It’s getting cooler and wetter – ideal for the emergence of many fungi.
This was brought home to me when I recently discovered an abundance of this distinctive little mushroom while holidaying near Rotorua.
In places, I could barely step without squashing one of these blue beauties.
Entoloma hochstetteri is one of New Zealand’s more famous mushrooms, including being on the $50 banknote (below right of the kōkako).
New Zealand’s fungal collections and professional expertise are concentrated at the Auckland campus of Landcare Research, the New Zealand Fungarium (PDD) Te Kohinga Hekaheka o Aotearoa.
Te Papa has no fungal expertise or collections (except for lichens, which are a fungus in a symbiotic partnership with an alga and/or cyanobacterium). Some of Te Papa’s collection of lichens.
Online guides to New Zealand fungi
- Landcare Research’s Fungal Guide and Virtual Mycota.
- Fungi of Kaimai Bush, with many photos by Shirley Kerr.
- Hidden Forest, again with many photos of fungi.
- One way to get help with identifying a fungus is to upload a photo to the citizen science website iNaturalist. This also has the advantage that your observation becomes data for future research.
- If you’d like to learn more about New Zealand fungi, check out the Fungal Network of New Zealand. Amongst its activities is an annual fieldtrip focused on finding and identifying fungi.
Actually the jury is out on its edibility. They are (or were) researching that in Auckland.
I don’t know what the upshot of the research was.
Thanks for the link to the Stuff article.
It states that, at that time, the edibility and toxicity was unknown. I advise not eating these mushrooms until they are proven safe.
There is a little bit more on this research here: http://www.metabolomics.auckland.ac.nz/index.php/projects-top/52
can we eat them
No, it is not edible, according to this website: http://www.terrain.net.nz/friends-of-te-henui-group/fungi-te-henui/blue-mushroom-entoloma-hochstelleri.html
And according to Wikipedia, some of its relatives are poisonous [perhaps it is too].
In any case, it may rarely be in sufficient abundance to justify a harvest.
Pretty indeed! I have never seen one and it’s very cool to know it’s on the $50 bill (which I seen very little of as well). hihihihi!