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The Mushroom of the Month for June 2012 was...

Tricholomopsis platyphylla


Tricholomopsis platyphylla:

it is also known as

Megacollybia platyphylla
or
the Platterful Mushroom

The platterful mushrooms are large dark brown to grayish brown mushrooms that fruit in the spring and early summer. This is a mushroom that has been placed in several genera. It has been known as Collybia platyphylla, Oudemansiella platyphylla, Tricholomopsis platyphylla and finally (at least before DNA identification) as Megacollybia platyphylla.

The mushroom has a cap that ranges in size from 1 to 5 inches across with attached, semi-distant gills that are notched to adnate (right angle attachment to the stem). The cap starts out as somewhat bell-shaped soon flattening out often with a somewhat depressed center with an umbo (outie). The cap often appears radially streaked with darker gray fibrils. The white stalk ranges from 2 to 5 inches tall and ½ to 1 inch thick. The base of the usually stalk has thick white mycelial strands attached (rhizomorphs). The habitat is scattered or in small groups on rotting wood (sometimes buried so the mushroom appears to grow from the forest floor). The taste is mild becoming bitter with age. The spore print is white.

Tricholomopsis platyphylla

Here is a good picture of the Tricholomopsis platyphylla showing the gills and stalk

Platterful mushrooms are edible. They have caused minor gastric upsets for a small minority of those who have tasted this mushroom so exercise caution when sampling for the first time (eat only a small amount and reserve at least one specimen for identification if you suffer upset). Tricholomopsis platyphylla begins to fruit during the morel season so it is often a consolation prize for unlucky morel seekers. Although mature platterful mushrooms can have a bitter taste, David Fischer and Alan Bessette note that adding some lemon juice while cooking will eliminate the bitterness (Edible Wild Mushrooms of North America). This is one of those mushrooms about which mycophagists (mushroom eaters) disagree; some find it mediocre while others rate it highly. Fischer and Bessette give a recipe for Orange Roughy with Platterfuls in the above mentioned book.