Category: Wild Picked

Agaricus aff. brunneofibrillosus – the Dandenongs red stainer

We finally got a name for this interesting Agaricus. This is the brown scaled cap red staining Agaricus which we find under Pinus radiata and Messmate eucalypt. Its cap is dense, very dark brown and thickly scaled but without a darkened centre. The stipe is hollow, dense and both it and the cap stain red when damaged within 30 seconds. We DNA’d this species last year and it put it as around 95% Agaricus bohusii. Richard Kerrigan’s recent book describes a red staining Agaricus identical to our red stainer in subclade ‘bohusii’ bit that prefers mainly Cyprus pine. So...

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Agaricus ‘marzipan’ – JF495057

2017 was a bumper year for these splendid little Agaricus. They were quite literally all over our yard so no need to travel. DNA phylogenetics places them near Agaricus semotis as a smallish almond-smelling agaricus. These stain bright gold to orange on damage and smell potently of almonds / marzipan similarly to subrufescens. The cap is pink and scaled, gills starting grey to white before turning chocolate brown very late. There are earlier photos of this same species on the original post describing it...

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Beef steak fungus – Fistulina hepatica

During our foraging hikes recently we happened upon a beafsteak fungus growing off a very healthy looking Messmate Eucalypt. I was very excited as I had been looking for this bracket fungus for several years. Its smell was quite unusual and because of its clear identifying features and the lack of dangerous lookalikes I was confident about cooking and eating this fungus. Slicing the fungus you could clearly see why it was described as appearing similar to a steak of beef – it looked and felt incredibly similar, even mildly bleeding a red resin. I cooked this in sesame...

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wild picked Porcini available

Forget the rest; go with the best. DNA confirmed Boletus edulis / Cep / Porcini from the Adelaide hills now available. We personally had samples of these extracted and sequenced and they came up as 100% consistent with Boletus edulis via the Genebank. And few mushrooms are more prized than porcini! Check our products page while still available. Our price $80 per kilo direct from...

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Jonas finds the Black Trumpet

Not that long ago Jonas Bellchambers found a bracket fungi that looked a lot like Chicken of the Woods somewhere in NSW. Now Jonas has done it again – this time finding the holy grail of mushroom hunting in Australia – the black trumpet (Craterellus cornucopioides or an Australian native relative). During my time in the United States I was able to try these over there and these are premium quality mushrooms with amazing flavour and complexity so I have put a lot of time into finding them here without success. Whether our local species / phenotype lives up...

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February King Stropharia mayhem!!

We got a great tip from our friend Claire about a large stand of King Stropharia fruiting on the plateau behind the Dandenongs on mass. Upon arriving at the location the size (both in terms of amount and in terms of size of some of these mushrooms) literally blew our minds! King Stropharia fruiting wild/feral in the Victorian summer like you wouldn’t believe. And some sensational tasting specimens! We’ve cloned a few of these beautiful mushrooms and it will be interesting to see how Stropharia rugosoannulata gembrookii performs in grow experiments. Dinner was...

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Lentinula lateritia – the Australian native Shiitake

Davenwolf Dagger has done it again – this time managing to not only find the elusive native Aussie Shiitake species – Lentinula lateritia (which we recently confirmed matched phylogenetic type specimens 100%) but he has also managed to take these awesome photos and clone the mushroom! In terms of edibility this species is actually farmed in South-East Asia as a food source. Jsun from Mushroaming states that they taste very similar to conventional Shiitake. We have also spoken to several other sources who have eaten this species. For more detail please check out Jsun’s awesome blog at: Lentinula lateritia...

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Australian Morels (Morchella species)

Australia has a number of interesting Morel / Morchella species. Traditionally morels in Europe and the United States are regarded as premier mushrooms – the best of the best in the same culinary territory as truffles, Porcini (Boletus edulis), chants and black trumpets. In fact some chefs suggest that morels are better than all of the above with their earthy, forest fresh, nicotiney flavour. Our understanding is that Australia has at least three distinct morel (Morchella) species: a white pointed capped winter species that seems most common in Western Australia but also appearing in South Australia and Victoria in...

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FNQ native chanterelle – updated

For a number of years connections of mine up in and around Cairns and Kuranda in Far North Queensland have been raving about the local chanterelle (Cantharellus) species. There appears to be a pale and a reddish variant. Flavour packs a punch by reports and unlike our southern ones apparently rivals that of the European and American varieties. Recently our friend Ryan happened upon these which match the description of the ‘Kuranda chants’ quite closely. Thanks to Ryan for these great photos taken near the Daintree in FNQ: UPDATE – while up in FNQ we were able to colaborate...

