Last Updated - 2.18.2015
Edible Wild Mushrooms Commonly Found In Pennsylvania And Personally Eaten Regularly
Photo of winecap Stropharia
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Aborted Armillaria
Armillaria abortivum
Aborted entoloma

Almost Bluing
King Boletus

Boletus subcaerulescens

Artist's Conk
Ganoderma applanatum

Bear's Head Tooth
Hericium americanum

Birch Polypore
Piptoporus betulinus

Black Trumpets
Craterellus fallax

Brick Caps / Brick Tops
Hypholoma sublateritium

Cauliflower Mushroom
Sparassis spathulata

Chicken of the Woods
Laetiporus sulphureus

Inonotus obliquus

Comb Tooth
Hericium coralloides

Common Laccaria
Laccaria laccata

Corrugated Cap Milky
Lactarius corrugis

Dryad's Saddle
Polyporus squamosus

Giant Puffball
Langemannia gigantea

Golden Chanterelle
Cantharellus cibarius

Hedgehog Mushroom Big
Dentinum repandum

Hedgehog Little
Dentinum umbilicatum

Hen of the Woods
Grifola frondosa

Honey Mushrooms
Armilleria mellea

Horn of Plenty
Craterellus cornucopioides

Horse Mushroom
Agaricus arvensis

Hygrophorus Milky
Lactarius hygrophoroides

Lilac Bolete
Xanthoconium separans / Boletus separans

Lingzhi / Reishi
Ganoderma lucidum & G. tsugae

Lion's Mane / Old Man's Beard
Hericium erinaceus

Meadow Mushrooms / Pinkies
Agaricus compestris

Oyster Mushroom
Pleurotus ostreatus

Purple-gilled Laccaria
Laccaria ochropurpurea

Quilted Green Russula
Russula virescens

Red Chanterelle
Cantharellus cinnabarinus

Rooted Oudemansiella
Oudemansiella radicata

Shaggy Mane
Coprinus comatus

Smooth Chanterelle
Cantharellus lateritius

Tinder Fungus
Fomes fomentarius

Turkey Tail
Trametes versicolor / Coriolus versicolor / Polyporus versicolor

Two-colored Bolete
Boletus bicolor

Voluminous-latex Milky
Lactarius volemus

Winter Chanterelle
Cantharellus tubaeformis
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The Prince ? or Almond Mushroom ?
Agaricus augustus or A. subrufescens
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Photo of Wild Food Foraging
Wild Food Foraging
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Clitocybe nuda, Tricholoma nudum, Rhodopaxillus nudus, Lepista nuda

Blewit, also Wood Blewit

Well here we are again. It's October. And to make matters even worse, it's the end of October. So far 2010 has not been one of the better wild mushroom years in southwestern Pennsylvania.

The summer was hot and dry for a long time and the fall rains never made an extended appearance. They were teaser rains if you know what I mean. You would get a day or two and because of it the temptation to go out and look was great but the outcome was not what was sought.
Dry crunchy woods. I hate that!

On Saturday, October 30 my friend stopped by, like last year and also in late October, and gave me a bag of about 7 or 8 nice sized, beautiful blewits. Just like last year I opened the bag and took a whiff. Wow!
I said to myself, again, 'they smell soooo good'. Like if you were in a roomful of them.

These blewits are my Professor Moriarty. Just like Holmes couldn't find him I can't find these.
I follow all the clues. I go out in the dim morning mist looking in all the dank places. Places where there is a lot of moisture and organic matter. Year after year but I can't find them. I know them though when I see them.
Photo of a group of blewits - Clitocybe nuda

Most of my field guides say they are common. Some guides say they are ubiquitous. Do you know what ubiquitous is? It means they are everywhere. To be precise ' being present everywhere at once'. How can that be when I have not been able to find any in over 35 years of finding, picking and eating many dozens of other wild mushrooms.

I know however how to identify them, admire them, enjoy their aroma, cook them, eat them and put them up though, thanks to my buddy Tony.

Blewits are not large. If they are 6 inches across then you have a big one. When they get older / bigger they lose some of the purplishness and get more light brown mingled in. No matter how brownish the caps get however there will always be the hint that the deeper purple was there.
Photo of a blewit being held with others in the background.

The margin is enrolled, even when a bit older. Eventually they do flatten out.
The stalk / stipe is almost evenly stout but mostly you will find the stalk with a bit more robustness going toward the bottom. Stalk is minutely hairy and has the same color tones as the cap, albeit striate.

The flesh is thick, a bit soft and has a bit of light purple or lilac aspect to it.
Photo of a blewit cut in half from top to bottom showing stalk, gill and flesh detail.

Near the stalks meeting with the cap flesh you will find most of the purple coloring to let you know the mushroom has started it's color fading.
Note the little hairs sticking out on the stalk.

Gills are crowded, that is, close together. Depending on the age of the mushroom the gills can be broadly attached to the stalk, narrowly attached like the photo above or attached and run down the stalk a bit.
Gill color is variable just like the cap color so that can mean many variations of purple, lilac, purple-brown, lilac-brown, brownish-lilac, brownish-purple, etc., etc.
A good trick is to cut the stalk off right where it meets the cap and you can get an idea of what the coloring was when younger.
Photo of a Close-up view of the gills of a blewit.

As with all new mushrooms that you expect to eat a spore print should be taken. Cut off the stalk at the top, right next to the cap, so the upside-down cap will sit flat on a surface. If you expect any color other than a very light color use white paper to set the caps on.
If you have a bowl big enough to cover the cap do so. It will keep drafts and breezes at bay. If you don't have a bowl big enough use Saran wrap or a towel, etc. You want a cover over the cap.

In the photo below you can notice the Saran Wrap over the three caps.
Photo of three blewit caps set up for spore printing

Blewits have a spore color that can be described as salmon ( the fish flesh color, not the outside of the fish ). Salmon is a pinkish-orange color. The variation dependent on moisture content.

When dry, like in the photo below, the color is very light salmon. On the far left you can see a darker shade due to the moisture
Photo of three spore prints of Clitocybe nuda

These are great edibles. I just wish I could find hundreds of them like I do with other wild mushrooms.

This is one of those wild mushrooms that lend themselves to various ways of storage. They dry well and rehydrate well.
They are very flavorful so the taste won't be lost when mixed with some stronger spices.

One of my favorites is to make Blewit Chowder because they are so flavorful that even onion and garlic can't detract from the final product.

They are great stuffed and then baked or grilled. With a chuck roast cut the mushroom in big chunks and lay on top of the slab of meat. Oh my! With steak, Oh My!
I particularly like them in spaghetti sauce.

Clitocybe nuda. Also in some guides Tricholoma nudum, Rhodopaxillus nudus and Lepista nuda - A/K/A - blewit, wood blewit.
DATE - October 2009 and this year, October 29, 2010.
FOUND ( but not by me ) - 'In Greensburg, Pa. - someones yard next to my friends house.
A small patch from what I am told. I know last year my friend gave me about 5 or 6 mushrooms form 4 inches across and less. This year was the same.
Growing in the yard. Nothing fancy there.

Weather conditions were dry for several weeks, frosty a couple days in the last week. Also, just a few days of cold rain.

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