevation or environmental conditions.  Read More….

 

 

Blue Chanterelle

Although it is quite often referred to as the Blue Chanterelle Mushroom, this wild mushroom is not a chanterelle at all. Mycologists have placed it into the genus Polyozellus, a member of the Thelephoraceae family. It is a mushroom of the lowland forests, it grows best in the wet spruce and fir forests of the BC coastal region. I have seen these in large groups a few times, but have mostly seen them as single mushrooms. Read More….

 

 

Brittle Cinder

Brittle Cinder affects a vast array of tree species, infection usually occurs through wounds in the bark. This can result in significant strength loss, so careful consideration should be taken if this fungus is located on a tree. If this were to attack trees growing upwind from a structure, it could cause the trees to blow down in a wind storm. Brittle Cinder is edible but not very choice, I would look for better eating mushrooms before eating this one. Read More….

 

 

Cauliflower Mushroom

The cauliflower mushroom is a wild edible mushroom that grows all over the Pacific Northwest in the fall. They are an incredible mushroom to look at and are very tasty. They are connected to their growing areas by a system of mycelium that is kinda like a root system. When you harvest mushrooms, you should be careful not to damage the mycelium, if undamaged, they will fruit over and over again. Read More….

 

 

Chaga Fungi

Unlike the soft bodies of mushrooms, Chaga is hard and dense, almost as hard as the wood it is growing in.  It is a mushroom that normally grows on birch trees across the Northern Hemisphere. When you first see it, you would see a rough-looking growth on the side of a tree, not looking like something you would like to ingest, but this mushroom is a hidden wonder of the natural world. Read More….

 

 

Chanterelle

The yellow chanterelle is harvested all over the BC coastal region. Harvesting of yellow chanterelles begins in September and continues until November or December on the outer islands and the BC coast. White chanterelles are also harvested from the region. Harvesting of chanterelles is something we have done for years. When dried, the white chanterelle turns yellow. Looking a lot like yellow ones. Read More….

 

 

Chicken Of The Woods

Chicken Of The Woods Mushrooms is found all over the Pacific Northwest. They can be harvested from August through October or later but are sometimes found as early as June. This mushroom will surprise you with its size. It is noticeable from a long distance because of this size and its very bright colors. It grows on many types of dead or mature trees with hardwoods such as Garry Oak, Red Alder, and Conifers. Read More….

 

 

Clustered Coral Mushroom

Clustered Coral Mushroom, Vancouver Island, BCRamaria botrytis, more commonly known as the clustered coral,  pink-tipped coral mushroom, or cauliflower coral, is an edible species of coral fungus. Its robust fruit body can grow up to 15 cm in diameter and 20 cm tall, and really does resemble a marine coral. It has dense branches that grow from a stout base,  the tips are swollen and divided into several small branchlets.  Read More….

 

 

Comb Tooth Fungus

The comb tooth fungus or as it is commonly called, coral hedgehog, is a large and mostly white fungus with numerous toothed branches. Comb Tooth Fungus can grow up to 40 cm wide and can reach heights of 20 cm high. The branches are toothy structures found on both sides of the branch. These toothy growths are about 1 cm in length. Read More….

 

 

 

Conifer Coral

The Conifer Coral Mushroom is found in the late summer and fall. We find them at higher elevations here on the BC coast. They are most common in wooded areas, especially conifer forests, and are usually found on the ground or on stumps and fallen logs. Some grow in open fields. They are not common but always a welcome sight as they are a very delicious mushroom. Read More….

 

 

Coprinpsis Atramentaria

Coprinpsis Atramentaria, Vancouver Island, BCCoprinpsis Atramentaria more commonly known as, (the ink cap, or the alcohol inky cap) is found throughout the northern hemisphere, look for it growing in fields, alongside trails and roadsides during the spring and fall.  It gets its name, ink cap, because shortly after it appears the gills start to decompose into a black ink-like goo.  In fact, it’s possible to make ink from these mushrooms. Read More….

 

 

Crested Coral

The crested coral fungus is probably the most commonly encountered of the many coral-like fungi in the Pacific Northwest, it is easily spotted when it grows along woodland trails. Common and widespread in woods and occasionally in grassland here on the coast, as indeed it is in other parts of the pacific northwest, It is also recorded in many other temperate parts of the world. It’s a common mushroom. Read More….