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Agaricus austrovinaceus

This native scaled Agaricus frequents native forests and occasionally appears under Pinus radiata. Its lack of yellow staining due to phenolic constituents suggests it may be edible however its odour is unpleasant. Cap is purplish to brown with a darkened umbo and thick cap scales. It can be up to 18cms. Flesh does not stain on damage. Smell of aniseed or fruitiness but in an unpleasant way. In terms of identification this species has no registered type specimen on Genebank but microscopic review and macroscooic features match...

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Agaricus subrufescens – an almondy agaricus

While there are a number of almond / marzipan smelling Agaricus in southern Australia, two separate collections from South Eastern Queensland and Adelaide turned out – via DNA extraction and sequencing – to be 99% Agaricus subrufescens. This is an Agaricus quite closely synonymous with Agaricus blazei which has been commercially cultivated for some time. We will attempt to see if we can streak the spores of this mushroom on agar and get it going. Thanks to Jon Atkinson for these photos from this SEQ...

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Flammulina velutipes (Wild Enoki / Velvet Shank)

An interesting find in Selby recently was the Australian wild equivalent of the often cultivated enoki / enokitake mushroom – here growing on rotting Poplar branches and stumps. DNA results have confirmed that this is the same species as that collected and referred to in Europe and North America as the Velvet Shank – the wild version of the white enoki mushroom available in most supermarkets. Interestingly, Bruce Fuhrer describes this species as edible in his guidebook. Clones are clearly...

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Agaricus eburneocanus – an almondy field mushroom

A while back we found hundreds of these interesting Agaricus species growing in cattle pasture around Narre Warren. Some were quite large and gold to grey capped with dark brown gills, a potent smell of almonds or aniseed and slow gold staining on the stipe. We assumed these were actually a local variant of arvensis but recent DNA results demonstrate this is a newly described Agaricus species (Agaricus burneocanus) – that only occurs in Australia as part of section Arvensis with its closest phylogenetic relatives being the prized edibles Agaricus macrosporus and Agaricus...

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Agaricus ‘marzipan’ – the almondy agaricus (JF495057) – updated!

A superb mushroom with a strong scent of almonds, this mushroom was initially collected wild in a secluded location in the Dandenong Ranges – resembling a small Agaricus augustus in some ways, but with a pinkish scaled cap and strong orange staining. DNA sequencing has demonstrated this strong almondy phenotype appears to be part of a species complex of small pink-capped Agaricus species found in Victoria and Tasmania in Eucalypt and occassionally pine forest. Collections have varying levels of almond smell and orange staining – and some with pale grey to chocolate brown gills. DNA sequencing has demonstrated that...

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Armillaria luteobubalina – the Australian Honey Mushroom

Another interesting edible prospect is the native Armillaria species – Armillaria luteobubalina. A very common mushroom on old stumps around the Dandenongs and Victoria in general in the coldest parts of winter (usually), we were informed fairly recently that families have been eating these since at least the 1950s assuming they actually were European Honey Mushrooms. Like their European counterparts they must be boiled before consumption to remove toxins and a very bitter taste so we recommend proceeding with caution. Still some people rave about these including one of our customers. More recently an old mushroom collector informed us...

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2016 hunting season update

Well the 2016 wild mushroom season in the Dandenongs has been unusually poor with some small periods of rain interposed with longer periods of very dry conditions. Despite this the boletes and agaricus have been up and we did also find quite a few Macrolepiota clelandii specimens (although we dont pick or eat this species as its edibility is unknown). Suillus granulatus and cracked boletes were out in force, as were quite a number of Leccinum scabrum (Birch Boletes) which generally are our quickest wild-picked seller. And there seems to be a plague of the majestic Phlebopus marginatus. We...

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Hydnum species – Wood Hedgehogs

In Selby and surrounds we frequently encounter a white Hydnum (Wood Hedgehog) species that is often described in guides as Hydnum repandum – an edible species found in Europe and the United States. For this reason perhaps these mushrooms are frequently collected in Victoria. The mushrooms are petite bone to yellow with undulating margins and prominent spines instead of gills frequently found in Messmate and Mountain Grey Gum forest. Their flesh stains slowly bronze orange on damage and they can be quite brittle. Recent DNA work on this species suggests collections from Menzies Creek ranged between 92% to 96%...

