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May 17, 2021
The CMS ENews is published monthly by the Cascade Mycological Society (CMS) from September thru May.  CMS is located in Eugene, Oregon. If you have questions, comments, or contributions for the CMS Enews, email us at newsletter@cascademyco.org. Also feel free to share the CMS Enews.
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  • When: Wednesday, May 19, 2021, at 7:00 pm
  • Where: Online Event – CMS YouTube Channel (click to set a reminder)

For our last public meeting of the 2020/2021 season we are going to learn something new! This month’s presentation is about Laboulbeniales, an order of Fungi within the class Laboulbeniomycetes. They are also known by the common name of beetle hangers. The order includes around 2,325 species of obligate insect ectoparasites that produce cellular thalli from two-celled ascospores; hopefully, by the end of the talk you will know what this means.  Laboulbeniales typically do not kill their hosts, although they may impair host fitness if the parasite density is high.  Our speaker has been studying Laboulbeniales and has the scoop on their biology, ecology, and potential as environmental health indicators.

About the Speaker

Dr Patricia Kaishian is a Mycologist and postdoctoral researcher at Purdue University, where she serves as a curator of the Arthur Fungarium and Kriebel Herbarium. She is a fungal taxonomist, who classifies, names, describes, and generally cherishes fungi. Dr. Kaishian received her PhD in Mycology from SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry in Syracuse, NY, in 2020. Her dissertation was focused on the taxonomy and ecology of Laboulbeniales (Ascomycota). She has continued her research on this group, while also researching the plant pathogenic Rust fungi at Purdue.

Patty is broadly trained in fungal biodiversity, with expertise spanning macro and micro fungal groups, and and has substantial experience working in a variety of habitats around the world. Beyond more traditional scientific work, Patricia also works in the realms of philosophy of science, feminist bioscience, ecofeminism and queer theory, exploring how mycology and other scientific disciplines are situated in and informed by our sociopolitical landscape. Her publication, The science underground: mycology as a queer discipline, appears in journal Catalyst: Feminism, Theory & Technoscience.


Mushroom Permits by Phone!

 
Finally, you may now obtain a Personal Use Mushroom Permit for the Willamette, Deschutes, Fremont-Winona, and Umpqua National forests with just a phone call. The Willamette National Forest no longer requires a free use permit for up to 1 gallon of mushrooms per day (excluding Matsutake), but these other nearby forests still require a permit. To obtain or renew your permit which expires at the end of each calendar year, call one of the phone numbers below:
  • McKenzie River Ranger District - 541-822-3381
  • Middle Fork Ranger District –  541-782-2283
  • Sweet Home Ranger District –   541-367-5168
  • Detroit Ranger District –  503-854-3366
For information about mushroom picking limits and permit requirements throughout Oregon, check out the CMS Website Mushroom Permit page.

 

CMS Members




CMS Annual Meeting and Board Elections

CMS Members are required to vote annually on the slate of Board of Directors for the coming year. Voting is a requirement to maintain our 501(c)(3) non-profit status. Your vote confirms/re-affirms the all-volunteer CMS Board is acceptable to you. The Board positions (President, Vice, Treasurer, etc.) are voted on by the elected Board of Directors.

All CMS members of record will soon receive an email about how to vote online for the 2021/2022 CMS Board Members. As a thank you for taking the time to vote, everyone who votes will receive an invitation to a special CMS Members only Zoom meeting that will include a viewing of Taylor Lockwood's Mushrooms of America video. Everyone who votes will also be included in a raffle for prizes.

Information about voting will also be posted on the "My Membership" page of the CMS website (accessible when logged in). Biographies of all Board Members can be found here.


The North American Mycological Association (NAMA) is expanding their annual photography content into a  visual arts contest with prizes for multiple categories: photography, digital art, drawing and painting, mixed media, 3D sculpture, and 3D fiber arts. All categories/entries must include the use of or feature fungi. NAMA membership is not required to enter. Check out this link for more details.

Fungi in the News

(AKA, a roundup of recent CMS Facebook posts)


Are Fungi Species Going Extinct? - For years, fungi were an understudied subset of botany, with mycologists relegated to the proverbial corners of the research world. As fungi become better understood, the need for conservation, and further research, has been recognized. There is a growing interest in fungi protection. Read more at Fantastic Fungi

Something Fungi - From Tacos to Textiles - Mushrooms are the talk of the foodtech world these days. You’d be hard pressed to go a week without seeing the words ‘fungi’ or ‘mycelium’ on your feed from some future foodtech investor or self-declared expert. But what and who is driving the growth in this space?  Read more at foodhack (Note: In the PNW the cultivated chestnut mushroom is a Pholiota adiposa). 

