Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Little Brown Mushroom #4

Early Spring Entoloma - Entoloma vernum
The first little brown mushroom of the season, the Early Spring Entoloma!  It may be any one of many Entolomas, they are hard to identify, so the species name I gave it, vernum is questionable. But it is an Entoloma; the key characteristics are that it is small, it is brown, it grows on the ground, and it has a pinkish spore print.

This one and many others were growing under a dense stand of young White Pines (Pinus strobus) in Falls Creek SNA (more on my trip there later),  I took some pictures in the field, but they were all too blurry; I think my camera was tired.   Growth under conifers and in the early spring are characteristics of the Early Spring Entoloma.

In general, Entoloma is a poisonous group of mushrooms.  Don't eat a small, brown mushroom that grows on the ground, and has a pinkish spore print.

For more information on identifying the Early Spring Entoloma, consult the Mushroom Expert website.  You'll find a fairly entertaining description of the Entoloma vernum species complex.  Yes, little brown mushrooms can be entertaining!