Edible spruce mushrooms: photo and description

Edible spruce mushrooms: photo and descriptionHoney mushrooms are very popular fruiting bodies among a large number of mushroom pickers. Most often they grow in large groups on the same tree or stump. Even the very name 'honey mushroom' suggests the idea of ​​a mushroom growing on a tree stump. Indeed, almost all species of honey agarics like to settle on old rotten stumps, as well as on fallen trees, large fallen branches and on sick trees and shrubs. Sometimes these fruiting bodies settle on living plants, leading to their death. There are exceptions – meadow mushrooms, which choose ravines, pastures, alder forests with high humidity, fields, forest glades and pathsides as their habitat.

Why do mushrooms turn dark?

The most common and well-known many people call autumn honey. Often synonyms are used for it: spruce, dark, hard spruce. Dark honey fungus is capable of spreading over large areas of the forest. They grow not only in deciduous forests, but also in spruce and pine forests. Often, dark spruce honey fungus is found next to shrubs on forest edges. These fruit bodies grow throughout Russia, even in the Northern Hemisphere and in the subtropical region.

Spruce mushrooms are considered edible and the most recognizable of the other species, due to the dark color of the caps. These mushrooms, like autumn mushrooms, grow on old and dying trees, on the trunks and roots of fallen trees, on rotten stumps of pines and firs.

The spruce honey fungus is similar to other autumn representatives, but slightly different in color. He has a thin, dark, almost brown hat. The cylindrical stem of the mushroom is surrounded by a white-brown skirt. The harvesting season for these mushrooms begins in mid-August and lasts until October, and sometimes, in good warm weather, until mid-November. Although the value of this edible mushroom is low, since it has a bitter taste, its nutritional properties are not inferior to autumn mushroom species.

The stumps and trees on which dark-colored mushrooms grow are permeated with mycelium, glowing in the dark. If you are not afraid and come to the forest, you can see those glowing places where honey agarics grow.

All types of honey agaric are parasitic fungi that settle even on living trees, killing them in 3-4 years. These fruiting bodies grow not only in deciduous and mixed forests. They can be found on coniferous tree species: pines and spruces. That is why the shade of the mushrooms changes, and we understand why the mushrooms become dark. The mycelium crawls under the bark of the tree, killing the cambium between the bark and the wood of the tree. The bitterness of pine species passes into fruiting bodies, and dark wood gives the spruce mushrooms its color.

What dark-colored autumn spruce mushrooms and their mycelium look like

We suggest that you familiarize yourself with the description and photos of spruce mushrooms.

Latin name: Armillaria solidipes;

Genus: autumn mushroom;

Kingdom: mushrooms;

Family: physalacrium;

Class: agaric;

Synonyms: dark honey, spruce, autumn spruce, ground.

Edible spruce mushrooms: photo and descriptionEdible spruce mushrooms: photo and description

Hat: diameter from 4 to 10 cm, resembles a hemispherical shape, convex, brown in color, without a yellow tint. The cap has large dark brown scales. The scales are clearly visible on the light background of the cap. With the growth of the mushroom, the cap becomes flat from convex.

Edible spruce mushrooms: photo and descriptionEdible spruce mushrooms: photo and description

Plates: white, with age they become spotty with a reddish tinge.

Flesh: loose, white or slightly yellowish, odorless.

Leg: height from 5 to 10 cm, thickness 1-2.5 cm, cylindrical, at the base with a slight thickening. The leg seems dry to the touch, has a brownish tint from below. The ring around the stem is well-defined, with a pronounced white color. On the underside of the ring along the edge of the film, brown flakes are clearly visible.

Similarities: dark spruce honey fungus is considered edible and the most recognizable species of honey agarics. Strongly resembles the edible autumn honey fungus growing at the same time.

Distribution: grows throughout the territory of Russia, except for the Far North. The harvest season starts in July and ends in mid-October. Depending on the climatic conditions of a particular territory, it can grow at the end of October and even at the beginning of November. Grows in small families, prefers conifers and dead woods, as well as stumps. Occasionally found on deciduous trees and near shrubs.