Higher Mushroom Consumption is Associated With a Lower Risk of Cancer - Higher mushroom consumption is associated with a lower risk of cancer, according to a new study. The systematic review and meta-analysis examined 17 cancer studies published from 1966 to 2020. Analyzing data from more than 19,500 cancer patients, researchers explored the relationship between mushroom consumption and cancer risk. Read more at sciencedaily.com

50 New Plastic Eating Mushrooms Have Been Discovered in Past Two Years  - We now have 150 million tons of plastic in our oceans, according to estimates; by 2050, there could be more plastic than fish. And every new batch of trash compounds the issue: Plastic is notorious for its longevity and resistance to natural degradation. Enter the humble mushroom. In 2011, Yale students made headlines with the discovery of a fungus in Ecuador, Pestalotiopsis microspora, that has the ability to digest and break down polyurethane plastic, even in an air-free (anaerobic) environment—which might even make it effective at the bottom of landfills. Read more at leaps.org
 

Just another Shaggy Mushroom, or Is It?


Last month it was all about a shaggy mushroom commonly known as the Shaggy Mane (Coprinus comatus). While being a truly interesting and attractive mushroom to encounter, neither Sandy nor I really enjoyed its flavor after sautéing it. That said, our opinions do not always coincide with those of others and sautéing isn’t always the best cooking method to reveal the full flavor profile of every mushroom. Shortly after April’s article was published Sandy received an email from our friend and long time CMS member Joe Spivack. Many of our members have had the good fortune to attend a foray lead by Joe and are aware of his knowledge of all things mushroom.  Joe was somewhat surprised by our disappointment with the flavor of the shaggy mane as it is one of his and Cathy’s long time favorite mushrooms to eat. He suggested using a batter-dipped recipe, then frying them. A copy of Joe’s email with recipe suggestions has been appended to this article. We certainly appreciate the email and alternative cooking suggestions. We will try them again the next time we find a nice batch.
 
Fortunately, the other shaggy mushrooms we find in the fall are one of Sandy’s favorite edibles and they commonly go by the nickname of Shaggy Parasol. In Oregon, there are several species in this group, all belonging to the genus Chlorophyllum. They are a fairly easy mushroom to find in urban/suburban areas. The one we find most often in our hunting spots is Chlorophyllum rhacodes (Shaggy Parasol), a large meaty mushroom with what looks like a leather patch in the center of the cap and dark shingles on a white background. They can become quite large and we have found them in both fairy rings and randomly scattered about. Even though mushrooms in the genus Chlorophyllum are Saprobic (decomposers) we tend to find these mostly under or near Douglas Fir trees growing in organic debris piles which can include leaves, twigs, and plenty of conifer needles. A  telling sign of the species rhacodes is its double-edge ring on the upper part of the stem. The ring is said to be free from the stem and can therefore be slid up and down; however, I’ve actually never tried doing that as we are too busy filling our basket with their caps. We leave the stems behind as they are far too fibrous to eat and only clipping off the caps keeps them much cleaner.

A somewhat different version of the Shaggy Parasol is the Chlorophyllum olivieri (Olive Shaggy Parasol) which tends to have more of a light brown to tan cap color and a pinkish to light tan area at the center of the cap. It has a more structured shingle or scale pattern and does not have the large areas of white background on its cap. We actually find this species popping up right alongside rhacodes in several of our super top secret shaggy patches.
 
 
If two Shaggies weren’t enough, there is a third member of this group called Chlorophyllum brunneum (Western Shaggy Parasol). The physical structure of this mushroom’s cap can cause it to be misidentified as being Chlorophyllum rhacodes. The primary visible differences are brunneum has a thick stem ring that is not two-layered and has a rimmed bulbous base which rhacodes does not have. Fortunately, regardless of which of these three amigos you find, as long as they create a white spore print, have a tough fibrous  stem, and the stem color changes to orange when scratched or cut, you have stumbled upon Shaggyland.
 
That said, there is actually a fourth player amongst this merry group of mushrooms known as Chlorophyllum molybdites or more commonly called the Green Gill Parasol. Unlike the edible trio of rhacodes, brunneum, and, olivieri; molybdites is listed as being toxic, has green vs. white spores, and only seems to fruit in areas with a warmer climate than ours. It can be found in Southern and Central California and is quite common in the hot and muggy Southeastern US. According to Noah Siegel, its fruiting region is slowly moving more northward as the effects of global warming extend the summers of areas that were once deemed inhospitable to this green-spored mushroom. If you are ever uncertain of what species of Chlorophyllum you have found, simply place a mature cap on a sheet of half white, half black paper and see what color spore print you get. If it’s white, smile with delight, if it’s green, just leave the scene.
 
