identified mushrooms


If you were to walk at night through certain forests around the world, you might notice a mushroom glowing green. There are about 80 species of bioluminescent fungi around the globe. Scientists studying two of those species native to Brazil and Vietnam write in the journal Science Advances that they now know the exact chemical reaction that allows fungi to emit light. Turns out, it’s a lot like fireflies.

The chemical reaction involves an enzyme called luciferase (which, depending on how poetic you want to get, can be interpreted as “devil-maker,” or “maker of the light-bringer” or, most accurately, “enzyme that helps a compound called ‘luciferin’ do stuff”).

The enzyme helps luciferin gain oxygen molecules, which excites it. Once it’s excited, luciferin will release light as it returns to its usual, non-excited state. The green light it releases is called “cold light” because there’s almost no heat involved.

There are a lot of different types of luciferin. The one used by these mushrooms, identified in 2015, is different from the others identified in plants and animals. In the lab, the scientists found that the enzyme used by fungi to produce light can be used to make all sorts of colors, not just green.

Fun fact: It’s thought that reactions like these originally came about to get rid of extra, unattached oxygen molecules – in the same way that blueberries are sold as “antioxidants” to help human bodies get rid of free radicals, aka free-floating oxygen atoms.

- Rae Ellen Bichell

Image source: Cassius V. Stevani/IQ-USP, Brazil, Science Advances

Why Herbalists and Pheonix Sorcerers Don't Mix

Our party has found our way into a giant dead tree that was once the home to a very wealthy elf and is now infested with undead and fiends. Most of the party’s energy is spent on keeping the Pheonix Sorcerer (who is also our party’s herbalist) from burning the place down.

We find ourselves in a large indoor garden complete with magical fake sun and weeping treant gardener. Through circumstances the sorcerer has become invisible (partially my fault for rubbing him with a flower that turns people invisible) and found his way into a shack kept dark to grow mushrooms in. Four major mushroom colonies are in here, all of which the rest of the party has identified before, but the sorcerer want paying attention.

Through terrible rolls the sorcerer has falsely identified three of the mushrooms as deadly deadly poison, then he gets to the fourth… Which actually is deadly deadly poison.

Sorc: I attempt to identify the glowing white mushroom. *Rolls, gets a two*
DM: you’re pretty sure this mushroom is great on pizza.
Sorc: okay I have an idea! I pick one.
DM: with bare hands?
Sorc: what no! I’ve got gloves in my Herbalists kit. I put them on when I’m about to herbal.
DM: okay you pick a mushroom. It still glows
Sorc: okay I put some of the spores from the sleep flower on it… And then a petal from the invisible flower!
DM: well the mushroom still glows but is now invisible and has little spores on it.
Sorc: okay cool… I eat it.
Whole party stares
DM: roll a con save *sorc fails* okay you do to 0 HP, roll a death save
Sorc: aw shit
Fighter/bard: wait 0 HP?
DM: yeah he’s dying
Me: that… *Finally realizes* oh…
Fighter/bard: Pheonix Sorcerer…
Me: when he hits 0 HP…
Sorc: oh yeah, I use Pheonix spark
DM: *reads the rules* okay yeah… You’re not dead… *Points to rest of the party* you guys hear an explosion and see fire blow a hole in the roof of the mushroom shack
Sorc: *leaves the shack looking like a blown up cartoon character* do NOT go in there!

abyssdolls  asked:

Would you maybe be able to give me any advice on properly identifying psilocybin mushrooms? I think I found some, but I really don't want to ingest something poisonous. :/

I appreciate you asking but it would be super irresponsible of me if I tried to give advice about what you should eat, especially when there are deadly look-a-likes (like the Deadly Galerina)! I’m not a professional mycologist so there are things I just don’t have the authority or knowledge to give advice on :/

I recommend referencing a few credible field guides and cross referencing with online sources. I’ve compiled a resource list that might be a good starting point. The Mushroom Hunting and Identification Forum on might be a good place to start as well. If you have a local mycological society, you can also bring your mushroom specimens to any professional mycologists that might be at the meetings. 

Good luck!

Aborted Honey Fungus, A Delicious Parasite

I’ve previously documented about the population of honey mushrooms in the backyard mushroom garden. Several years ago I had transplanted a Musclewood tree (Carpinus caroliniana) to the area and now wonder if I had unwittingly moved a parasitic fungus along with it. For the first few years there would be a single, misshapen, ugly white fungal growth near the base of this tree that would emerge in Fall. It was unmistakable, as it was an Aborting Entoloma fungus, Entoloma abortivum infecting a honey mushroom, Armillaria gallica which are common in my garden. The Arborting Entolomas are well known for their preference for infesting honey mushroom (Armillaria) species, its mycelium often creating these strange growths that never fully develop into a typical honey mushroom shape. This year, the Entoloma has invaded the Honey mushroom areas. The normal forms of the Entolomas are now mixed side by side with the aborted, infested Honeys in my mushroom heap of old wood debris, confirming that is indeed E. abortivum infecting the Honeys.

This fungus renders the Honeys into a very tasty edible mushroom; woodsy, earthy, and full of mushroom flavor. Much more preferable to the un-infested honeys which were just merely OK. I love the stories behind parasitic fungi and like the well known Lobster mushroom, it can create a fine, wild edible.

For more on Honey Mushrooms:

The Joy of Shrooming: I have no idea what I’m doing and you can too :-)

Hey Guys!

