Ok I just wanted to share this important information with all you mushroom forager or wanna be mushroom foragers, I’m talking about the Wood Blewits (Lesista nuda) a gorgeous yummy mushroom that I have posted about here a few times.
On one of my latest forays I was lucky enough to come upon a direct example of how people get poisoned when foraging for wood blewits, I say lucky here because to me there is nothing like first hand experience, you can read about it look at all the pictures under the sun which is all good but it is no replacement for first hand experience so I’m sharing mine here in the hope it will add to your collection of helpful information about this particular species.
So I was strolling around picking wood blewits with basket and knife in hand and I came across this one mushroom under a tree very close to the other wood blewits when I grabbed the cap and sliced through the stem something just didn’t feel rite it is hard to explain this feeling you get, experienced mushroomers will probably know what I’m talking about.
Foraging is an instinctual thing as much as a well researched logical thinking thing and thats why I believe when foraging you need to be very present and aware of your surroundings not just chatting away to friends or listening to music etc here silence is golden and may save your life.
This mushroom just felt wrong to the touch it was like denser or something and it didn’t have that beautiful flowerery smell that wood blewits normally have so I put it in a separate place until I got home, when I got home I put it on a piece of paper to do a spore prints I use half white and half brown paper so I can see all the ranges of color, I suggest if you are picking mushroom until you get really confident and even after that for species with toxic look alikes, you leave them over night or for a few hour on paper to see spore prints before eating them, just make it a part of your routine you can still cover with a cloth so they don’t dry out no problems.
And wow I was quiet chuffed at the result and very grateful I didn’t eat it! ….. the spore print was indeed brown the wood blewits spore print is white to soft pinkish, so what could it be I had a fair idea what it was as you SHOULD study and become familiar with all the look alikes of all the mushroom you are hunting for and intend on consuming, it was the Cortinarius violaceus, it was very simalar to the wood blewit and I can see why people mistake them, so be warned here in Tasmania they DO grow together! So be careful. See pictures below.