Edible spruce mushrooms: photo and descriptionEdible spruce mushrooms: photo and description

A photo visualizing edible spruce mushrooms helps mushroom pickers to better see the differences between the mushroom and the false species.

Autumn spruce honey fungus is sometimes called ground honey, as it often grows in mixed forests with a predominance of decaying wood. This species settles in colonies near rotten spruce or pine stumps, as well as on dead tree trunks. As already noted, in terms of nutritional value, it is not inferior to autumn mushrooms, although it has a bitter taste. To get rid of this aftertaste, dark spruce mushrooms undergo preliminary heat treatment: they are boiled in salted water 2 times for 20 minutes, each time using new water.

We offer you to see a few more photos of dark edible mushrooms, which will help mushroom pickers to consider them from different angles:

Edible spruce mushrooms: photo and descriptionEdible spruce mushrooms: photo and description

Edible spruce mushrooms: photo and descriptionEdible spruce mushrooms: photo and description

I must say that the swollen false foil is very similar to the dark one. It grows in the same forests and prefers the same tree species. In this case, you should arm yourself with detailed information that will help to recognize the mentioned edible species among the false ones. Thus, knowing what edible spruce mushrooms look like, you will protect your health and the health of your loved ones.

The mycelium of the dark honeydew forms black mycelial strands under the bark of the tree, which are clearly visible even with the naked eye. The spores of these fruiting bodies are elliptical, smooth and colorless. The most significant is the fact that dark spruce mushrooms grow only in the lower part of dead trees, sometimes found on living trunks. Stumps are chosen mainly by conifers, most often pine. Check out another photo of spruce mushrooms that vividly illustrates their appearance:

Edible spruce mushrooms: photo and descriptionEdible spruce mushrooms: photo and description

It should be said that dark honey agaric in coniferous forests can cover a large area, especially if there are a lot of damp dead woods. For example, in the coniferous forests of Switzerland, a mycelium of a dark mushroom was found with an area of ​​about 35 hectares. Although these fruiting bodies grow in colonies from August to November, large harvests of dark mushrooms are rare – once every 3-4 years.

How to distinguish spruce mushrooms from mushrooms similar to toadstools (with photo)

Experienced mushroom pickers, knowing what spruce mushrooms look like, will never confuse them with a red-brick false mushroom. This inedible mushroom grows on the same stumps, but differs in later fruiting and has a bitter flesh. If you have recently become a fan of 'quiet hunting', try to go to the forest several times with experienced mushroom pickers. Thus, you can find out how to distinguish spruce mushrooms not only by photo:

Edible spruce mushrooms: photo and descriptionEdible spruce mushrooms: photo and description

Sometimes mushroom pickers note that in the forest you can find spruce honey fungus, similar to a toadstool. However, here we want to say that there are significant differences between these mushrooms. For example, the main difference is the presence on edible mushrooms of a 'skirt' made of film that frames the leg. Poisonous mushrooms do not have such a skirt-ring. If you come across a toadstool, then we note that she also has such a ring. However, the unpleasant odor of this mushroom and the appearance of the cap without scales specifically indicates that it is a poisonous mushroom. You can compare photos of edible spruce mushrooms and a toadstool similar to them to know the differences:

Edible spruce mushrooms: photo and descriptionEdible spruce mushrooms: photo and description

In addition, novice mushroom pickers should be alerted by the Volvo cup. It is located at the bottom of the leg right next to the ground. When a young mushroom appears, this Volvo cup breaks into 3-4 blades and it seems that the leg of the toadstool is inserted into it. Volvo's color ranges from yellowish to green and has an unpleasant odor.

I would like to note that dark spruce mushrooms, like autumn mushrooms, are considered one of the most popular. They grow in groups, so more than one basket can be collected from one stump or tree trunk. Although honey mushrooms are called a low-calorie product, they contain many useful trace elements: potassium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, as well as vitamins C, PP, B and E, proteins, natural sugars and amino acids.

A wide variety of dishes can be prepared from dark honey agarics. They can be pickled, fried, stewed, salted and fermented. However, remember that these fruiting bodies must be boiled beforehand to remove bitterness.

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Hunting, Fishing and Mushrooms: a magazine for hunters and fishers.
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