 

 

Fawn Mushroom

The fawn mushroom is widely distributed and common in the Pacific Northwest. It is fairly easily recognized by its growth on wood, its free gills that begin whitish but soon become pink its brownish cap, and its medium size. It is not picky about what kind of wood it grows on, nor is it very picky about when it will fruit, appearing from spring to fall and even in winters here on the outer coast. Read More….

 

 

Fluted Back Helvella Saddle Mushroom

The Fluted Black Helvella Saddle Mushroom, also called the black elfin saddle grows on all of the Pacific Northwest and is quite common. It grows in small groups on the open ground beneath conifer trees. The cap is gray to black, saddle-shaped and usually convoluted with either a smooth or wrinkled surface depending on age. The flesh is quite brittle. The underside is gray to black with a gray stalk that can turn black with age, it is convoluted to fluted with elongated holes. Read More….

 

 

Gem Studded Puffball

Gem Studded Puffball, Vancouver Island, BCGem-studded puffball mushrooms grow in a wide variety of areas throughout Vancouver Island. The specimens pictured here were growing trailside at the edge of a conifer forest. Unlike the sort of giant puffballs, the gem-studded puffballs are much smaller, tending to be no larger than 3 to 5 cm. Read More….

 

 

 

Hygrocybe Miniata Mushroom

One of the smaller species of red waxcap fungi, the Hygrocybe Miniata Mushroom can occasionally be found in the Pacific Northwest, look for them in woodland clearings. The Hygrocybe Miniata Mushroom are notoriously difficult to separate on macroscopic characters alone, and so it is a great help when a species has one or more features shared with few or no other waxcaps. These waxcaps are scurfy rather than greasy. Read More….

 

 

King Bolete

The King Bolete Mushroom is one of the most sought after mushrooms worldwide, no mushroom is more satisfying. The king can have a yellow, red to brown cap atop a thick white or brown stalk, and grows individually or in small clumps on the ground in coniferous forests. They can be found in all parts of the Pacific Northwest. They are very delicious. Read More….

 

 

Laccaria Amethyst

When Laccaria Amethyst Mushrooms grow among moss, the caps of this beautiful mushroom stand out and are very easy to find. More often they grow among dark damp leaf litter and sometimes go unnoticed until the caps begin turning pale. Old caps become almost white in dry weather and could be confused with other small pale ocher or fawn mushrooms, some of which are poisonous. Read More….

 

 

Lobster Mushroom

The lobster mushroom isn’t actually a true mushroom, it is a type of fungus which colonizes other mushrooms. When the fungus is left undisturbed, it will completely cover its host with a bright reddish to orange sheath which looks like a cooked lobster. As a result, people refer collectively to the host and the fungus as the lobster mushroom. Lobster mushrooms can be quite tasty, as a result of the unique combination of the host’s flavor and that of the colonizing fungus, and they are eaten in many parts of the world. Read More….

 

Meadow Mushroom

The Meadow Mushroom is a beautiful mushroom that is closely related to the cultivated button mushrooms that are sold in North American grocery stores. In most areas, it is a fall mushroom and as its common name suggest, it comes up in meadows, fields, and grassy areas, usually after it rains. It is easily recognized by its choice of habitat, its pinkish gills, which become chocolate brown as the mushroom matures, its quickly collapsing white ring, and the fact that it does not discolor when bruised. Read More….

 

 

Morel Mushroom

The best time to begin looking for the Morel Mushroom is when daytime highs in your area reached 12 degrees for several days in a row, with nightly lows no colder than 4 degrees. Rain is important, too. Mushrooms like it warm and moist.  If you have a dry spring, the crop will be sparse. If you have ample rain but not an unusually wet spring, the crop will be plentiful. Frosts and freezes, droughts and heatwaves all can have adverse effects.  It takes morels five years to grow. Read More….

