Fungi workshop (& foray!)

Several pics for this post as I have spent the day at the fungi workshop: Exploring the Fifth Kingdom - an Introduction to Fungi. The day was amazing.

The workshop was held at the neighboourhood centre where a whole room was set up with beautiful displays along with information, guide books and pictures/photos. The morning was spent in a small seminar room with a large screen that dispayed beautifully photographed close up pictures as the speech progressed. The guide was relaxed, knowledgable and very engaging. We took a small break for lunch and then went on a fungal foray at the top of our local mountain where many different specimens were found and discussed. The day was finished of with a delicious cook up of local mushrooms in a wok over a small campfire just as the rain made appearance!

Native boletes (spongy pored fungi). Edibility unknown.

This table shows how similar (and innocent) field mushrooms can look. Only two specimens pictured here are safe to eat!

Stages in the life cycle of the Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria).

Saffron Milk Cap (Lactarius deliciosus), a local edible fungi. Grows under pine trees and is identified by the orange 'milk' it oozes, which turns green with oxidation, the 'giraffe like' spotted pattern on the stem, the chalky interior of the stem and the downward sloping of the gills.

Slippery Jack (Suillus luteus), another edible local mushroom. It has a characteristic slimy coating on top of the cap and a porous underside (almost sponge-like) in place of gills. Found in pine forests.

Shaggy Ink Cap or Lawyers Wig (Coprinus comatus). The two pictured here were actually ones I found in my driveway that I took along and as the guide didn't have these specimens they were placed on the display table. Another local edible variety.

Saffron Milk Cap found on our foray.

Saffron milk caps fried in olive oil and garlic. The perfect end to a fantastic day.

*It goes without saying, but never eat wild mushrooms unless you are with someone who knows what they are doing or you are certain that they are safe.*


  1. What a great course to do.....some of those that are edible still look like they should not be eaten :0)
    That brown spongey one in the first photo just doesn't look it?

  2. Hi Debbie, I thought exactly the same as you about the edible looking ones appearing quite the opposite.

    I checked with my friend (who happened to take more notes than I did yesterday!)and she says the fungi in the first photo belong to a group called Boletes, which have the spongy underside. The 'slippery jack' falls into this group.

    The ones in the first picture are native boletes, their edibility is as yet unknown. (Australia has so many native species of fungi with only a fraction of them identified). Many boletes in Europe are edible although there are also some poisonous ones too.

  3. The European boletes are very varied too, some are excellent to eat and some look very evil indeed. On the shaggy ink cap I hope they warned you that you can't eat them and drink alchohol at the same meal. They contain something similar to disulfram (antabuse) and you will be very sick indeed, its other name is Tipplers Bane!

  4. Yes! Thanks for reminding me, Joanna. Our guide did mention this and warned us never to mix the two. I haven't actually been tempted to eat them as according to her, she could take them or leave them. Plus they produce their inky caps so quickly. Tippler's Bane, I like that!

    Strange fact for you - the guide also mentioned that the Vikings used to enjoy the properties of the Fly Agaric for their hallucinogenic qualities. Although poisonous if consumed firsthand, they were crafty and fed them to goats, of which they then drank the urine...all of the hallucinogenic qualities without the poison which had been 'filtered' out by the goat. Apparently it worked wonders for their courage going into battle! Ugh! :o)


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Hi there, so nice of you to stop by! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love hearing what you are up to. Christine x

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