12.11.07

All in the name...

Another mushroom hunt, on a dull, damp Sunday afternoon, with the woodlands glowing softly against the grey sky in shades of saffron and mustard. It began to rain. I found an old tube of extra strong mints in my anorak pocket. Even less fungal activity than before, but the pine enclosure did not let us down - a beautiful lavender crop of Wood Blewits, which should last for a few days...



And nearby, a large congregation of these fellows. Yet again my trusty mushroom book seemed to have the perfect match - Clitocybe Inversa. Description - tick. Picture match - tick. Growing in spruce land - tick. But we have never eaten this before. Back home with a healthy pink glow and mugs of hot chocolate, we got out our other fungi books and Googled. The first thing we do before trying a new species is to check, check and check again - and to make sure it can't be confused with anything poisonous.




Now a little confusion set in. It probably was
Clitocybe Inversa, but another book had an identical looking picture labelled Clitocybe Flaccida. Googling almost made the situation worse - it also looked identical to Lepista Inversa, which also ticked the right boxes? Oh, hang on, apparantly, Clitocybe Inversa has a variant called Clitocybe Flaccida. But Wiki says that
Clitocybe Flaccida is the new name for Lepista Flaccida...and they all look the same...ah, that would be something to do with there being a 'generic revision' between Lepista and Clitocybe - so they used to be different but now they are the same. According to the boffins.
But the good news was whatever you choose to call it, they are edible. Conclusion - much easier to call it by its common name - Tawny Funnel Cap. Cuts to the chase and tells it how it is; it's tawny. It's funnel shaped. And very nice when fried, and served with meatballs and gravy. Andy said they were a bit tasteless. I said they were free.




12 comments:

tash said...

You can't get much better than free - I bet they tasted amazing, just for the effort of all that research!

Do you ever find ceps?

Caroline B said...

Forget eating it - where are my paints, that is absolutely stunning!

Becca said...

Dear PG ... this is fascinating to me. I feel as though I am taking a course in "mushrooms" - and I love it. I wonder if we have these same kinds of mushrooms in the States and if I went in search - would I find any? Mushrooms are great to eat, to photograph, to paint and their generic names are absolutely endearing. I think I will ask for your mushroom book for Christmas.

OldBagNewTricks said...

These mushroom photos are stunning... and your writing about them makes me want to go tramp in the woods to find.... something I can drop in a pot. Like Becca said, it's like taking a class in "Mushrooms 101".

Jenny

Stephanie Roth said...

OOOO! So beautiful! Thanks for presenting them so artfully as to make us all pay attention to these small wonders that would have gone unnoticed...How's that book I keep naggin gyou about going???xo steph

natural attrill said...

Waht beautiful mushrooms, lovely photo's G.
P.x

elizabethm said...

What beautiful photos. We were so greedy we just ate ours!

Rima said...

Ah.. what a lovely mushroomy tale :) Did you know that puffballs are excellent for staunching bad bleeding? x

weirdbunny said...

I love your mushroom pictures. We've got a variety of fungi growing along the side of the lane that I need to take some photo's of. There's also some edible mushrooms on the top field that our neighbour eats. And your right free food is the best food ! ~ love Julia x

Becca said...

Thank you so much for your very helpful answer to my questions about mushrooms on my blog. I do actually see a ton of wild mushrooms on my walks with the dogs, but now I know not to just go out and buy the guide you were mentioning in your post but find one specific to western PA. Thanks for taking the time to let me know. Hope you aren't too, too busy preparing for the holidays.

Malc said...

Great pictures, I can almost smell and taste them. Hope the lengthy research was worthwhile.

Merisi said...

Gretel,
while writing a comment on your most recent post, your blogsite moved to this image of a Tawny Funnel Cap. The colours and precision remind me of Leonardo da Vinci drawings. I imagine it printed on some great heavy Ilford paper, matted as if it were an old print, an antique gilded frame, and there you have it, a great work of art. If it were an analog photo, I'd beg you to let me use the negative. I would gift you the print, of course.
Thanks for the inspiration, I greatly appreciate that. :-)