 

 

Oyster Mushroom

Shortly after the first rains of the season, the snow tan petal-like beginnings of the oyster mushroom can be found. The autumn forest is brightened with the beautiful young stemmed caps cascading shelf-like from the surface of dead alder trees. The cap is shell-shaped and has a delicate sweet and spicy aroma not usually found in oyster mushrooms grown commercially. Read More….

 

 

Pear Shaped Puffballs

The Pear Shaped Puffball is a yellowish-brown mushroom with a pore at the top. It grows in large clusters on decaying wood and can be found on all parts of Vancouver Island from July to November. The fruiting body is pear-shaped and a yellowish to brown color on the outside but inside its a pure white color when it is young and fresh. Its surface is covered with tiny warts. When mature, a pore opening at the top releases spores. The spore print is olive-brown. Read More….

 

Reishi Mushrooms

Reishi Mushrooms, Vancouver Island, BCThe Hemlock Lacquered Polypore mushroom (Reishi Mushroom) itself is a fan-shaped shelf polypore and has a red to orange color that has a shiny top. It has a white underside when fresh. The white underside bruises quickly when touched, the bruising is a tan color. Only harvest the fresh mushrooms, if the underside is a brown or gray color, there could be potentially harmful molds present, you need to process these mushrooms as quickly as possible after picking them. Read More….

 

 

Rosy Gomphidius

The slimy, but beautiful Rosy Gomphidius Mushroom is quite common in the douglas fir forests of the Pacific Northwest. It has a pinkish cap with white gills that reach down the stem, the mushroom has a slimy veil sheathing it that must be removed before eating, the spore print is almost black. It can be found under coniferous forests in most of North America, but it is much more common in the pacific northwest growing in the douglas fir forests.  Read More….

 

 

Scarlet Cup Fungus

The beautiful scarlet cup fungus is quite often found by hikers in the spring. It is widely distributed in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, found growing from rotting wood, it provides a bright contrast to the dull colors of the pre-spring forest floor. The true name of this mushroom is Sarcoscypha Coccinea. Found growing on decaying hardwood sticks and logs, but sometimes the wood is buried and the mushrooms appear terrestrial. Read More….

 

 

Xylaria Hypoxylon

Xylaria Hypoxlon, Vancouver Island, BCFruit bodies of the Xylaria Hypoxylon are usually flattened but sometimes cylindrical with dimensions of up to 8 cm in height. The erect fruiting bodies are often twisted or bent, and typically sparsely branched, often in a shape resembling a stag’s antlers. Specimens found earlier in the season, in spring, may be covered completely in asexual spores, which manifests itself as a white to grayish powdery deposit. Read More….

 

 

Zellers Bolete

Zellers Boletus Mushroom is an edible species of mushroom in the family Boletaceae. It can be found solely in western North America from British Columbia south to Mexico, they are prolific on Vancouver Island. The mushrooms are distinguishable by their dark reddish-brown to almost black caps with bumpy surfaces, the yellow pores that look like a sponge on the underside of the caps, and the red with yellow streaks on the stems. Read More….

 

 

 

Chicken Of The Woods Mushroom, Vancouver Island, BC
Chicken Of The Woods Mushroom, Vancouver Island, BC, photo by Bud Logan

Going mushroom hunting in the fall for Edible Mushrooms is one of the things l love doing. The crisp fall air, sun shining through the mist. What more could a person want? Well, perhaps a big feed of these edible wonders. Some of the mushrooms listed here are not only edible and easy to identify but are truly delicious. Some of them are more geared to pros, learn the easy ones first, then move onto the more difficult ones. Learn about each mushroom one at a time and only eat the ones you know for sure are good to eat and the first time you try an edible mushroom, consume only a small amount.

Mushrooms are beautiful to behold and to see such wonders that seem to spring up overnight is just incredible. If you are just beginning to harvest mushrooms, you are in for a treat, as you learn how they grow and reproduce, you will be amazed. As you discover the great edible kinds, you will be hooked for life. I know I am.

A walk in the fall through the forest looking for mushrooms is good for you, good for your body, good for your spirit. It’s almost like meditation to me. You are surrounded by nature in all its glory. Most times, its either raining or has just rained ( best time to hunt mushrooms) and there are such sounds coming from the forest. The sounds of raindrops dripping from the trees, the sounds of babbling creeks made active by the rainfall. The sound of Insects that are starting to come out from hiding. Overall of this is the sounds of the various birds that are singing. This is such a wonderful way to spend the day.

