Common edible mushrooms by Clyde M. Christensen

By Clyde M. Christensen

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One can only recommend so enthusiastic a mushroom eater to the protection of a kind providence. Because the specimens were rather tough he had boiled them for about an hour in water and had then discarded the water. The poison is apparently soluble in water and can be removed in this way — for which he should be thankful! C) is found almost everywhere in wooded areas from early spring until late fall. Though it usually comes up in clusters, it may occur singly also. The cap of young specimens is convex, later becoming flat, and about i to i 1/2 inches across.

All four of these mushrooms are also described and illustrated in the following section, but a brief, concise synopsis of each should be especially valuable to the beginner who wishes to be sure of a few kinds before he has gained the experience arid confidence that will enable him to know the others equally well. The experienced mycologist, too, can use this section to initiate his friends into a fascinating pursuit. Morels, or Sponge Mushrooms The illustrations (Figure i and Plate 4F) show the general shape of morels far better than words can describe it, and although the several different kinds of morels differ somewhat in shape and size, nobody who has seen even a picture of one can confuse morels with any other plant.

In such a section there may be a basal portion that differs slightly in texture from the head proper, although this rudimentary '9 Figure 2. Pear-shaped puffballs common on decaying wood. As the spines mature, they fall off. Figure 3. Vase-shaped puffballs common in meadows. 20 THE FOOLPROOF FOUR stem is not found in all puffballs. If a definite and distinct stem runs through such a section from bottom to top, the plant is not a puffball! Puffballs can be found in open, grassy meadows and parks and among hardwood trees and brush.

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