Suppression and control - Forests and Coprinus atramentarius-"Inkycap" - Edible but...
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Mushrooms in lawns
Lawns and meadows are the favored habitat of a large variety of wild mushrooms that usually appear in late summer and fall. These mushrooms sometimes cause concern, whether it be fear of small children or pets eating them or simply be- cause they create on unsightly appearance. But for those who know mushrooms, some species can provide a tasty addition to the menu while avoiding those that are undesirable and poisonous.
Amanita muscaria - Poisonous
Fairy ring mushrooms
The "fairy ring mushroom" (Marasm;us oreades) is one of the commonest of the lawn mushrooms. It gets its name from its habit of growing in circles which may cause unsightly rings of dark green grass around a zone of dying grass. The little mushrooms are 2-5 cm broad, buff tan to nearly white when dry with a tough, fibrous stem; the gills under the rounded cap are whitish buff and rather distant from each other. Although these mush- rooms are edible and good, most property owners seek ways to eliminate the unsightly rings in the lawn.
Marasmius oreades - "Fairy ring" - Edible
Suppression and control
Suppression and Control of Fairy Ring Mushrooms
Method 1. Fertilizer and Water
Spike the fairy ring to a depth of 25 cm with a garden fork at 10-15 cm intervals. Water in nitro- gen fertilizer (chemical). Water spiked area daily for 4-8 weeks.
Method 2. Fu ngicidal Drench
Some commercial fungicides, applied in water so- lution according to instructions on the package may reduce mushroom production, but few have any effect on the spawn in the turf and soil or in eradication.
Method 3. Soil fumigation.
A drastic treatment using formaldehyde solution under polyethylene sheets which should be under- taken only under direction of experienced hand- Ier. This treatment can effectively eradicate the fu ngus.
Canada Pacific Forest Research Centre,
506 West Burnside Rd., Victoria, B.C., V8Z 1M5
Sweat producing Clitocybe
A poisonous mushroom that sometimes grows in association with the "fairy ring" is the "sweat- producing Clitocybe". It is about the same size, but is grayish-white with closely set gills that extend down the stem. Any collections of mush- rooms for food should be individually checked for dangerous "Iook-alikes."
Calbovista subsculpta - Puffballs are edible if pure white and homogeneous inside.
The beautiful, pure-white "smooth Lepiota" (Lepiota naucina) is quite common in lawns and has a rounded cap up to 20 cm broad. It is edible for most people, but because it so closely resem- bles the very dangerous white Amanitas, great care should be taken or entirely avoided. The white gills, annulus and bulbous base on the stem are notable features fou nd both in the "smooth lepiota" and in Amanita.
- Edible but resembles poisonous white Amanitas
Coprinus mushrooms Meadow mushrooms Mushrooms and forests Precautions
A few precautions in using wild mushrooms.
~ Do not use mushrooms from lawns recently sprayed with pesticides.
~ There are no simple tests which tell you which mushroom is poisonous. Discard any mush- rooms not positively identified.
~ Eat small amounts at first to see if there is any reaction.
• Contact your local poison control group if discomfort follows eating.
t Lepiota rachodes - "Shaggy Lepiota" - Edible
Mushrooms, whose true habitat is the forest, often appear in lawns because trees are growing near- by. All trees have symbiotic fungi that associate with the roots, and in the fall the mushroom fruits emerge in the grass near the trees. This group of mushrooms, called mycorrhizal, would not be found in open lawns or meadows where there were no trees. Some mycorrhizal mushrooms are good, but the deadly Amanitas and other dangerous mushrooms are also in this group.
- Agaricus arvensis - "Horse mushroom" - Edible
Amanita muscaria - Poisonous. Comes up in lawns but is always associated with nearby conifers.
The "meadow mushroom" or "pink bottom" (Agari- cus campestris) may be found in lawns but is most common in meadows where horses and cattle are kept. This mushroom is closest to the domestic mushroom of commerce, with a silky white cap usually 8-10 em in diameter and gills that are bright pink when young, becoming dark brown at maturity. The "horse mushroom" (Agaricus arven- sis) occurs in a similar habitat, but is larger, with gills that are beige to light pink when young. These two mushrooms are among the best edibles of all the wild species.
Agaricus campestris - "Meadow mushroom" - Edible
Coprinus comatus "Shaggy mane" Edible-
Coprinus atramentarius- "Inky cap" - Edible but poisonous if consumed with alcohol
Two species of Coprinus mushrooms are common in grassy areas - the "shaggy mane" (Coprinus comatus) and the "inky cap" (Coprinus atramen- tarius). In both of these the gills dissolve into an inky black fluid when mature and are very unsight- ly. However, both are edible when young, although the "inky cap" should not be consumed with al- coholic beverages. The "shaggy mane" is distinc- tive with its tall, white, barrel-shape covered with shaggy scales. The "inky cap" is smooth, lead gray and con ical.