Observation 202694: Sparassis americana f. arizonica R.H. Petersen

When: 2014-07-27

Collection location: Mount Lemmon, Pima Co., Arizona, USA [Click for map]

32.443° -110.78° 2680m

Who: Chris May (ccmaymd)

No specimen available

The location, pinkish-yellow tinge, and fringed margins of the leaflets are characteristic of this recently described subspecies.

From the McIlvainea article by Peterson & Hughes: “Finally, the identification of cauliflower mushrooms is deceptively easy. Sparassis crispa seems limited to Europe, including western Russia, being replaced in eastern North America by Sparassis americana and in western North America by Sparassis americana f. arizonica in southeastern Arizona and Sparassis radicata in the Pacific Northwest. The dominant species in Asia is S. latifolia. When you find a cauliflower mushroom, reckon where you are: each geographic population seems to have a separate, acceptable name. Use it.”

Unfortunately I had not yet read the Hughes/Petersen articles, and we ate this specimen the same day, before we thought to make a spore print or save a herbarium specimen. I’ll return this summer in hopes of finding more.



Proposed Names

81% (1)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight
Used references: Transatlantic disjunction in fleshy fungi. I. The Sparassis crispa complex

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
By: Chris May (ccmaymd)
2015-04-12 14:44:29 CDT (-0400)

One of my top three along with morels and porcini. Their flavor is very similar to morels. They are so versatile when cooking, and dehydrate and reconstitute so well. The only downside is that you need a high tolerance for bugs, and/or have to clean them well, as they are usually bug hotels by the time you find them. Pulling all the leaves off, slicing the solid base thinly, and dehydrating them helps a lot.

I found three last summer, this one on Mt. Lemmon and two others near Greens Peak in the White Mountains.

Great find Chris!
By: Terri Clements/Donna Fulton (pinonbistro)
2015-04-12 14:37:32 CDT (-0400)

We’ve been looking for these in our travels—no luck yet. Pretty tasty?


Created: 2015-04-12 12:33:20 CDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2015-04-12 12:39:17 CDT (-0400)
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