Observation 174431: Rhizopogon Fr. & Nordholm

When: 2014-08-17

Collection location: Lookout Mountain, Dade Co., Georgia, USA [Click for map]

Who: Rob (gourmand)

No specimen available

This was a very strange mushroom. Perhaps it was Boletus ornatipes covered with Hypomyces. When I sliced it open, there was no tissue differentiation inside (see picture).

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Back on topic,
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2014-08-19 18:47:09 CDT (-0400)

were there pine trees nearby? I’m thinking this might be Rhizopogon cokeri. If so there would need to be a pine tree in the vicinity this was found.

Otherwise, I’ll have to consult with Smith, Smith and Weber … again.

Angel Wings
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2014-08-19 18:43:24 CDT (-0400)

are nice. Sort of bland, not much to them, cook out a lot of water, but nice when you find them.

Sorry I suggested matsutake … I bet I got your mouth watering, though.

I wish
By: Rob (gourmand)
2014-08-19 13:45:51 CDT (-0400)

You mean on my profile pic? No, those are Angel Wings. I believe we made cream of mushroom soup with those. Funny that some people think they are poisonous.

By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2014-08-19 13:14:47 CDT (-0400)

Probably yes. Most species have never been tried. But the same caveats apply to Rhizopogons and Suillus and Boletes: Don’t eat anything that stains blue or red.

On your photo: are those matsutake, by chance? They are the best edibles around!

By: Rob (gourmand)
2014-08-19 10:06:59 CDT (-0400)

That is really interesting. I’m guessing, then, that this is an edible mushroom. It probably even tastes pretty good, since it relies on ingestion as a means of propagation. Looking forward to learning more about it.

Not quite a Boletus
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2014-08-18 19:41:08 CDT (-0400)

but nearly so. Rhizopogons are actually more closely related to Suillus mushrooms, Bob. They are usually found partially or wholely underground. Instead of the typical tubes that Suillus and Boletes produce spores with, it has sequestrate hymenium, meaning the spores can’t get out. It relies on animals and insects to predate upon the sporocarp. The spores pass through the deer, opposum, raccoon, pig, or slug; and are excreted some distance away. If the spores fall near an apporpriate host tree, it may form another fungus.

The stipe is nearly absent in most Rhizopogons, the surface is paper-thin, and usually has rhizomorphs or thin thread-like felty material covering the hymenium.

Many Rhizopogons are called false truffles. Like true truffles, they rely on animal mycophagy for dispersal instead of wind dispersal.

One other thing: because they don’t waste energy producing a stipe to elevate the fungus above ground, they produce copious quantities of spores. On the inside. A single average-sized Rhizopogon may produce several million spores. It takes about 100-1,000 to start a new fungus with a new tree. That would be about a single mouthful of sporocarp for a vole. Individual vole “pooperoonis” (fecal pellets) may have 100,000 spores or more in each.

Created: 2014-08-17 22:31:48 CDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2014-08-18 19:31:43 CDT (-0400)
Viewed: 45 times, last viewed: 2017-06-18 17:07:40 CDT (-0400)
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