I'm going to start a thread on fungi, mainly regarding edible wild mushrooms but there will be other stuff thrown in as well.
A couple of things to say before I start.
Firstly, and most importantly, DO NOT rely on anything posted here to identify mushrooms for consumption. There are mushrooms out there that will kill you or leave you requiring organ transplant(s) if eaten. There are others that will make you very ill. Some are hallucinogenic. Some just taste terrible. Others are very tasty, but we will get to that. I would note that photos can be very misleading when it comes to identification.
Secondly, I apologise in advance that most of my posts won't be of mushrooms sighted or collected in Caithness - for the simple reason I don't live there any more. However, the majority of mushrooms found in the UK can be found in Caithness, although there are some mushrooms that thrive in the far north and others that are scarce. I do go back to Caithness often though and I will post pictures from there when I can.
OK, I'm starting with the most prized mushroom in the world, the Penny Bun, or Cep, or Porcini. The photos are of the first penny bun I ever found, and it was found in Caithness. I have collected many more since but this remains the best find. It was large and in pristine condition, ignored by slugs and fly larvae. It was very tasty too.
Last edited by Amethyst Deceiver; 02-Aug-15 at 21:54.
I went for a walk in the woods yesterday, not expecting to find anything of great interest but I came across a patch of forest floor covered in chanterelles, there were hundreds of them. I had failed to bring a bag so I filled a coat pocket with them as a token gesture. This is one species that I haven't found in Caithness, and I would be interested to know if anyone else has. I've found plenty of false chanterelles in Caithness which are very similar, but they have real gills rather than ridges, are more orange than yellow, and are not so irregularly shaped.
Also found yesterday I'm near certain that this is Sheathed Woodtuft, a good edible mushroom. The two tone colour comes from the cap drying from the centre out. However it is very similar to the Funeral Bell, a deadly poisonous species (although they dry outside to in). I've no interest risking death for a free meal so I left them alone.
In France, if you collect mushrooms and are unsure about them, you can take them to the pharmacist and they will identify them. In the primary school my sisters kids attended the get lessons on identifying wild mushrooms!
Really! That's interesting. I guess it's part of the culture in France when it comes to wild mushrooms. I noticed it in Switzerland and Italy also. Probably most of Europe are more interested in the subject that the UK.
Originally Posted by squidge
It would be great if others posted pictures of mushrooms here too, especially if found in Caithness.
Feel free to ask any questions too, I'm very much an amateur when it comes to the subject but I will do my best and others might chip in.
Fly Agaric - definitely NOT a mushroom to be collecting for food. It is poisonous although not thought to be deadly any more - it still comes with serious warnings though. It is highly intoxicating and hallucinogenic.
Last edited by Amethyst Deceiver; 14-Aug-15 at 18:18.