Tag Archives: oregon

More mushrooms in Oregon: the coast, dunes, and city parks

As the drought dragged on in California this fall I longed for rainier pastures in Oregon. Fortunately my friend Roo who is also a PhD student in mycology lives in Eugene where mushrooms are abundant! After having so much fun and finding chanterelles in the Cascades the last time, I returned this time to look for Porcinis and Matsutakes on the coast in the dunes.


Mushroom hunting along the Oregon dunes

To me it’s a pretty irregular sight to associate mushroom hunting with sand, but don’t you just love this photo of Roo walking across the dunes with his mushroom basket? Turns out the dunes are a great place to go mushroom hunting! Plus you get awesome views of the Oregon coast. Not a bad place to hunt, right?


Oregon coast

We walked around for a while and came across some lovely giant Amanita muscaria. Unfortunately they were a bit soggy and difficult to take home but they sure are pretty.


Amanita muscaria or the fairytale mushroom in the woods

In addition to mushroom hunting on the coast we also did some city mushroom hunting in Eugene at a local park. It was a beautiful park with so much green peppered with yellow fall colors.


Fall colors in Oregon

While we did not find any edible mushrooms in the park we found some really cool little guys including these cute little Calocera cornea jelly fungi.


Calocera cornea covering a dead log

We also found some fun ascomycetes called Xylaria hypoxylon decaying wood. Can you guess why their common name is the candle snuff fungus or more ominously dead man’s fingers?


Xylaria hypoxylon AKA dead man’s fingers or the candlesnuff fungus

There was lots of dead wood in this park so we saw lots of interesting wood decay mushrooms including this really cool polypore Oligoporus caesius commonly known as the blue cheese fungus.


Can you guess why this is known as the blue cheese fungus?

Roo is really into wood decay mushrooms and ascomycetes in the Xylariales in particular so he spent lots of time poking around dead logs.


Roo poking dead logs for ascomycetes

I was particularly impressed by this jelly fungus/polypore called Phlebia tremellosa that was all over a dead log. I’ve never seen this mushroom before and it was so slimy and jelly like.


Phlebia tremellosa covering a dead log

It also had cool pores on the underside. It’s hard to describe the texture but it was quite jiggly and fun.


Pored underside of Phlebia tremellosa

This was quite an awesome city park and had some lovely giant Douglas fir trees in it. Aren’t they majestic?


Giant Douglas fir tree in Eugene park

So I know what you are thinking – nice pictures and nice mushrooms of mushroom hunting on the Oregon coast and in Eugene, but where are the edibles??? While we unfortunately did not quite find the bounty that I was hoping for, we did happen upon a few king boletes Boletus edulis in nestled under the bushes in the forests on the Oregon coast.


Boletus edulis the prized king porcini

Perhaps more exciting, I found this baby nestled under a manzanita bush. Get excited for the next couple posts where I post about what we cooked with the porcinis and matsutakes!


Tricholoma magnivelare the American Matsutake

Mushroom hunting in Oregon!

Yay chanties!!

Yay chanties!! Photo credit: R. Vandegrift











As you know California has been experiencing an epic drought. I’m teaching a class in mushroom identification at Berkeley right now and it’s been super difficult to find good specimens for class. Luckily last weekend I went to visit my friend Roo in Oregon where there are mushrooms galore and I finally have some mushrooms to blog about!


Old growth Douglas fir forest in the Cascade mountains in Oregon









As we approached the trailhead of the old growth Douglas fir forest in the Cascades, I noticed  puffball mushrooms in the genus Lycoperdon carpeting the forest floor. I’ve never seen so many in one place! They have a common name wolf’s fart because if you tap on a mature one tons of brown spores puff out. It’s always a fun one to show to mushroom newbies!

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Lycoperdon puff balls AKA wolf’s fart Photo credit: R. Vandegrift

















It was so exciting to see mushrooms again I was even excited to see fungal diseases such as the brown cubical butt rott. The mushroom responsible for such a funny named disease is actually quite beautiful, and lots of people like to use it for dye.


Phaeolus schweinitzii AKA brown cubical butt rott Photo credit: R. Vandegrift









In addition to diseases I also saw lots of wood decay mushrooms. Can you believe these cute little mushrooms decay these giant Douglas fir logs?


Cute little Xeromphalina campanella decaying a log Photo credit: R. Vandegrift














Fungi also come in many amazing forms and colors. Did you know that mushrooms can also look like corals?


Beautiful coral shaped Ramaria species Photo credit: R. Vandegrift














I study ectomycorrhizal fungi, which are mutualistically associated with tree roots. These Suillus lakei are partners with all of the giant Douglas firs in the forest, and they were super abundant!

Suillus lakei

Suillus lakei ectomycorrhizal fungal partners with Douglas fir trees Photo credit: R. Vandegrift











To add more layers to the story, there are also fungi that parasitize other mushrooms! Gomphidius subroseus is a mycoparasite of Suillus lakei – how crazy is that?


Gomphidius subroseus

Gomphidius subroseus, a mycoparasite of Suillus lakei Photo credit: R. Vandegrift

















How cool is it that I even found a Gomphidius subroseus mushroom attached to a Suillus lakei?

Gomphidius subroseus and Suillus lakei

Gomphidius subroseus mushroom attached to Suillus lakei Photo credit: R. Vandegrift









And check it out, another species of ectomycorrhizal fungus, poking out of the soil.

What's this poking out of the soil?

What’s this poking out of the soil? Photo credit: R. Vandegrift











Check out how massive this mushroom is!

Giant Russula brevipes

Giant Russula brevipes, another ectomycorrhizal fungus Photo credit: R. Vandegrift











Of course all of these mushrooms were super fun and beautiful, but I know what you are all thinking, where are all of the edible mushrooms?


Bouquet of giant Armillaria mellea mushrooms AKA the honey mushroom Photo credit: R. Vandegrift











Unfortunately Armillaria mellea is not supposed to be super tasty, but it does make gorgeous designs on wood with giant black rhizomorphs.

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Is that art or is it a fungal pathogen?











Then finally we started finding some more tasty edible mushrooms. Here is a cute edible toothed mushroom commonly known as the lion’s mane called Hericium abietus.

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Check out the cute teeth on this lion’s mane Hericium abietus! Photo credit: R. Vandegrift

















Leccinum manzanitae is another edible ectomycorrhizal fungus. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’ve heard it’s delicious. Next time I find a larger collection of it I will have to try it!


Leccinum manzanitae, and edible ectomycorrhizal fungus Photo credit: R. Vandegrift











The most disappointing fungus by far that we found was the false chanterelle Hygrophoropsis auriantiaca. I kept getting excited seeing beautiful orange caps everywhere only to flip them over and see gills :(


Watch out for these false-chanterelles Hygrophoropsis auriantiaca Photo credit: R. Vandegrift











But finally, our patience was rewarded and we found these gorgeous and giant chanterelles!


Gorgeous and giant white chanterelles Cantharellus cascadensis! Photo credit: R. Vandegrift











Stay tuned to find out what we cooked with the gorgeous Oregon chanterelles!!!

So excited to find white chanterelles!

So excited to find white chanterelles! Photo credit: R. Vandegrift











Thanks to the OSU and UO crew for helping me find so many gorgeous mushrooms and showing me around the beautiful Oregon forests :)




The mushroom hunting team made mushroom art on this Ganoderma applanatum AKA artist’s conk! Photo credit: R. Vandegrift