Hedgehogs are spiny underneath the cap. Appearing through Winter when most mushrooms have retreated. Look out for apricot colours peering through the mulch around Tea trees, Casuarina with mixed Eucalyptus. Pine plantations where Tea tree is present on the edges. Often along the edges of Fire Trails. Carefully brushing the caps and stems with a pastry brush after cutting helps to minimize grit and debris. Distribution is as far north as the Sunshine Coast, and prevalent in Temperate regions. Tas, Vic, NSW, SA, WA.
Australian field guides previously listed Hydum repandum as a single species. Hydum repandum is now known to be a complex of species so far consisting of DNA confirmation for Hydnum crocidens. There is a Chestnut capped variety listed as Hydnum sp. chestnut.
Video Link-Hydnum repandum
Video Link- Hydnum sp. chestnut
Tall Trees and Mushrooms
Early Spring is worth searching burnt areas for fire morels…
Flavour and texture is best when collected young. They have to be cooked well, some people have a reaction similar to Coprinus when consumed with alcohol. So always sample a small piece and give it a day.Careful collection using a pastry brush to clean as you go greatly improves the culinary experience. They are grey initially becoming some what beige, at this point they are best for eating before the flesh thins. They dry easily and can be kept in the freezer. You will find morels in ”mushroom dried mixes” imported from Europe. To rehydrate use enough hot water to soak up without leaving excess. Morels are traditionly used to flavour sauce. I like to use a liquid filling of egg and garlic.
Found in NSW, Vic, SA, WA.
Making a spore print or culture helps to preserve the species. Cultivation attempts have proven successful from spore and clone, transfer to grain, transfer to supplemented sawdust.
Spores of M.elata
Clone of M.elata pin.
More on morels
Tall trees and Mushrooms
Tropical Chanterelles grow on you quickly. They are tasty and abundant when found. The geographical range is yet to be determined. Ribbon wood appears to be the host tree, though they may be hosted by other species in different locations such as Kuranda or around Cairns. The seeds of Ribbon wood germinate easily and having the added bonus of a commercially viable mushroom may be Ribbon woods ticket to a secure future. There are nurseries selling the seedlings- Rainforest nursery.
DNA testing is in the process. There is no doubt this species will be of commercial value. Tropical countries such as Thailand lead the way in developing techniques for inoculating Mycorrhizal Host Trees.
This Tropical species of Cantharellus is large, up to hand size. Another large Cantharellus is the Smooth Chanterelle.
More about Chanterelles in the Tropics.
Salmon gum bolete is the common name in Australia, they are best eaten young when hard and firm having a nutty flavour. Once they have matured the texture and flavour is lost and they turn to mush. Being saprophytic they lend themselves to cultivation. Growing from 15cm up to 60cm in diameter. Appearing in Autumn.
Above and below- young Salmon gum boletes before the pores open. Picking at the young cap reveals a beige colour. Taste is neutral raw. The caps are black with olive tints, felty in texture. The stem is bulbous and matches the cap in colours.
Below- dissected showing a slight beige discolouration.
Below- mature specimens, showing yellow pores and having a yellow spore print. By this point they will just cook up to mush. Phlebopus marginatus is foraged and cultivated throughout SE Asia and China.
Below- Caps show cracking
Tall trees and mushrooms
Lepista sublilacina once called Tricholoma sublilacina was listed in 1980 as a native blewit and favoured by the Cribbs in their book Wild Food in Australia. Occurring in Autumn and quite often in rings. Distribution Qld, NSW, Vic, SA.
Above- The brilliant lilac colour emerges through the lawn. There is an umbo.
Above- young to mature, the colour eventually fades becoming pale. The caps margin is inrolled when young, unfurling and lifting upwards often becoming wavy and irregular into maturity. The gills attach to the stem. No ring or veil.Above- Spore print pale pink.
Above- Stem butts collected for cultivation.
Ref. Wild Food in Australia- A.B & J.W Cribb
The closely related Lepista sordida is available for cultivation from Selby Shrooms
Poplar mushrooms are a cosmopolitan species found growing on the roots and at the bases of Poplar and Willow. Commercially known as Black poplar or Velvet pioppini. Some Asian grocery stores sell Poplar mushrooms dried. They are picked before the veil breaks.
Above picture-Young and mature Poplar mushrooms.
Above- Young caps showing veil intact and raised sections.
Above- The veil is skirt-like with brown spore already dropped. The stem is tough.
Above- Closeup of the gills. Shallow and attaching to the stem. Greyish when young becoming brown at maturity.
Above- Mature mushrooms growing from the Poplar root in Autumn.
Above- Old poplar mushrooms showing the browning of the gills.
This species is popular among cultivators and makes a good stump rotter.
There is a native species occurring in Australia and New Zealand called Agrocybe parasitica. I have sampled it and found the taste identical.
Gymnopilus species are quite common and looking similar at first glance.
Lentinula lateritia is found in rainforest between Coffs Harbour and Sunshine Coast at least. Growing from large logs, tasting much the same as the Japanese Lentinula edodes or Shiitake mushroom.
Gills are white before the veil burst and the margin inrolled.
Veil tissue present on cap margin.
Flat topped with slightly sunken central region. Tough fibrous stem frilly or cottony.
Mature and young stages. Cap texture is rubbery. Gills bruise slowly maroon-brown. Cap size 5-12cm diameter.
White spore print. Lentinula are best dried to increase the flavour.
Certainly worthy of cultivation.