Wednesday, November 27, 2013

SC Mushrooms

DSC_0008Last week we attended the Upstate Master Naturalist meeting and had a wonderful class about mushrooms. The talk was given by Tradd Cotter from Mushroom Mountain in Liberty, SC. He has been growing mushrooms for more than 20 years.
Here are the notes that I took from his talk.

1. Mycology is more like mushroom psychology.
2. Mychorrhizal symbiosis emerges 400+ million years ago based on fossil records.
3. Interkingdom actions between Eukaryota, Bacteria, and Archaea. Some fungi impossible to grow without this interaction.
4. Plant – fungus – virus: 3 way symbiosis; survives 149F soil temperature; braided together they can perform amazing things.
5. Mushrooms produce spores
6. Spores are discharged from the gills and have an adhesive so they can stick to wood or mulch.
7. Spores land near each other and germinate. They mate and become a vegetative state.
8. Mycelium is not a root.
9. As long as there is food, it will never fruit.
10. They burn their way through whatever they are on. Their ends are very hot.
11. They can even be cannibalistic.
12. Natural surge is circular.
13. Maitake mushroom only grows in oak.
14. Oyster mushrooms grow on anything.
15. Need water to swim through environment. That’s why water is so important.
16. Fluid comes from the ground and causes droplets.
17. It has to hit a barrier to grow fruit.
18. Biggest mushroom growing gets all the water and nutrients.
19. Mushrooms create heat, carbon dioxide and water. They stretch when they want oxygen.
20. Fairy rings – most are poisonous; one found in front of Long Hall in Clemson.
21. Mycoheterotroph– take nutrients from mushrooms; mychorrhizal cheating (Indian Pipes)
22. Lady slippers depend on fungi for growing, then it kills the mushroom.
23. In presence of nematodes, creates fungus rings, invites it to put the head in the ring, contracts and strangles the nematode.
24. Strands at base holds soil. It can hold 20-30 times its weight.
25. Leaf debris falls which is food for fungi and is a great water filter.
26. Large morel – to find, look up at trees and find host trees.
27. Small pink chanterelle – near creeks and birch
28. Tropical mushrooms near Beaufort and Savanna; associated with the collapse of ant colonies; as big as a 5 gal. Bucket; 24 in. in diameter; can grow 4-5 feet tall
29. Gilled mushroom – stays above ground for 2 months, no bugs
30. Mushroom alcohol attracts slugs.
31. Mosquitoes feed off oyster mushrooms.
32. Worms love fungi.
33. White oyster - grows in winter.
34. Phoenix oyster grows when it gets hot.
35. Wood Blewits – love mulch
36. Jack O’Lantern – saprophyte, likes stumps and buried wood, gills glow in the dark.
37. Mycorrhizal fungi – grow on roots of living trees; symbiotic relationship; good for water retention for plants.
38. Plants give fungus sugars and fungus gives plant phosphates and nitrogen.
39. When plants get synthetic fertilizer, they forget about fungi.
40. Carbon trading with plant hosts – 30% more nitrogen; 60% more phosphates.
41. Increases soil porosity and encourages worms.
42. Ectomychorrizal fungi – outside; doesn’t invade the plant; Porcini, chanterelles, truffles, includes 5000 mushrooms.
43. Endomychorrizal fungi – 7 fungal species; annual and perennial veggies
44. Pecan Truffle – tuber lyonii – grow underground; grow on pecans and oaks; has male sex hormone in it
45. Mushrooms are evolving to grow underground.
46. Squirrels and chipmunks dig up truffles because they are very fatty and good for in the winter. Poop is great for spore dispersal.
47. Black trumpets craterellus – smells like apricot, grows near beeches.
48. Gold chanterelles – taste peppery; smell like apricots; does not have true gills, and always forked; orange with white interior
49. Hedgehog – hydnum repandum - have teeth, fruity, grow on confers; won’t find in oak forest
50. Lacterus volemus – exude milk when cut; has gills; milk tastes sweet
51. Lacterus hygrophoroides – favorite of squirrels
52. Indigo Milky – L. Indigo- blue on bottom and top; edible (chop and cook with eggs or potatoes – turns everything blue); loves flood plains and oak trees
53. Lobster mushroom – 2 organisms living together; likes hemlock trees; pairs up with non-poisonous
54. Boletes – conifer loving; pores are white, yellow, orange, or bitter
55. Xanthconium Separanis – tylopilus species – bitter; could be hop replacement for beer.
56. Phallus caninus – grows out of mulch from eggs within an hour, nasty smelly spore mass
57. Lion’s Mane Pom Pom – Hericum erinaceus – tastes like crab meat; weak parasite
58. Hericium Coralloides – waterfall mushroom; tastes like lobster
59. Chicken of the Woods – brow rot goes after cellulose (white rot goes after the white); grows all over the east coast; species depend on wood; usually hardwood like oak.
60. Hen of the woods – Maitaki – Grifola frondosa – white oak, red oak, and rarely on sycamore
61. Illegal to hunt and sell mushrooms in South Carolina
62. Hemlock Reishi – Ganoderm Tsugai – weak parasite; prevalent now due to demise of hemlock; used to make teas and tinctures.
63. Agarikon – grow on old trees; Pacific NW; shouldn’t be picking them; tip is growing surface; age them by rings in the conch, fights tox virus; strong antiviral properties; can be used to carry and transport fires.
64. Forked fungus beetle – sits on top of conch and fight over females; 1 male pushes other mall all the way down off the conch so the winner can mate with female; lay larvae in base of conch.
65. Morel – oversized yeast fruit in spring; yellow, blond or black; grow with large tulip poplars on hillside, should be all hollow; produce tubers; can be mistaken for magnolia pods or sweetgum balls (but wrong habitat if you see Magnolia or Sweetgum)
66. Devils Urn – found near morels
67. If Tulip Poplar is flowering, it is too late to find morels; Fruit between certain temperatures; harvesting them encourages them to grow more. Also Wash in water and throw spore water back out. Air dry them and spores hiss out. 2 week window (measure ground temperatures)
68. Cordyceps – microparasites – eats insects; false truffles (mummified carpenter ants); mind controlling chemicals to move fungus where it needs to survive.
69. Mycopesticides – target specific biological pest; alternative to chemicals
70. Some birds look for conchs and polypors on trees. They know they can work on those trees.
71. Collect spores and mix with bird feed. Give to birds, deer, turkey.
72. Blue jays – fighter jets
73. Hummingbirds – stealth bombers
74. Haiti project – taught them to grow mushrooms on waste

Original Photo by Pat Hensley

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