Food Failures: How to Collect Mushrooms (and Eat Them, Too)

On last Fridays (19th September) Science Friday segment of NPR there was a 17 minute piece on foraging for mushrooms by Eugenia Bone, president  of New York Mycological Society president and author of  Mycophilla. For those that missed it you can listen again here.


Pictures from the Fourteenth Annual Gary Lincoff Mid-Atlantic Mushroom Foray

Hot of the press here are some pictures from this weekends foray. Thank you to all the organizers and volunteers who made sure the event ran smoothly, the guest speakers for their interesting talks and everyone else for finding all the mushrooms.

Most pictures by Michael Yeh with a few by John Stuart and Richard Jacob. Anyone have pictures from some of the other walks? Please send them in and we will add them to the album.

Genera Within the Bolete Family

A presentation from John Stuart with contributions from the Western Pa Mushroom Club

Picture of Strobilomyces “floccupus” by Joyce Gross

First fruit from DNA barcoding collaboration

We have recently received results from the first 60 samples that were submitted to Duke University for DNA barcoding. The DNA was extracted from the FTA plant saver cards and amplified by PCR in the lab of Rytas Vilgalys by visiting New Zealand Fulbright student Renee Johansen. The PCR products were then sent for DNA sequencing. For more information about this process please see the DNA barcoding project pages.  Not all the samples were successful in the amplification or DNA sequencing steps but results were obtained for approximately 70% of the samples which is consistent with samples collected in the field.

Both the ITS and the LSU DNA barcodes were analyzed. The ITS barcodes are best for differentiating between species and the LSU barcodes are often used in combination with the ITS barcodes and are generally used for family level comparisons.

It is going to take us a while to go through the results and fully understand them. Some are easy with 100% identical matches to the identified species and some present a bit of a puzzle. However the initial BLAST searches for nearly all of the samples identified the expected family. Dick Dougall has already figured out the the corresponding current names for the Stropharia magnivelaris/Weraroa cucullata results that originally looked a little puzzling. These species are now know as Leratiomyces percevalii and Leratiomyces cucullata, and are far closer to the identified species Leratiomyces squamosus var. thraustus. There was an actual barcode with 100% match to Leratiomyces squamosus var. thraustus in the BLAST results as well.

Another interesting sample was a half free morel collected at Bushy run battleground in the spring of 2013. I originally identified it as Morchella punctipes (half free morel). The Morel family has been well studied and undergone a large species reversion in 2012(22495449). One of the questions arising from this study is exactly which Morels do we have growing in the local area. In this case the DNA barcode has a 100% identical match to  Morchella diminutiva, our barcode is 100% covered by the Morchella diminutiva entry JX069664 in the Genbank database. Due to the recent taxonomy changes many of the pictures on the web are no longer assigned the correct species so care now needs to be taken when using pictures from the internet to help you identify species.


Sample WPMC 20130518-1 Morchella diminutiva, ITS DNA barcode visualized.


As part of the collaboration Rytas Vilgalys will be presenting a talk entitled “Field mycology enters the molecular age” at this years Lincoff foray.

The next steps of the project involve submitting the vouchers to the Duke Herbarium, and adding electronic entries to the MyCoPortal and Mushroom Observer websites. For the amanita both the vouchers and DNA barcodes will be passed on to Rod Tulloss as part of the clubs collaboration. We will also be presenting the results both on our website and later in the year at a club meeting.


September-October2014 newsletter published

The bimonthly newsletter was sent out a week ago. In the letter is a beginners guide to local boletes and Jeffrey Berkowit recipes from the August meetings cooking demonstration. It’s the tail end of the Chanterelle season but members brought in the first of this years honey mushrooms, both ringless (Armillaria tabescens) and a specimen from the 10 species Armillari mellea group. There has also been a sighting of a hen of the woods (Grifola frondosa) so enjoy your autumn mushroom walks.


You can see the first page here.

Species list from Sycamore Island on 07/19/2014

We are currently looking at revamping the clubs species list generator and exploring a few ideas. At the moment species lists are recorded and links to many but not all of the walks are made available on our website on the species lists page. These lists are somewhat hidden away in their current location so one thought was to publish them as a post so that they appear on the main page of the website. The idea is that interested members can then see what was found and if they do not recognize one of the entries can easily click on a link to see multiple example images of the species.

