Slimy Spike Cap

Slimy Gomphidius Mushroom, Vancouver Island, BC
Slimy Gomphidius Mushroom, Vancouver Island, BC, photo by Bud Logan

Gomphidius glutinosus, also known as the slimy spike-cap can be found all over Vancouver Island. It has gills, but is a member of the order Boletales, along with the boletes that incidentally do not have gills. The mushrooms sprout in spruce forests here on the Island. Look for them in the fall months. Initially, they are completely covered with a slimy veil, breaking through to reveal a purple to brownish-cap.  Opinions differ on the suitability of this mushroom for the table, some guides hold it in high regard, while others view it with caution. I personly have never tried one so I can give no opinion on this.

Slimy Gomphidius Mushroom, Vancouver Island, BC
Slimy Gomphidius Mushroom, Vancouver Island, BC, photo by Bud Logan

This mushroom sort of looks like a child’s toy top, the mushroom has a dark purple to brownish cap up to 12 cm in diameter, and the whole mushroom is often covered with a slimy veil when young. The fungus breaks free of this veil as it grows, leaving some strands and an indistinct ring. The whitish flesh will have little taste or smell. The widely spaced decurrent gills are waxy in texture, with a hairy surface. The stem will have a yellow tinge at its base, just pull down the surrounding moss or duff to see this.