Archive | 1:10 am

Charcoal burner, nice to eat you

1 Aug

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Started out looking for some new Black Trumpet areas though it quickly became perfectly clear this was the night of the Charcoal burner (Russula cyanoxantha).

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Rolling along, the German Association of Mycology’s 1997 mushroom of the year, yes the Charcoal burner is a very popular mushroom in most of Europe and appears in markets there.

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Often you will see some like this from a distance and as you approach look for humps under the leaves, usually there will be many small fresh mushrooms around. Slugs and other insects love these mushrooms so you will only be able to gather one good one for every 5 or so you find.

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Again you only see one though there are many under the leaves here, walk gently.

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Here in Canada very few people are gathering Charcoal burner for food as this one is tricky to identify until you have it verified by a mycologist or expert, which took me 30 plus years to finally have this occur. Once you get your verification then the field characteristics need to be studied to nail things down as the Charcoal burner is quite different from the many other Russulas you are liable to meet up with.  These mushrooms tonight where growing near beech, poplar and eastern white pine trees and there were 3 other russula varieties also here though there was no close look alike.  This large red colored Russula in the center of the Charcoal burners I can’t  identify though you will find 10s of Russula varieties ranging in shades between these 2, so initially you will need expert help.

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Some of the characteristics I find helpful to know after verification are the way the cap peels back, texture of the cap, gills do not break to the touch as most other Russulas do, the multi colors, near beech trees, size, center of cap is indented, gills have some forking , faint red under peeled cuticle. In the photo above we see mostly the  Charcoal burner with Banana boletes and a few yellowfoot chanterelles on the left. ciao