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280 days of Urbpandemonium #45

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The first really "mushroomy" mushroom of the year is this one: shaped like an umbrella, yellowish-white stalk, purplish cap, thick and robust and sprouting from wood chips.

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The partial veil that protected the lilac gills when the mushroom was young persists on the stalk as a rough ring. In age, the cap goes from incurved and bell-shaped to convex, to allow spores at the center of the gills to get free.

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Pulled out of the substrate, the mushroom brings along its rhizomorph (root-like) mycelium). The fungus feeds on fecal coliform bacteria, and catches nematodes, as well as breaking down wood chips for energy. This species Stropharia rugoso-annulata* is a European native that lives in North America only in human-made environments: mulch beds, gardens, and wood-chipped pathways.


*"Stropharia" refers to a sword belt--a reference to the partial veil remnant on the stalk. "rugoso-annulata" means "rough-ringed," which refers to the same field marking.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
lyonesse
May. 23rd, 2015 02:55 am (UTC)
oh! are you gonna eat it? i've never found it myself, but i know folks who cultivate it, and i hear it's very good.
urbpan
May. 23rd, 2015 11:54 am (UTC)
I've never tried it. I'm trying to grow it at home (rather passively) and then I would consider it. In the urban wilds it shares habitat with dog bathrooms.
lyonesse
May. 23rd, 2015 06:29 pm (UTC)
i suppose it does at that! though i admit that didn't stop me eating the morels i found on harvard campus the other day.... and damn they were good. (the mushrooms i find in the woods no doubt co-occupy with deer and coyote bathrooms, so perhaps i am just not a person of much delicacy :)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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