One final cautionary message regarding the shaggy trio, several articles and publications state that some people have experienced gastrointestinal upset after eating Shaggy Parasols, even those who have eaten them without problems in the past. Although we have not experienced any problems with these mushrooms, always follow the CMS edibility guidelines when first trying these or any other mushroom you collect. It is also very important to fully cook your mushrooms before consuming them.
 
As this is my last article before our summer break (yeah, for you and me both), I would like to wish you all a very enjoyable summer season, take lots of hikes and enjoy the great outdoors that Oregon offers. I also think it’s going to be a great year for tomatoes.
 
References & Credits:
Pictures of Chlorophyllum brunneum & Chlorophyllum molybdites courtesy of Michael Kuo
Books referenced: “Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast” & “Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest”
Description of genus Chlorophyllum on iNaturalist 
Key to PNW Chlorphyllum species on SVIMS (includes comparison of species in a table form)
Chlorophyllum oliveri on Jungledragon
Chrolophyllum brunnuem on Mushroom Expert
Chrolophyllum rahcodes on Mushroom Expert
Chrolophyllum molbydites on Mushroom Expert
 
Email from Joe Spivack about Shaggy Mane mushroom
Shaggy Manes are probably our second favorite mushroom to eat next to Morels. Even Cathy who is a bit mushroom squeamish adores them. We have been eating them every year for well over 25 years. Their flesh is delicate and they don’t do well with basic frying like chanties or Agaricus. We almost always fry them in a light batter mix of flour and bread crumbs usually after soaking them in a whipped egg or a bit of milk. We try to keep the batter light and simple as to not overwhelm them. When you shake and bake the whole caps with a light batter and they stay whole while frying the end result is to bite into a delicious moist on the inside and crunchy on the outside flavor packed package! They usually have a delicious but mild and delicate classic mushroom flavor reminiscent of many Agaricus but milder and more delicate and less umami. Their stalks when cooked are not overly fibrous or chewy at all, just slightly less delicate than the cap. We have also made some awesome soups with them that have a flavor that is reminiscent of a classic Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup, only better. The few times I have fried them without batter they seem to almost cook down to nothing. I am wondering if the ones you ate had taken up something weird that affected their flavor. In areas where they fruit heavily they sometimes produce a spring crop under favorable conditions. We most often find them next to logging roads when we are dog walking or doing local exercise hikes. They often fruit for a couple of months or more in the same locals during the same year but might fruit somewhere else along the road the next year. It was nice that you mentioned Freeman. He loved Shaggies and I am pretty sure I first ate them in batter in his class many years ago and that’s what got me into them. If you still don’t like them after eating again please call us to come pick them up! Thanks for all the work both of you do for CMS. Hope to see you in person in the near future, Joe

Below are upcoming online mushroom events, not sponsored by CMS. 
These events were found via a search for free mushroom events on Eventbrite.
These presentations may not be specific to the PNW and they may have attendee limits.
Read the descriptions and decide for yourself. 

 

May 21, 2021, 8:00am - Fantastic Fungi: Medicinal, Microdosing + More - Did you know that clinical trials suggest mushrooms, such as Reishi, are a possible benefit in cancer treatment? Or that microdosing of psilocybin (also known as magic mushrooms) has been shown to reduce anxiety, depression and inflammation? Join us and mycologist Terri Smith on May 21st to explore the wild world of mushrooms and their health benefits!More information and registration on Eventbrite.

April 20, May 11, May 27, 2021, 8:30am - Mushroom Series -  Join the University of Florida/IFAS Extension for 3 interactive presentations all about mushrooms, Mushroom Biology, Amazing Mushrooms & Mushroom ID TechniquesMore information and registration on Eventbrite.

May 28, 2021, 7:00pm - What lies beneath? The hidden world in soil that feeds our planet - Healthy soil is a complete ecosystem of its own with macro and micro flora and fauna, including worms, microbes and fungi. This underground ecosystem is key to food security and sustainable food production. However, whilst the biodiversity crisis is increasingly in the news, the incredible world beneath our feet is rarely mentioned. More information and registration on Eventbrite.
The mission of the Cascade Mycological Society is:
  • to study fungi;
  • to educate members and the public about fungi identification and ecology;
  • to promote conservation of fungi;
  • to promote health and safety in the gathering and consumption of edible fungi,
  • and to have fun!
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