field mushroom identification uk
I’ve been collecting field mushroom since I was a kid, when I used to go out foraging with my Dad. Now, I often go out looking for field mushrooms with my family. And we all enjoy spotting the flashes of white in the grass and running to get there first!
But how do you go about identifying field mushrooms. And how can you be sure you don’t have anything more sinister in your foraging bag?
Lots of folk worry about foraging for mushrooms, and they are right to be. Get it wrong and you could end up in hospital! The good thing with field mushrooms though is that they are easy to identify, once you have a little know-how.
When do Field Mushroom Grow in the UK?
Field mushrooms (Agaricus campestris) start popping up from July to October. They most grow in pasture land, and particularly seem to like field where sheep have been. You will also find them growing in other grassy places, such as along the edges of a hedgerow.
Identifying Field Mushroom
The gills of the young field mushroom are a dusky pink colour. which changes to brown and then black as the mushroom matures.
Don’t Confuse With…
The Yellow Stainer! This is a poisonous mushroom that, although won’t kill you, could give you a belly ache. Although some people report having no adverse effects at all.
How to tell a Field Mushroom from a Yellow Stainer
Field mushrooms and Yellow Stainers can look like an untrained eye. But there are a few ways you can tell them apart.
Colour – The flesh of a Yellow Stainer will go a strong yellow colour if squeezed. Field mushrooms may sometimes bruise with a slight yellowing. But not as vivid as the Yellow Stainer. If cooked, Yellow Stainers will also turn yellow, so discard!
Ringzone – Mushrooms have a ‘ringzone’ along the stem. Which is a band of tissue that’s left after the head of the mushroom blooms out and reveals the gills. The ringzone in a field mushroom is small, whereas it is much more pronounced on the Yellow Stainer. It’s seen in the photo above.
Stalk – if you cut through the base of a Yellow Stainer stalk, there will be a distinct yellow colour. The stalk of a Yellow Stainer is also more bulbous at the base than a Field Mushroom.
Gills – young Yellow Stainers have white gills before they mature to pink. To be able to correct identify mushrooms, it’s best to wait until the gills revealed.
Smell – Field mushroom smell nice, with a mushroomy scent we are all familiar with. Yellow Stainers have sweet, medical kind of smell to them, like mothballs.
Remember… foraging for field mushrooms is fun. but make sure you have the correct identification before eating to be safe. Also, make sure you pick from a clean area that’s not polluted with fumes, or dog wee! Your average field should be fine, but avoid picking along footpaths.
Can I store Field Mushroom?
Field mushrooms are best eaten fresh, but will last a day or so in a fridge. If you want to store them for longer, I recommend drying.
How to Dry Field Mushroom
I do enjoy adding dried field mushrooms to dishes. Drying them gives them a smokier flavour that adds a great base note to any sauce dish. such as casseroles and bolognaise.
To dry, peel off the outer skin and cut into small pieces. Arrange on a baking tray and put in a warm oven, leaving the door open to let the moisture out. Check regular.
When the mushroom pieces feel crisp, put them into a dry jar and secure with a lid. This way, you can use them when you want and they will last for months!
FREQUENT ASK QUESTIONS ON FIELD MUSHROOMS
How much does a wild field mushroom guide cost?
Load a digital wild mushroom field guide on your smartphone or tablet for easy access in the field. Guides in the budget-friend range cost $3 to $6. Mid-range: In this price range, expect to pay $8 to $18 for a more comprehensive ebook guide. and $10 to $24 for a paperback pocket guide.
What time of year do field mushroom grow?
Field mushrooms (Agaricus campestris) start popping up from July to October. They grow in pasture land, and particularly seem to like field where sheep have been.
How do you know if a field mushroom is edible?
Study your wild mushroom field guide to familiarize yourself with the edible mushrooms. found in your region of the country. Never touch or ingest a mushroom with a red cap or stem. Mushrooms with red coloration on the stem. or cap are either hallucinogenic or poisonous.