On the Friends field trip this morning, exploring the Class of 1918 Marsh, Glenda Denniston spotted a bunch of Shaggy Mane mushrooms (Coprinus comatus) popping up in the athletic field along the path. She reported that they are edible and excellent when sliced lengthwise and fried in butter. These pretty fungi are aptly named for their frilly head dress. Photo G. Denniston.
Shaggy Mane mushrooms are common in late summer or fall. They tend to grow in fairly hard soil, rather than loose forest floors, and are found along roadsides or even compacted grassy areas such as the playing fields.
9/30/2014 10:45:26 am
These mushrooms are scrumptious, but if you collect any on the athletic fields, be sure to prepare them for dinner that SAME evening - they auto-digest rapidly.
10/1/2014 12:40:51 pm
And please do not try to eat any wild mushroom without positive identification. Don't take anybody's (mine included) word that a mushroom is safe to eat. Study them first, take a spore print, key them in, or take them to an expert on campus. Mushrooms are perverse. A close relative of this mushroom, Coprinus atramentarius (which also happens to be present now in the same athletic fields) is safe to eat - but poisonous if you consume alcohol at the same time. Know what you're doing - even a luscious meal is not worth the risk of serious illness or even death!
10/8/2014 08:08:26 am
Great advice, Glenda. Thanks!
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Gisela Kutzbach and contributors