Since you both asked questions about my experience with mushrooms, I figure to answer them simultaneously. I hope this helps!



lockmess-monster said:Hello there! I noticed a post of your that had a wild mushroom in it. I’ very eager to learn about the fungus in my area, I want to start identifying and (hopefully) harvesting some mushrooms this year. I was wondering how you’ve learned about mushrooms, if you have a book or if someone taught you. I’m thinking about purchasing a book very soon, but I want some personal reference first. Thank you! 

RE: You just made me realize I do not own a single book on mycology or mushroom identification. Nor did I group up with a mentor. I learn about mushrooms mainly through 2 channels

1) Nature walks. Or start with your backyard if available. I have documented more than 5 different types of uncultivated shrooms in my .15 acrea home lot.I observe and take an obscene amount of photos. Then go through all sorts of online and offline sources to identify the mushrooms. It may take me months and years before I stumble upon the right information, but hey, that’s how I learn. My problem with the books is that…the photos all start looking like the same or they only get one “stage” of the mushroom. You  are going to learn identification with much more confidence if you can “experience” the shroom in its various stages. 

2) My mouth. I eat a lot of mushrooms. If I can’t forage it, I go out of my way to find it in stores. More and more varieties are becoming commonly available to the public - especially if you dare to venture off into Asian food markets. Also, I don’t think people are aware of the variety of DRIED MUSHROOMS that’s available in your supermarket for consumption. You go through that aisle - you’ll be like “whoa this exists and is edible?

If you are looking for mentors/enthusiasts on Tumblr, I suggest you talk to

Gosh…why do I always draw a blank when recommending blogs. There’s so many of you guys I want to recommend…


we-amble said:Can you do a post on mushroom cultivation for beginners? I saw something about your recent success with cultivating your own starters, but how should I get started from nothing? I feel like mushrooms would cultivate very well, here in New Orleans. It’s so humid and warm… I’ve done research on this before, but get overwhelmed with the options. What would you do?

RE: Hello my dear! In case you missed it, below is a rough collection of my shroom rants. But to answer your immediate concern of how  to start, my advice is to just buy a foolproof ready-to-go oyster mushroom kit that gives you a small flush. It’s not super very expensive ($20) so it’s not a big deal if you mess up. I was doing a lot of YouTubing before I started, but really nothing prepares you like actually doing it. Most of the time it’s misting and waiting. Don’t touch anything as mush…hehe “as mush”…as possible. Oyster mushrooms are arguably one of the easiest strains for beginners to manage. Don’t pressure yourself to get the biggest flush, just OBSERVE and understand their growth pattern. Treat them like alien babies…

1) Starter Kit:

2) First Propagation:

3) First Spawn:

4) First Major Harvest:

5) Propating from Store Bought:


PLEASE NOTE: I am not a mycologist nor a professional forager. I am only speaking to my “personal experiences” in Northeastern US. Just because I do things a certain way, but that does not mean you should as well. Mushrooms found in any place or form can be extremely dangerous and should not be handled or consumed with disregard. You are taking your life into your own risk.

Mushroom Hunting

I keep seeing these posts about how you should never forage for mushrooms even if you’re an experienced forager because there are too many that are super toxic and it’s way too dangerous. 

This is kind of bullshit.

Now, I’m speaking to adults here, to be clear–please don’t take this as license to muck out into the woods and start eating shit, teens. For your own safety, because there are real dangers. 

Yes, many mushrooms are very toxic. Yes, many mushrooms look a lot alike and are very hard to confidently identify. But many common mushrooms people enjoy foraging for are easy to identify, and have few–if any–toxic look-alikes. Suggesting otherwise is pointlessly fear-mongering misinformation. 

If you want to forage for mushrooms, invest in a good mycology guide with pictures (as opposed to illustrations); go with a friend who can independently verify your identification; and consider taking a class with your local extension office, university, naturalist society, etc. Choose an easy species and look for that, rather than trying to identify every mushroom you come across (morel mushrooms are a good place to start–their only “look alike” is actually pretty different, and a good way to start to practice differential identification).

None of this is to say you shouldn’t be careful or that there aren’t risks, but mushroom hunting is a very accessible hobby for most people–don’t let the internet scare you into believing otherwise. 

Booze lovers beware. This mushroom is an inky cap (Coprinopsis atramentaria), and it’s also known as tippler’s bane. If you properly identify and eat this mushroom, you’ll likely feel just fine - unless you chase it with a boozy drink. For up to a week afterwards, ingesting alcohol will make you very, very sick. Mushroom chemistry is amazing.

hey ship! i doubt it, but do you think you could identify these mushrooms at all? they’re near my mother’s house and i was wondering what they are and i could get more pictures if needed!

They look like they might be common ink caps (Coprinopsis atramentaria). The caps are the right color and texture, it’s found in the right kind of habitat, and it looks like the edges are disintegrating into black spore-filled “ink”.

simple-indigo-child  asked:

Where did you learn to gather wild mushrooms? I'm interested, but I don't want to mess up and end up eating something poisonous.

I only harvest a few particular species which I know very well. If there is ever a moment of doubt, I will not eat it.

The easiest way to learn to identify mushrooms is to go with somebody who is well-seasoned in the art, and learn from them. Pictures in a guide book can only do so much, as mushrooms are very diverse organisms, and appearance alone is not a viable means for differentiating between similar species. 

Some smell different than others; some are slimy, some are spongy, some turn colors when you bruise them. These are all identifying factors for fungi. 

If a mentor is not an option for you, research as much as you can before harvesting anything. Make spore prints, keep a well-reviewed guide book with you at all times, and take notes about what conditions each kind of mushroom was harvested in. 

Some good books for mushroom hunting: 

Mushrooming with Confidence

All That the Rain Promises (dude - check out the cover picture on this book)

and The Ultimate Mushroom Book