This list is our first attempt at the new format so please let us know what you think in the comments.

Walk report

It was a gray and wet day with intermittent rain but that did not keep two boatloads, about 20 members from the WPMC or Allegheny Land Trust, from meeting in Vernoa on the Allegheny River bank for a trip to Sycamore Island. We found a variety of species but not as many as have been observed on walks in the Fall on the 14 acre island. The group explored the island walking on paths observing the different fungi, trees and plans present along with the remains of a pool installed by a long gone rowing club. The island hosts a unique floodplain hardwood forest and it was interesting to note the amount of Ganoderma lucidum growing as a  saprotroph on some of the fallen trees rather than in the parasite form we normally observe. After a couple of hours we returned to the mainland and cataloged our finds.

Species list entered by La Monte H.P. Yarroll.

List of species found on the walk at Sycamore Island:

Auricularia auricula (wood ear or jelly ear)
 Biscogniauxia atropunctata (hypoxylon canker)
Brefeldia maxima (tapioca slime mold)
Calocera viscosa (yellow stagshorn)
Ceratiomyxa fruticulosa (coral slime mold)
Cerrena unicolor (mossy maze polypore)
 Coprinellus micaceus (Mica cap)
Daldinia concentrica (Carbon balls)
Fomitopsis spraguei ()
Ganoderma lucidum (lingzhi mushroom or reishi mushroom)
Lepiota cristata (stinking parasol)
Lycogala epidendrum (wolf’s milk slime mold)
Marasmius opacus ()
Marasmius rotula (pinwheel Marasmius)
 Megacollybia rodmani (the platterful mushroom)
Phellinus rimosus (cracked-cap polypore mushroom)
Pluteus longistriatus ()
Polyporus elegans (the black foot polypore)
Polyporus squamosus (dryad’s saddle)
Psathyrella hydrophila (common stump brittlestem)
Resupinatus applicatus (black jelly oyster)
Schizophyllum commune (Split gill)
Stereum complicatum (crowded parchment)
Stereum ostrea (false turkey-tail)
Trametes elegans ()
Trametes versicolor (Turkey Tail)
Xylaria polymorpha (dead man’s fingers)

Species list from Hartwood Acres on 07/12/2014

I went on a scouting walk on the Thursday before and was worried because I did not find many chanterelles or indeed much of anything. However on the day of the walk, due to the increased number of eyes, we actually found quite a few species including some chanterelles that were hiding under the long grass in the sunny spots around oaks. We each found 1/2 a pound or so of smooth chanterelles so it was a successful walk!

Species list entered by Richard Jacob.

List of species found on the walk at Hartwood Acres:

Boletus pulverulentus (ink stain bolete)
Boletus subtomentosus (suede bolete)
Cantharellus lateritius (smooth chanterelle)
Fomes fomentarius (false tinder fungus)
Hypomyces chrysospermus (bolete mold)
Hypomyces hyalinus (amanita mold)
Lactarius hygrophoroides ( hygro milky)
Laetiporus sulphureus (chicken of the woods)
Phylloporus rhodoxanthus (gilled bolete)
Pleurotus ostreatus (oyster mushroom)
Russula krombholzii (purple brittlegill)
Russula silvicola (emetic russula)
Schizophyllum commune (split gill fungus)
Scutellinia scutellata (eyelash cup)
Stereum ostrea (turkey-tail)
Strobilomyces floccopus (old man of the woods)
Volvariella speciosa (big sheath mushroom or rose-gilled grisette)

Species not currently on clubs life list:
Russula redolens (Parsley scented russula)

Most pictures by Michael Yeh and a few by Richard Jacob

July-August 2014 newsletter published

The bimonthly newsletter has just gone out and should be in your inbox by now or your postbox in a few days time. Chanterelles (Cantharellus cibarius) and Black Trumpets (Craterellus cornucopioides) are beginning to show in Western Pennsylvania.

You can see the first page here.

Craterellus cornucopioides and Boletus variipes

Black trumpets and boletes

Mushroom Identification to Genus

A presentation from John Stuart with contributions from the Western Pa Mushroom Club