Laetiporus aff. cremeiporus (Chicken of the woods)

Recently a friend said he had tried the Australian Chicken of the woods and I thought that’s good confirmation, It’s a wood fungi that has to be eaten young and well cooked. Tastes pretty good, meaty and good texture. The edible Laetiporus species of the world are generally eaten with caution, ie small amount of young fungi well cooked, give it a day make sure you don’t have allergies before having larger amounts. This species occurs at least between Dorrigo NSW and Sunshine Coast Qld.Image5

Best stage to eat when young.Laetiporus aff. cremeiporus

Still good to eat at this stage.Image4

Occasionally chickens can be observed growing on living trees. Australian Eucalyptus introduced to California produce Laetiporus species that are also eaten. DNA analysis could tell an interesting story.Image2

Mature forms with colour bands still present.Image1

Long tubes or pores.

References- Growing gourmet and medicinal mushrooms by Paul Stamets.

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Hydnum repandum- Hedgehogs

hydnum-repandumHedgehogs 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.image13

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.image14

Video Link-Hydnum repandum

Video Link- Hydnum sp. chestnut

Further reading

Tall Trees and Mushrooms

Selby Shrooms

 

 

Morchella elata- fire morels

Early Spring is worth searching burnt areas for fire morels…

Image4Flavour 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.Image10Careful 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.Image9 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.

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Morchella rufobrunnea

More on morels

Tall trees and Mushrooms

Selby Shrooms

 

 

Cantharellus sp Tropics

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.

Cantharellus tropics

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.

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Phlebopus marginatus- Salmon gum bolete

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.

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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. Image7

Below- dissected showing a slight beige discolouration.Image31

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.Image6Image2

Below- Caps show cracking Image3Image4Image5

 

 

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Tall trees and mushrooms

Lepista sublilacina- (Australian blewit)

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.

Lepista sublilacina5

Above- The brilliant lilac colour emerges through the lawn. There is an umbo.Lepista sublilacina

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.Lepista sublilacina2Lepista sublilacina3Above- Spore print pale pink. Lepista sublilacina4

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

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