Friday, May 27, 2011


Salmon Gum Mushroom (Phlebopus marginatus)

Horse-dung Fungus (Pisolithus arhizus)

The poet, John Keats, called autumn the “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”, and while he was writing about England, this is also true of Gippsland. Our wet summer and heavy autumnal rains mean that this will be another fruitful year for fungi. Already a variety of toadstools, mushrooms and other kinds of fungus have appeared in gardens, the forest and alongside roadways. Horse-dung Fungus (Pisolithus arhizus) is easily mistaken at first glance for its name-sake, especially since it often appears in clumps along dirt paths and roadsides. Salmon Gum Mushroom (Phlebopus marginatus) can grow to a huge size and are a breeding ground for fungus flies. There are a few species, like Scotch Bonnet (Marasmius oreades) that were introduced from Europe. Tony Young’s Common Australian Fungi includes information about which species are edible and which are poisonous, although in many cases of native fungi this is unknown. However, unless you’re an expert, it’s wise to avoid foraging and stick to mushrooms from the supermarket (if you like them).

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