Saturday, September 18, 2010

Fairy Rings

You might think that it's too dry for mushrooms in Phoenix, Arizona, but we've got some monstrous mushrooms on the lawns in our neighborhood. The Green Parasol, aka Chlorophyllum molybdites, is common all across the U.S., the fungus of "fairy rings." They look tempting to eat, but DON'T try it! Chlorophyllum is very poisonous, and will make you puke your guts out.

One fun thing you can do with these is pluck an open mushroom, remove the stem, and place the cap on a piece of white paper for a few hours or overnight. The spores of the mushroom will fall out and make a beautiful print in the pattern of the gills. In this case, the spores are pale green. This is also one of the ways mycologists identify species and therefore avoid being poisoned.

1 comment:

CJ said...

I'm a 60-something Phoenix native, and never knew what kind of mushrooms those were, so thank you very much for this info. My parents taught us about mushrooms (edible) and toadstools (poisonous), but they couldn't identify any of them, and so I just consider any I see wild to be poisonous. I have wondered about the lawn mushrooms I see every year, and now I know that it's a good thing that I keep my dogs from eating them.