Edible, wild fungi of South Australia post #4 False Truffles (Rhizopogon species)

Hi everybody! Here's the fourth in this early season ID guide for South Australian edible mushrooms. This one is about that easy to find, easy to identify False Truffle.

I'll be breaking up the series of posts about Agaricus mushrooms with other, very different mushrooms otherwise all of the descriptions will blur into each other.

Presenting the False Truffle!



False Truffles (Rhizopogon species)



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Phylum: Basidiomycota. Class: Basidiomycetes (Gasteromycetes). Order: Boletales. Family: Rhizopogonaceae


Just a note: You’ll see Rhizopogon rubescens in some texts. It’s the same as Rhizopogon roseolus that we list here.

When you’re out wandering in the Pine forest, you might see little balls scattered on the ground. A closer look might show you that a lot of them have popped up where animals have been digging. These are False Truffles, Rhizopogon species and have been introduced into the Pine forest to improve the health of the trees through their mycorrhizal associations with them. The we one that find here is the Yellow False Truffle (Rhizopogon luteus).


Rhizopogon  sit slightly in, or on the surface of, the soil.



Like the other Puffballs that we find locally, they are edible and quite tasty when cooked. As with the other Puffballs too, get them young and firm before the flesh starts to brown. Definitely don’t try and eat a shriveled brown one – the spores will make you cough badly.


A dry specimen. Don’t inhale the spores!



You will see them where animals have been scratching in the mulch of the Pine forest and along the edge of the treeline. The colour seems variable but I’ve noticed that the whiter ones are best. After extremely cold nights or several days of rain, they are a darker yellow/brown colour as they get waterlogged. They’re no good to eat like this as the inside is a dull gray.

The name ‘Rhizopogon’ literally means ‘beard-like roots’ and you’ll see in some specimens, especially if you dig some soil up with them, some beard-like mycelium still attached. This is pretty fragile though and many that you’ll find won’t have this still attached.



The ‘beard’ of mycelium still attached to these Rhizopogons.


Only eat those with firm, white flesh inside.




Spore print: Brown


Identifying False Truffles - a summary:

If you’re under Pine trees and find some small white balls just sitting on, or slightly in, the leaf litter or soil, look for these details –

  • Globular, 1 – 2.5 cm diameter body.
  • Sometimes, fine, beard-like mycelium still attached
  • Tough, rubbery skin that can be white and tinged with yellow or red.
  • Firm white flesh inside immature specimens, becoming brown in mature specimens.
  • Yellow or red tinge to the skin.
  • Spore colour is a yellowish brown

You’ll find these along with the usual Pine forest suspects such as Slippery Jacks, Saffron Milk Caps, Weeping Boletes and Laccaria.

My next post will be on South Australian edible Puffballs. There is a caution to be taken with False truffles and other Puffballs though. Toxic Amanita mushrooms sometimes start off hatching from an egg shaped mass. Cut your specimen in half and make sure that there isn’t a mushroom shape inside. Clean your knife thoroughly after cutting. If there is or there is any doubt, don’t eat it!

I’ll see if I can get a picture soon. Until then, here’s one I found online at the site Mushroaming:


Caution! Amanita hatching from an egg shaped mass.




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22 comments
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This post has been manually curated by @bhattg from Indiaunited community. Join us on our Discord Server.

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That's pretty exciting, being curated by a new community! Awesome and Thanks!

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We used to pick HUGE puffballs in the UK - would love to see them here. I still haven't found anything other than slippery jacks and saffron milk caps near me but boy I'm enjoying the Australian Mushroom Hunters group on Facebook at the moment.. so many amazing finds!

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and they surely can be a Great Help in identification of your finds, I am more than sure of that! in the same way, the dedicated Russian community (not at FB, but that doesnt matter) helped me so many times to identify the strange and questionable stuff.

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It is part of the reason I'm still on Facebook. With thusands of people ready to identify your mushroom in minutes, why not! Facebook is pretty evil but not the groups in it. 🍄🍄🍄

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Just a communication tool, uniting folks into communities.
Established ones may exist -- until the imposed services and FB interface become completely disgusting and unbearable, and drive people to look for new places ... many have already left 😎

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There are some great groups on facebook. I'm in two for SA.
All of the South Australian Puffballs with white flesh inside are edible but only Clavatia gets huge, though I've never seen anything over 1 cm.

Where there's Saffies and Slipperies, you'll also find Laccaria in large amounts. They're great pickled!
Next Friday's post will be about them.

!hivebits

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I'm trying to find L. Nuda!

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they've been found up this way rarely but are quite common further south. I've never found one myself though.

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(Edited)

I found a large puffball when I was wandering around some fields near my daughter's gym one day. I thought I could be pretty confident on that identity at least. I didn't realise there were dangerous mimics to them as well. It didn't have a mushroom inside, though, and we're still here.

@tipu curate 2

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All of the SA mushrooms with white flesh are edible. I've eaten a Scleroderma with black flesh once out in the bush but conventional wisdom says that they're toxic.
Monday's post is about those Shaggy Manes near to you.

!pizza

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5 years this has been happening to me, it started here, around people that are still here. Homeland security has done nothing at all, they are not here to protect us. Dont we pay them to stop shit like this? The NSA, CIA, FBI, Police and our Government has done nothing. Just like they did with the Havana Syndrome, nothing. Patriot Act my ass. The American government is completely incompetent. The NSA should be taken over by the military and contained Immediately for investigation. I bet we can get to the sources of V2K and RNM then. https://peakd.com/gangstalking/@acousticpulses/electronic-terrorism-and-gaslighting--if-you-downvote-this-post-you-are-part-of-the-problem

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