Roses: Auricularia Family Spotted in Dayton, MD

These mushrooms I spotted in my Grandfathers yard on a tree stump are from the Auricularia family of fungi. This is the same family of fungi that the Tree Ear that’s common in Chinese cooking comes from. I have not been able to find good information much less constant information on the web of which species this is. Most clues say it is either Auricularia polytricha or Auricularia auricula. The sites I visited said one of them was the Tree Ear found in Chinese/Asian cooking and the other produced an anticoagulant effect among other things like “agglutinate or release serotonin on exposure to epinephrine.”* Which was toxic and whether either was toxic varied on the website.

The major point to this story is to buy mushrooms at the store or go with trained wild mushroom experts that lead mushroom hunts Those even sometimes go bad too, but you have much better chances with them. Don’t trust websites, though some may be credible. Don’t just pick any old mushroom either. Some excrete toxins that will get on you when you touch them and spread to anything else you touch like an unconscious rub of your eyes, nose, or ear. Be careful around mushrooms. They might be delicious but there are many species and families of fungi that can kill you. Take pictures in the wild, go on hunts with certified experts and even then wear gloves and get a sample tested before you eat, but mostly just eat the ones at the supermarket and in restaurants.

* Quote came from the site: http://www.mykoweb.com/TFWNA/P-54.html

Roses: Corpse Plant/Indian Pipe found in Dayton, MD

Earlier this week, in fact it was probably Sunday, I was walking around a lake in Dayton, MD that I go to frequently, these days taking pictures. I happened to pay more attention to the plants and round that day and noticed this white thing. Yesterday I took a sample and today I brought it to Howard County Recreation and Parks HQ. They emailed me back not long later identifying it for me as the Indian Pipe. It’s also called the Corpse Plant. lol. Of course I would find the Corpse Plant, me, the fan of paranormal and especially vampire themed books. One of the pictures above is one I actually took the day I found it. My mom actually mistook it for thrown away crab meat at first. lol. It does kind of look like it from afar.

For more information on the plant here is the Wikipedia page:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monotropa_uniflora