Non Edible Mushrooms, Pacific Northwest
Non Edible Mushrooms differ in their effects according to the chemical nature of their toxins. Medical science recognize about 6 quite different classes of mushroom poison. The most virulent, like those from the amanita species are quite often deadly. There are other toxins just as deadly in other mushrooms. Some cause varying degrees of illness but are not in the most part as deadly.
Some mushrooms can be quite tasty and good to harvest in parts of their territories but then can be quite poisonous in other parts. This makes harvesting them a real challenge.
I suggest you developed a short list, say around 12 mushrooms, that you gather and then stay with them. After getting to know these, you can add one or two new ones a year and after a few years, you will have quite a decent list of mushrooms that you harvest. Always try just a small portion when trying out a new mushroom, mushrooms have a variety of effects on different people.
With smooth flaring sides between up to 10 mm in diameter and up to 20 mm in height, again depending on the species. Immature bird nest have a cap over the top of the splash cup to protect the eggs, which brakes away at maturity.
The eggs are small capsules which contain the spores. These capsules are lens shaped shiny white, black, grey or dark brown in color. As bird’s nest fungi are saprophytes and thus decomposers of organic material, they are found most often on decaying wood, small twigs, tree fern debris and sometimes on animal scat.
This cup is the right shape and size that when the water hits the bottom of the cup it splashes out with enough force to disperse the capsules up to a meter away. When the capsules land on a solid object, like a leaf or twig they stick to it, then grow into a new mushroom.
When you first see the bleeding tooth, you will be amazed at the red color, looks so much like blood, but look more closely and it becomes obvious that the fungus is producing the red fluids through its own small pores. On most specimens you will see that it does resemble blood, but the color can also be light pink, yellow, orange or beige in color. Some say it even resembles candy. Though not uncommon in our part of the world, most people upon seeing it for the first time are completely perplexed by this mushroom. It is non edible but quite fascinating to observe in the wild.
It is usually found to grow in mountainous areas under cedars, pines, hemlocks, redwoods and other types of coniferous trees. This fungus can reproduce both sexually and asexually. In asexual reproduction, the mushroom produces fruit bodies, these fruit bodies disperse the spores through the nearby forest. These spores in turn produce mycelium which grows to produce a mushroom and the life cycle of the bleeding tooth fungus continues.
I find these mushrooms to be very interesting, they are quite awesome to see. I am always looking for them when we are hiking in the high country.
The fruiting bodies are white and gelatinous. It is a common fungi, typically growing as irregular masses on decaying deciduous wood. It can occur in extensive patches though, like the one in the photo.When they get big, they take on the brain-like shape.
Although this fungus is of the jelly type and most likely edible, l would not even consider eating this fungus.
The Witches Hat Mushroom is commonly known as the witches cap, they are also called blackening waxcap mushrooms, this is one of several species whose caps turn black with age. The witches cap can be seen in lines along roadsides where the grass is well shaded, moist and mossy.
This mushroom is quite beautiful when seen in bright sunshine, these conical waxcap fungi can look just as good in wet weather, as they stand out brightly against the green background of their grassy habitats.
Witches cap can be red, orange, yellow and jet black. Sometimes you will see all of these colors in a group and occasionally on a single mushroom. The shapes of the caps are sometimes conical while some become almost flat.
The beauty of these little mushrooms is fleeting, as they will soon turn black all over. If you touch the cap, gills or stem they soon turn black. Witches caps continue to drop spores even when entirely blackened.
The cap is from 4 to 7cm in diameter; varying from an initial light orange to orange red, often paler at the edge. The surface is slimy in damp weather but in dry weather it becomes dry and silky. The caps rarely open out fully and after fruiting, they soon turn black, at first in patches but eventually they blacken all over. Even when blackened the caps of these fungi remain quite shiny. The gills are at first a pale lemon yellow, becoming more orange and then blackening as the rest of the mushroom changes color.
The stem is up to 8 mm in diameter and up to 8 cm tall. The stem is a yellow with a scarlet tinge color near the cap but remaining much paler at the base, the stem is full, rather than hollow, and the stem flesh is initially white but quickly turns black when cut. Eventually, the whole stem blackens from the top downwards. The spore print is white.
Witches hat mushrooms have long been considered to be saprobic on the dead roots of grasses and other grassland plants, but it is now considered likely that there is some kind of mutual relationship between waxcaps and mosses.
The witches hat is a fairly common mushroom in the Pacific Northwest and can be found in most areas, it is also found over much of North America and Europe as well.