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Victorian red-staining Agaricus complex

Around the Dandenongs including in our front yard we have been finding three variants of an Agaricus with a brownish scaled cap, and flesh that stains pinkish red. We actually assumed these were separate species but all three – following DNA analysis – turned out to be much closer to one another than to any other recorded phylogenetic lineage. All three were 95 or 94% close to Agaricus littoralis and 94% to Agaricus bohusii meaning these are undescribed species. The first variant (Agaricus floral under pine) is smallish and button shaped and its staining begins pink or red and...

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Agaricus augustus (tentative)

For quite a while Ive been puzzled by online and guidebook descriptions and observations of Agaricus augustus in southern Australia and particularly in Victoria. Nearly always these mushrooms described as augustus lack nearly all of its macroscopic (scaled golden cap, thick scales below the ring and robust size) and microscopic features. So I was quite pleased to find this mushroom in Berwick, Victoria last year that seemed to fit at least the macroscopic features of American augustus rather than just its large size (specimen in question was 17cms). This mushroom was growing on the edge of a gravel path...

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Various unknown Agaricus from Southern Victoria.

Around the Dandenongs we have found probably dozens of different distinct species of Agaricus in the last five years – many that don’t seem to fit anywhere within available descriptions and when they do when DNA is investigated the results often put the collection miles phylogenetically from what we thought it was. Unfortunately we cannot afford to send them all for DNA sequencing and therefore their true identification may remain unclear for the short-term. With this in mind we thought we might post some of the more interesting ones. First is this big meaty Agaricus with a scaled cap...

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Cordyceps gunnii

By chance a neighbour of mine was cutting down a large Acacia and was burning the ground below it and had stumbled upon these. He asked me whether they were an insect and I recognised them pretty quickly as being a Cordyceps species. These fungi lie dormant in the ground where the grubs of certain moths develop and infect these grubs so that when they reach a certain development level the fungi kills the grub and turns it into food for its fruit body. In the photo the white part at the bottom is the mummified grub and the...

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Chanterelle – the Australian chanterelle (Cantharellus concinnus)

Known as the native Chanterelle or the Australian Chanterelle, Cantharellus concinnus is a somewhat uncommon mushroom that is macroscopically very similar to the European and US continental common chanterelle (Canterellus cibarius or Girolle). In Europe and America, the Chanterelle is one of the most prized, sought-after and flavoursome of wild mushrooms, rated in the top three by many respected European chefs and mushroom enthusiasts. In fact the chanterelle is often the most sort after wild mushroom of all for its unique peppery flavours. The Australian chanterelle is a closely related species that occurs in heathland and scrub below various...

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Feral Blue Oysters – A Selby surprise

Walking my dog the other morning we came upon a surprise – a massive bunch of Blue Oysters (possibly Pleurotus ostreatus var. columbinus) growing off mulch pushed behind a treated pine retaining wall. Clearly someone in the area has at some stage been growing these and they have gone feral. This was right near Sherbrooke Forest, Selby. They looked amazing and smelled much more aniseedy than I have noticed with homegrown oysters. Clones were taken and our feral oyster will most likely be an exciting new addition to our culture library. Another surprise was a big flush of one of...

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2015 hunting season has been great

Well the 2015 mushroom hunting season has been massive!! It got off to a slow start before a bumper crop of just about every species started popping up. While we didn’t find any of those Porcini that every person and their pet are finding in the Adelaide hills, we’ve found just about everything else. This year in Selby we have an absolute plague of three Suillus species – luteus, granulatus and bovinus which was the first time I had seen the later. Personally I rate bovinus above the other two but Suillus in general aren’t spectacular gourmets. Slippery jacks...

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Suillus bovinus (the Bovine Bolete) – A new arrival in Selby

At a stand of Pinus radiata in Selby where we often find a lot of Grey Ghost (Tricholoma terreum) and Saffron Milk Cap (Lactarius deliciosus) we found these interesting little yellow boletes popping up. In the years that we have been checking this location we have never seen them before and we weren’t initially certain whether they were a native species that had moved into this environment or a dormant foreign mycorrhizal attachment that had been waiting for the right conditions to appear. We soon realised we were looking at Suillus bovinus – a european bolete related to other...