When you are out there, keep your eyes open, you might see black bears, deer, elk or any of the other forest creatures that live in the coastal rain forest, bring your camera with you and take home some memories.

These are very rare mushrooms and are a wondrous sight for the eyes. If you study the photo, they look like a mix between the more common yellow chanterelle and an oyster mushroom but painted black. Not very pretty to look at but when you see them in the wild they kind of take your breath away.

Blue Chanterrele Mushroom, Edible Mushrooms, Pacific Northwest
Blue Chanterelle Mushroom, photo by Robert Logan

They are tough and little bit woody to the feel and even when cooked retain some of these characteristics. These mushrooms have a very distinctive flavor and can be quite earthy, but you know, they are nice when mixed in with other mushrooms and stir-fried, adding that wild, dark blue color to the mix.

The Blue Chanterelle Mushrooms fruiting body has a funnel-shaped cap with a velvety texture that often grows stacked upon one another. The underside of the caps does not have visible gills, only wrinkles. They are dark bluish-purple to black in color. Blue chanterelles have a sweet earthy aroma with a mild, nutty flavor when cooked.

Although it is quite often referred to as the Blue Chanterelle Mushroom, this wild mushroom is not a chanterelle at all. Mycologists have placed it into the genus Polyozellus, a member of the ephoraceae family. It is a mushroom of the lowland forests, it grows best in the wet spruce and fir forests of the Pacific Northwest. I have seen these in large groups a few times, but have mostly seen them as single mushrooms.

Blue Chanterrele Mushroom, Edible Mushrooms, Pacific Northwest
Blue Chanterelle Mushroom, photo by Robert Logan

A study published in 2014 showed that blue chanterelle has medical uses. The compounds found in the mushroom can be used as a treatment for stomach cancer and they also found in this study that these mushrooms could benefit people with diabetes because they inhibit glucosidase and this slows down the processing of carbohydrates in the sufferers of diabetes. More studies need to be done to unlock the secrets of these beautiful mushrooms.

King Bolete Mushroom, Edible Mushrooms, Pacific Northwest
King Bolete Mushroom, Photo By Bud Logan

The King Bolete Mushroom is one of the most sought after mushrooms worldwide, no mushroom is more satisfying. The king can have a yellow, red to brown cap atop a thick white or brown stalk, and grows individually or in small clumps on the ground in coniferous forests. They can be found in all parts of the Pacific Northwest. They are very delicious.

They are not just a hearty meal though, king bolete mushrooms are immunostimulating and contain lots of vitamin B, thereby can help to maintain a balanced nervous system.

It grows in conifer forests where it just like all other mushrooms, have an association with the roots of the trees, aiding them in absorbing nutrients while receiving sugars from the tree’ in return. There is much more going on here that we are just beginning to understand.

King Bolete Mushroom, Edible Mushrooms, Pacific Northwest
King Bolete Mushroom, Photo By Bud Logan

You will have a hard time finding them in the Pacific Northwest without maggots in them unless the mushroom is really young and small, they’re the best tasting ones anyways. The BC Coastal Region has lots of them, you can find them growing from sea level right up to 1000 meters. The little mushrooms can be difficult to find because they barely poke their caps above the soil surface. This elusiveness is further enhanced by the fact that sometimes they do not even push above the needles that have accumulated on the floor of the forest. Experienced shoomers look for small humps in the litter that indicate these choice mushrooms are hiding underneath. But the mere presence of these mushrumps does not mean King Boletus is underneath. There are many kinds of mushrooms that do this. Including the pine mushroom, also known as the Matsutake mushroom, another very choice mushroom.

As with any mushroom, you must be absolutely sure what you’re harvesting, never eat a mushroom unless you can identify it with no mistakes because making a mistake when harvesting mushrooms could kill you. The King Bolete Mushroom (Boletus edulis) is fairly easy to identify, once you get the hang of it, although it has many variations in color and size and shape. The stem of these mushrooms will have a pattern on them that looks like the skin patterns on a giraffe.

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