Fungus/Mushroom_01 ABJUL01/29 : 9 posts by 3 authors. 2 images.

Beautiful head with a coppery sheen. I wonder if it is edible. Please advise.
Above Mcleodganj, Dharamshala, HP
29 July 2015

Volvariella. but don’t know more. Sorry. you should always write more about, where you found it, near/ under which trees, just one or there were many, how big, etc. etc.

Thank you … I am grateful for your advice. I am new to mushrooms and do not know yet which features to photograph/highlight for proper identification. I will include details as recommended by you in my future messages.

This one was growing solitary on a small plain grassy patch a couple of feet away from a small Pyrus pashia. The patch was surrounded by Barberry lycium bushes and farther away by Cedrus deodara, Quercus leucotrichophora, Pinus wallichiana, Pinus roxburghi etc. It was about 6-7cm tall.

Thanks for forwarding the mail.
Generally, I do not reply to this kind of mail as it is quite impossible to identify species seeing only the photographs. Moreover, it expected that probably India will be having not less than 10000-15000 mushroom spp.

Now coming to the context of present mail……..
And, I couldn’t resist myself to reply…….
The photograph attached here is a species of the genus Amanita (which has so many deadly poisonous spp. also). It is either Amanita vaginata or a close relative of it. It is a Himalayan species mainly grows in ectomycorrhizal association of coniferous trees.

PLEASE NOTE THAT IT IS NOT AT ALL A VOLVARIELLA (where most of the species are edible)

Thank You very much … for taking the time to explain this

What advice would you give to an amateur such as me who wants to know the mushrooms of his area but cannot do much more than take photographs or collect samples? I could of course with guidance photograph better to show the characteristic properties of a mushroom. Is there a place I could send the samples for analysis?

That looks a lot like an Amanita to me. Volvariella are pink spored, Amanita white to separate the two

Macrofungal mycobiota of India is immensely diverse. Since more than last 16 years I am engaged to uncover the mushroom wealth of Himalaya, earlier from Kumaon and Garhwal Himalaya, then from Sikkim Himalaya.
But, I have no doubt to say that still I am struggling to know only 0.5-1% of that and working day and night as I used to do during my Ph.D., Post Doc, Research Associateship, etc.
It is quite difficult to work in this group as it requires complete dedication, meticulous observation and patience starting from macrofungal exploration, observation of macromorphological characters in the field/base camp (very very imortant) to observation of micromorphological features through taking numerous free hand sections. In the lab, it takes at least 4-5 days to complete your micromorphological characterization, drawings, etc. It is a continuous (never ending) process through which one can improve his/her knowledge day by day. There is no shortcut way of it.
Remember once you have all the macro- and micromorphological features of a mushroom, you will be able to identify it.
Now question is how one can get the help of identification….
My answer is through studying of literature:
How can you characterize a mushroom:
You may follow the book How to identify mushrooms by Largent…this is the basi book to characterise mushrooms.
After that you have to follow the monographs or research papers once you reach to a genus.
Coming to my part:
Till date me and my colleagues have discovered about 60 new species mostly from Himalaya. All my papers are already given for all in the Research Gate. If you have an account, you can search my name. Coming to my publications you can download all my papers even a few books. I am sure that you will have an idea how to characterize the mushrooms in the field and lab.
Practically, it is next to impossible for me to accept the request of identification of mushrooms from different parts of India as I am extremely busy with my research, supervising my students (most important for me), providing editorial service to several international journals like Mycotaxon, Mycologia, Taiwania, Phytotaxa, Turkish Journal of Botany, Kavaka, etc, writing research findings, executing day to day govt. duties…  

Thank you … once again for your advice. I will try and get the Largent books and set to study them. I do not have an account at Research Gate because I am not affiliated with any organisation or university. I hope you do publish your findings in a book form, it would be a great help for enthusiasts such as me.

I am very grateful to you for giving me your time and expert advice. 

all three of his volumes are for 45 dollars

at the amazon dot in

just the first volume is 2200 inr


isn’t there an inidan edition?

I did the same thing, … These volumes are expensive online so I will keep looking to see if I find them cheap somewhere. In the meanwhile I will look for other basic books on mushrooms. If someone here knows a good one, please share the title.

Found this on Amazon;
Not a comprehensive guide but may be ok to start with.

that is a good idea, … I was just sending it to myself, but don’t know what the glitch was

i should have been more careful

I agree, he has already been very kind.

By the way

in one of his reply to you he had mentioned to look at  and I guess photograph the under surface in greater magnification, and to also get the spores and photograph, at least that’s what his papers (quickly perused) show and the spores seem different in each paper, so may be if you had the time

and took proper precautions (not to breathe in the spores when collecting) and keep the possibly poisonous ones out of the home… etc.

you could use your macro lens and the celastron to do the initial close up photography   spores need to be in either water or glycerine and water… i am sure all these paper he has sent in has at least some techniques that he has described… will have to study it up

There is an englishman and an Irish lady who independently  do wonders  with very little equipment

I’ll try and find the refs in a few days and tell you, i have saved them somewhere

Most of the mushroom hunters’ books and field guides  do not  need spores microscopy though for field id,

but that’s in western cultures where mushroom hunting and eating is often a family pursuit with knowledge handed down thru generations, we  urban indians don’t have that  knowledge handed down, so we have to be extra vigilant and never eat anything mushroomy unless we buy them in a store.

Thanks may be worth a try and look thru

Amanita sp…