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.
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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.
We’ve been looking for these in our travels—no luck yet. Pretty tasty?
Created: 2015-04-12 19:33:20 EEST (+0300)
Last modified: 2015-04-12 19:39:17 EEST (+0300)
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