Last Updated - 2.24.2015
Edible Wild Mushrooms Commonly Found In Pennsylvania And Personally Eaten Regularly
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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

Clitocybe nuda

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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Hypholoma sublateritium

Brick Caps - Brick Tops

In some areas they use the common name Brick Caps. Sometimes, but less common, it's Brick Tops. It goes back a ways of course to the era when bricks were pretty much the same color - red.
No matter what you call them they are better than what is classified in many mushroom guides. Several rate them a 'Good' edible. My opinion is 'Very Good'.
A nice mushroom taste and a nice crunchy texture.

Brick Caps are pretty much a Fall mushroom although they can be found in late summer when the conditions are right. I like to gather these after the leaves start to really start come down, generally after we have had a frost.
At that time you will find hardly any bugs, just an occasional slug/snail.

They grow in clusters, many times several clusters, on deciduous stumps and dead tree trunks.
Photo of several groups of Brick Caps growing on a deciduous tree stump - Hypholoma sublateritium

They are not a large mushroom. Caps sometimes can get 4 inches or a bit bigger. However, you don't want the larger caps if you are collecting these to eat. It's the dinky little ones up to an 1 1/2 inches or smaller that make the best eating.

Here's a close-up of one of the groups from the stump above.
Close-up photo of a cluster of Brick Caps - Hypholoma sublateritium

Carefully pull a cluster from the tree stump and review the details.
The cap is redish, like an old brick, in the majority of the center area of the mushroom and light redish/orange or yellowish orange along the margin.

Click for a Close-up view from the side. >>>> Click for a Close-up view of the top.
Photo of a cluster of Brick Caps removed from stump and being held - Hypholoma sublateritium.

Now flip the cluster over and note the other details. Starting with the STALK.
The stalk can be characterized as long, mostly.
White at the top with whitish hairy projections. As you get lower on the stalk it gets progressively less whitish and starts to turn redish/orange near the base.
No ring on the stem
Photo of a cluster of Brick Cap viewing the bottom - Hypholoma sublateritium

The cap has an inrolled margin when young and, while still young, has a cobwebby veil that covers the gills.
Gills are attached to the stalk.
Gills are very light gray at first and as the mushroom matures turn purple from the spores which are also purplish.
Close-up photo of a trio of Brick Caps viewed from the bottom - Hypholoma sublateritium

Here they are in the strainer after being washed. If you look close you can see the gill color in some of the bigger caps and the stalk/stem features as well.
The gills get quite purple when the mushroom is bigger and more mature. Those bigger caps are the ones you want to check out while you are right there in the woods with a bunch of clusters on the log. Gill color is important to determine.
Photo of a bunch of Brick Caps all washed and setting in the strainer - Hypholoma sublateritium

These mushrooms can hide pretty good !

Sometimes you'll look through your binoculars at a far off tree trunk because you see a few 'scouts' poking out of rotting bark crack. If that trunk is far away you may think that it is not worth the walk to it to pick just a couple of small caps.
However, if you do walk on over to it and look closer -------
Photo of a bunch of Brick Caps all washed and setting in the strainer - Hypholoma sublateritium

----- you may just be rewarded.
Just under the loose bark there could be many, many more. I have found bonanzas of these, on occasion, by removing bark in several areas of a tree where the scouts had exposed themselves.
Photo of a bunch of Brick Caps all washed and setting in the strainer - Hypholoma sublateritium

Best practice is to gather Brick Caps in clusters from the tree stump.
Leave the 'Loners' alone.
Growth in clusters is one of the many distinguishing characteristics of Brick Cap identification
( as is it's cap, gill, spore and stem color and habitat on deciduous wood only ). Although there will be 'individuals' seen while many clusters are present, the major characteristic of this mushroom's growth habit is it's clustering nature.
If you gather only the clusters as you fill your basket you will not get into trouble picking some
look-alike maverick
on that tree stump/trunk.
Another best practice is that once you have identified these groups of mushrooms growing on the log, stump or tree trunk, gather only the small ones. They have the best flavor, texture and hardiness to the cleaning process when you get home.

They are a hardy little mushroom so when at home dump them into a bowl of cold water and
man-handle them by agitating in the water. They won't break apart into a bunch of itty-bitty pieces like some other mushrooms. And they don't soak up water like a sponge. They clean up real good.

Take them from the water and put into a strainer - change the water - add the mushrooms again - agitate again, remove to strainer again and they will be ready.

Hypholoma sublateritium ( sometimes - Naematoloma sublateritium ) - A/K/A - Brick Caps, Brick Tops
DATE - October 24, 2009.
FOUND - Laurel Hill State Park, Bakersville, Pa. area.
Several clusters were found on both sides of an old oak stump.

Weather conditions: Wet. Cold drizzle on the day found. Mostly for the week before the weather has been dry. However, there was a frost about 1 week before. I would characterize the two weeks prior to finding these on the damp side.

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