Observation 24493: Tricholoma focale (Fr.) Ricken

When: 2009-08-12

Collection location: Glacier Co., Montana, USA [Click for map]

Who: Dave in NE PA

No specimen available

This one is a bit of a mystery to me. The eastern NA version of T. caligatum that I find (uncommon) in the local oak woods looks a lot different than these. The cap surface is shaggier with darker brown scales, and the taste is acrid. These look a lot more like T. zelleri; especially like the photo in Miller’s manual. But there was no foul odor or disagreeable taste as is mentioned in most decriptions of T. zelleri. These specimens had a slight but pleasant odor. The taste was also agreeable. I sliced and fried one button in olive oil with some salt and onion, and the result was good; somewhat strong flavored, but not in a bad way. So I think they are not T. zelleri, which leaves T. caligatum as the only other possibility that I can find for the brownish sheathed stalked types with the flaring ring.

[admin – Sat Aug 14 02:00:42 +0000 2010]: Changed location name from ‘Glacier County, MT, USA’ to ‘Glacier Co., Montana, USA



Proposed Names

28% (1)
Used references: Audubon, Phillips, O.K. Miller
85% (1)
Recognized by sight

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The reason why I called these mushrooms a mystery
By: Dave in NE PA
2009-08-18 22:00:17 PDT (-0700)

is that caligatum+zelleri had seemed the only two possibilities, but niether fit really well. Of course, when trying to ID a western NA shroom, one should go straight to Arora (Duh!…my opinion). Focale is there (of course), listed within comments under zelleri. But there is no mention in either Audubon or Phillips (two of my typical starting points… out of force of habit).

Thanks for getting this one for me. Observing shrooms out west is really an adventure for me. Note that Arora writes “… (it is) said to be reddish brown in color” regarding T. focale. So it appears that he had not seen this one. (!) Is this a common mushroom?

At any rate, it did taste good, and there was no farinaceous odor… only a slight but pleasant aroma. BTW, the oak loving T. caligatum that we get here in PA+NY during some autumns doesn’t smell like much of anything, but it tastes really bad!

Ha!… preserve vs. eat :-)! Actually, I would have dried out a good one if not for the hassle involved (rain+woods+tent+6 miles to hike+airplane ride+etc).

You guys should make more voucher specimens instead of eating them up ;)!!!
By: Gerhard Koller (Gerhard)
2009-08-18 16:29:39 PDT (-0700)
Why caligatum if it doesn’t smell like it??
By: Dimitar Bojantchev (dimitar)
2009-08-18 07:18:37 PDT (-0700)

T. caligatum is not very tactful about projecting its Matsutake odor. If you didn’t detect it then it is not it. It also doesn’t look like it.

As far as “the only other possibility” :-)) Hey Dave, there are countless other possibilities – has it crossed your mind that some of them you/we simply do not know…

Still, this looks like a typical T. focale to me despite the odor/taste discussion.

Check out Tricholoma focale
By: Irene Andersson (irenea)
2009-08-18 06:44:32 PDT (-0700)

with a farinaceous taste and smell. Growing with pine?

Created: 2009-08-18 00:35:34 PDT (-0700)
Last modified: 2011-04-03 18:04:19 PDT (-0700)
Viewed: 207 times, last viewed: 2017-06-05 23:58:03 PDT (-0700)
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