Mushroom of the Month (MOM)

Learn a new mushroom or just refresh your memory! The M.O.M. page is a good source for background intel on mushrooms you may encounter in your wanderings.

Past Mushrooms of the Month

A Bolete by Any Other Name... (by )

Mushroom of the Month: September, 2014

As many of you know the mushroom world has been going through a lot of changes in recent years with the onset of genetic sequencing. One of the main impacts of this has been the renaming or reclassification of not only singular mushrooms, but in some instances whole genera (heck, Suillus got its own family!). It sometimes seems that just about every mushroom we see in our local woods now has a new name or spot in the myco tree of life. And one of our most prized groups of local mushrooms, the boletes, is no exception. With the recent publishing of scientific papers some of their names have changed as well. So let’s dive in at the first official wave of name changes to impact our beloved Boletus.

Snorkeling for "The Rogue" Mushroom (by )

Mushroom of the Month: August, 2014

I guess it’s not so strange.  When the weather is hot and a little moisture is a pleasure, we head for the swimming hole.  Apparently Psathyrella aquatica has similar habits.

This small, drab mushroom would hardly be distinguishable from most other Psathyrellae species if it weren’t for its habit of fruiting underwater. This is most unusual behavior for a gilled fungus...

Sorry, it's a Suillus (by )

Mushroom of the Month: April, 2014

One of the most common remarks I get from eager beginners in the fall and winter is, "look at all these Boletes!" Excited that they have just hit the mother load of culinary excellence, I remark (as many before me), "sorry… it's a Suillus". As what a Suillus is and why it is not on par with a "true" Bolete is explained, you can see the disappointment set in...

Coprinus comatus -- What Is Going On With That Inky Cap? (by )

Mushroom of the Month: February, 2014

Their mass rotted off them flake by flake
Til the thick stalk stuck like a murderer’s stake,
Where rags of loose flesh yet tremble on high
Infecting the winds that wander by.
                from  The Sensitive Plant,  Percy Bysshe Shelley - circa 1820

Imagine this – you’re a young and growing mushroom fruit-body. In a short amount of time, you’ve been triggered to grow and burst forth from the ground with enough force to break through solid concrete. Once in the atmosphere you’ve been designed to seek, additional triggers create a wave of spores to be released from the bottom of your column-shaped cap. Now, in a seemingly bizarre move, you begin to breakdown the very fibers of your being, turning your once firm cap into a melting mass of black goo. Eventually, nothing is left of your white and scaly brown button but ghostly tatters of dripping, oozing black that flail from a defiantly upright and bony looking stipe…