Shaggy Parasol Spore Print Verdict

KevinForaging, From The Wild, Mushrooms5 Comments

About 5 hrs into the wait for my ‘supposed’ shaggy parasol mushroom to leave a spore print, I hopped online to check what I might be looking for. If you trust Wikipedia, their info on these mushrooms says “The gills and spore print are both white in colour.” Perhaps more importantly, it goes on to explain the print of the deadly lookalike: “Checking the spore print is essential as C. molybdites’ print is green (older specimens have slightly green gills). As a result, this mushroom is not recommended for inexperienced hunters.” Green spores for evilness, white for good. Rather stereotypical, no? I confirmed Wikipedia’s take with my new mycological society friend, and their stories jived.

If you were paying attention, my last post had me with a mushroom on white paper. White on white, not so likely to show up. So I gleaned some dark craft paper from my wife’s stash, and put the cap half on white, half on dark. If it was green evilness, it would hopefully show on stark white. If it was white good, would hopefully show on burgundy. And so it happened. The white paper had spores, but you couldn’t really see them, because, well, they were white. The ones on the dark paper showed up as per the photo: white. And darn lovely to look at too. Further evidence, along with the fact that I have not died or become ill from them in prior years, that these are indeed Shaggy Parasols, and that I can proceed to indulge in them without risk of making my children orphans. I hope.

***Don’t die eating wild mushrooms that you haven’t ID’d and blame it on me. Wild mushrooms can be vile-nasty-toxic, and this is my disclaimer that it’s not my fault if you mess up and get disastrously ill based on the information above. I’m just sayin’.

5 Comments on “Shaggy Parasol Spore Print Verdict”

  1. Mark

    Man those shaggy parasols….found some in my garden on the same day you posted, the 27th, and those made a great breakfast, i am just about to make “duxelles” with the parasols that have been developing the past couple of days (which is a recipe i found and seems a good way to preserve shrooms). it was cool to find your site when i was searching for shaggy parasol info because it is local info, not from below the 49th, props for a great looking site with solid info, cheers! i was wondering if in your forages you ever get chicken mushrooms, aka sulfur shelf, i think seen some the other day and am not sure if maybe they are immature or they could be perfect! anything you could add maybe the key to my fine dining. cheers.

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  5. Jeff Stephens

    I also found a large amount of what seemed to be Shaggy Parasol mushrooms here in central Louisiana in July. Just to be sure I laid some out for spore prints – one on white paper, one on black, and one on a piece of glass borrowed from a picture frame. The one on the white was virtually unnoticeable, the one on the glass was a bit more pronounced, but the one on the black paper showed up clearly and was an “off white”. So I fried them up and ate an entire cap about 7 inches in diameter. It was delicious, more like some sort of super tender type of meat than a mushroom. No ill effects whatsoever. I was very excited and pleased with my find. Everyone else had gone to bed and the next day they didn’t want to try the mushrooms because by that time they were soggy (the mushrooms).
    I’ve been watching my spot since then, anxiously awaiting the return of my tasty mushrooms because now my family and friends wanted to try them. After the last rain here in mid September, they came up again in an even larger group of 12 to 15 mushrooms so I picked the nicest ones and brought them back so I could fry them up and share them with my family. Just to prove a point, I fried a 5″ – 6″ cap a few hours before dinner time and ate it myself so they would see that I didn’t get sick and it didn’t kill me. My girlfriend asked for a bite so I gave her one. It was so tasty, we went back out to gather the rest of them to throw and the fridge and then fry or grill at a barbecue over the weekend. This time, as soon as I plucked the first large one, there was a solid bright green circle of powder beneath it. I picked another and there was the same. These had been there for about 3 to 4 days by now and the color was unmistakable, almost a pastel color green, the type of thing that after you see it once, you will never forget that color. Needless to say, we didn’t fry the rest of them up for dinner that night or take them to the barbecue. The internet sites claimed that we would feel hot and start sweating, then have severe stomach illness between 30 minutes and 3 hours and need to go to the hospital. We ate dinner, felt fine, then ran a low grade fever for a half hour or so, then that was it. No stomach sickness, no hospital, no dying. So to sum it up, be very careful, and when you make a spore print, make it with one or two of the most mature ones, unless of course you already see the green spores when you pick it. The younger ones that I printed at first did not have a green spore print at all, it was an off white which over time has become a light brown, yet the more mature ones dropped a pile of very green spores. I’ve eaten the toxic Macrolepiota procera twice now with no ill effects for whatever reason, but obviously that’s not how it always ends up as this species is responsible for the majority of mushroom poisonings in humans in North America. The heat from frying them may have possibly destroyed some of the toxin, I can’t know for sure. I ate these being a solid 99% positive that they were shaggy parasols at first and you couldn’t have convince me otherwise. But those green spores I finally saw certainly did. It would be very beneficial if there were pictures of spore prints easily available that people could see and compare to their own. To me, being light colored and NOT green, meant white. But perhaps the actual print from the Paralol is bright white, I still don’t know about that. I can live with the possibly making myself ill in my experimentation and having to go to the hospital, but I was very scared about the bite that I gave to my girlfriend. Luckily we were both fine. I will take photos of the first spore prints on the black paper, then go take some of the pastel green beneath the ones outside and try to send them in or post them on some of the mushroom websites. Be careful!

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