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Don Karp, November 6 2023

Tepoztlán's Mushrooms

The natural environment of Tepoztlán has a wide variety of mushrooms. Many varieties of  edible and medicinal ones are harvested by locals and sold in the markets.

I met Sivan, a man originally from Australia, who moved here five years ago. He recently set up a table selling wild crafted mushrooms in our Friday natural and organic market.  I remembered that our hiking group featured a retired mycologist to lead us on an identification hike last year. But he moved too rapidly from one to another for me to obtain photos and notes. Sivan agreed to guide us on a hike, and to do it more slowly.

Below is what we saw and identified, with Sivan's help.

If you are not an expert, consult with one before mushroom hunting to differentiate the edible, from non-edible, and from poisonous.


Medicinal Mushrooms


                       Reishi. These two are the same as the image above opening the article. Medicinal.


Reishi. Old "rainbow" reishi that gets its color from an overgrowth of another fungus. Pretty, but no longer                                                                                                            useful.


Turkey tail. Typically grows as a thin bract in colonies on rotting wood. One image shows a fresh colony, the other one that is too old. Notice the pores on the underside as an identifying characteristic.

Turkey tail. Typically grows as a thin bract in colonies on rotting wood. One image shows a fresh colony, the other one that is too old. Notice the pores on the underside as an identifying characteristic.


Turkey tail. Typically grows as a thin bract in colonies on rotting wood. One image shows a fresh colony, the other one that is too old. Notice the pores on the underside as an identifying characteristic.

                              Cordyceps. A poor photo, but important for its medicinal properties.

Edible

These two are edible, but not tasty. 

                                                                                                      Pluteus


                                                                                                        Laccaria



Eat these two when they are young:


                                                                             Cauliflower mushroom. 

                                                                                            Shaggy ink cap.


These four are yummy:

Top to bottom and left to right: hedgehogs- have a sweet smell, with pores and "teeth," some are orange; Lycophylum, fried chicken mushroom; Lacterius, milk caps- milky substance exuded when cut; Auricularia, wood ear mushroom.


Poisonous

                          Amanita. The one on the right is parasitized by lobster mushroom, the red part.


                                                              Gallerinas, funeral bells (L). Stropharia (R).

Others


                                     Russula, brittle gills, edible. The one on the right is parasitized.


                                  This is a parasitic plant, not a mushroom, although it resembles one.


                          Left: Polyporus, dyer's mushroom. Not edible. Right: Lactarius indigo (edible).

Conclusion

I've shared with you our hike to learn about local mushrooms from a professional wildcrafter. What a variety of beings!

I'd hope to get an interview with our teacher, Sivan, and some photos of his table in the weekly organic market, but unfortunately, he wasn't available. The interview will be inserted some time after this is published, and I'll let you know about that.

 

PLEASE do not use this information to gather mushrooms without assistance from an expert. That would be dangerous. And with an expert, do not deplete the sources in the wild.

Important Note

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Don Karp

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