Amanita rubescens: The Blusher

Amanita rubescens 2697

Amanita rubescens is called the blusher because all parts of the mushroom stain pinkish red when damaged. Although our club generally does not recommend eating any Amanitas this is a mushroom that some mycophagists (people who eat mushrooms) do eat. You must be very certain of your identification if you’re going to try this one.

The convex to flat, reddish brown to flesh colored caps range from 2 to 6 inches (5 to 15 cm.) across. The patches (remnants of the universal veil) are pinkish. The free, off-white gills are close to crowded and they bruise reddish to reddish brown when damaged. The white stems range from 2 ½ to 6 inches (6 ¼ to 15 cm.) tall and ¼ to 1 inches (6 ¼ to 25 mm) thick. The stems end in a swollen base and bruise red to red-brown when damaged. The membranous, skirt-like, whitish ring also stains pinkish. The spore print is white. The blusher mushrooms grow from July to October on the ground in both hardwood and conifer forests. The poisonous Amanita brunnescens has a brown to tan colored cap and bruises brown. The poisonous A. pantherina has a volva, cup-shaped structure, at the base of the stem, A. flavorubescens which does bruise red has a yellow cap and ring.

I have not eaten A. rubescens so I cannot speak to its flavor. Various mushroom guides recommend cooking them thoroughly if you are going to try them; like all mushrooms tried for the first time only cook and try a small portion and refrigerate a specimen or two in the event that you have trouble.

Amanita flavoconia: Yellow Patches

This Amanita with its bright yellow to orange colored cap resembles its cousin, Amanita muscaria var. formosa. One major difference is the yellow colored remnants of the universal veil that dot the cap as opposed to the white remnants that dot the cap of Amanita muscaria var. formosa. A. flavoconia is a smaller mushroom than A muscaria var. formosa. For several years, I misidentified this mushroom as the fly agaric.

The yellow to orange, convex to flat caps range from 1 to 3 inches (2.5 to 7.5 cm) across. The edge of the cap does not have radial grooves. The stem has a skirt-like ring left by the partial veil. The stem ends in a bulb. Sometimes the lower end of the stem has yellow remnants of the universal veil. The free or slightly attached, white to yellowish gills are close and broad. The white to pale yellow stems range from 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cm) tall and ¼ to ½ inches (5 to 15 mm) wide. The spore print is white. Amanita flavoconia grows on the ground in oak woods, birch woods and sometimes with conifers. The season is July through October.

Yellow patches are not recommended for eating. The edibility is not well established.

There are a number of look-alikes. The closest is the somewhat rare Amanita frostiana which has radial grooves on the edge of the yellow cap and which has a collared bulb like A. muscaria.

Crepidotus applanatus: Flat Crep

 

These small, stalkless, white mushrooms are sometimes mistaken for small oyster mushrooms, Pleurotus ostreatus. Crepidotus species have brown spore prints whereas oysters have a white to lilac spore prints.

The small white, shell-shaped caps range from ½ to 1 5/8 inches (1 to 4 cm) wide. They are not very fleshy unlike oyster mushrooms. The caps are directly attached to the dead hardwood substrate. The close to crowded white gills soon become brown as the spores develop. Flat creps grow on dead hardwood logs and stumps. The season ranges from July to October. The spore print is brown.