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Brown Birch Bolete (Leccinum scabrum)

Regarded by many as the best edible mushroom species occurring wild in Southern Australia, the Brown Birch Bolete has a complex, nutty flavour somewhat similar to the highly prized Porcini or Cep; a complex and nuanced flavour profile. These mushrooms can grow very large, heavy and meaty and are in every way a good substitute for the highly prized European Porcini or Cep mushroom. Perfect for Risottos, complex sauces and stews, this mushroom is highly sort after by amateur hunters and chefs alike. Our Birch Boletes are all picked wild from a private property to ensure a quality product....

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Saffron Milk Cap – Pine Mushroom (Lactarius deliciosus)

Introduced on its mycorrhizal host plant, Pinus radiata, and now widespread throughout pine plantation and groves throughout Southern Australia from Perth to Hobart, Melbourne to New South Wales, this mushroom is considered a favourite by amateur hunters, fresh-produce markets and foodies alike. Excuding a milky substance on cutting and eventually bruising greenish on damage or age, this mushroom has an interesting unique crunchy texture and mild flavour and bright colour that suits a wide variety of dishes or recipes. Now often seen sold at markets and on the menus of many restaurants its culinary versitility make it an increasingly...

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Wood Blewit (Lepista nuda)

Selby Shroom’s favourite mushroom – the wood blewit is an magnificent looking species with lilac gills, a meaty mottled lilac stem, a strong margin and a viscid lilac to brown cap. In Selby this mushroom can appear solitary or in large patches below dogwood, Messmate stringybark forest where it appears with a very brown cap, or under pine trees where it seems to produce a milder cap colour and less distinct fruity odour. Some seasons they barely appear at all; other years they appear in abundance. They are a late winter mushroom – seeming to flush when the others are...

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Grey Ghost / Grey Knight (Tricholoma terreum)

A common imported species that appears on mass every year in Selby is Tricholoma aff. terreum. In the past this mushroom was considered edible – and in France and the Catal region is has a long heritage of being consumed – HOWEVER: Recent research from China suggested that this species may contain nephrotoxic constituents particular when eaten in large amounts. Therefore we pick these to smell their lovely scent but we do not sell or recommend consumption of this...

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Suillus luteus / granulatus (The Slippery Jack / Sticky Bun)

Probably the first wild mushrooms occurring in Southern Australia that gained popularity with the burgeoning new generation of gourmet mushroom hunters, this mushroom has been a staple for many people of eastern European extraction for hundreds of years – who consider these mushrooms (luteus and granulatus) are a delicacy when pickled or vinegared. A large, weighty mushroom with a sticky, slimy brown to gold cap with age, it occurs sometimes in massive troops below groves of Pinus Radiata and similar pine species. The flavour can be earthy, versitile and the mushroom gives off a lot of liquid on cooking,...

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Macrolepiota clelandii (the Australian Parasol mushroom)

Just behind my house I was lucky to find a bunch of Australian Parasol mushrooms (Macrolepiota clelandii) growing on the verge of a gravel road as they do every year. Their stem/stipe had the snakeskin pattern seen from Macrolepiota procera which kind of demonstrates how close these are to that mushroom. The edibility of this mushroom is unknown. Photos 5-7 are images of another similar Macrolepiota species that was found under an Oak tree three days earlier. Quite similar but i was uncertain of the identity of this mushroom.    ...

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Agaricus (large almond smell)

We were lucky enough to find an interesting and massive Agaricus species growing randomly below two large Pinus radiatas in Selby/Belgrave South. We stopped our car to check it out! Initially my first thought was that it might be Agaricus augustus – knowing that according to Bruce Fuhrer’s guide and a few others, our Prince is quite different to the US continental magestic wonder. This mushroom did smell mildly of almonds, was incredibly large – one of two specimens measuring 19cms in diameter but to be honest we were unsure of whether it was augustus or an as yet...

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Marasmius oreades – the fairy ring mushroom

Marasmius oreades – the fairy ring mushroom The Fairy Ring Champignon is a cute little guy that appears in open or manured grasslands in sometimes quite amazing fairy rings. The caps of this mushroom have a sweat flavour that goes quite well with chicken, fish as well as mixed mushroom dishes. The stem is quite flexible and chewy, thus is usually discarded before cooking. Fairy rings of this mushroom near Stonehenge, Salisbury are thought to be hundreds of years old. This mushroom is highly prized in France (where it is called Mousseron) and Spain where it is frequently employed...

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