Mushrooms grow all over the world, but there are some species that are especially common in Alaska. Do any of these mushrooms have medicinal properties?
Mushrooms are an important part of the food web in Alaska, and because many people rely on this ecosystem for food, it’s important to know what kinds of mushrooms are typically found there.
In this article, we will explore some of the most common mushrooms found in Alaska and their properties.
Fairy Bonnet Mushrooms
The Fairy Bonnet Mushroom is a common mushroom in Alaska. This type of mushroom typically has a brown or tan cap with white spots. The gills of the mushroom are usually white, and it has a short stem.
The Fairy Bonnet Mushroom grows in moist areas such as forests, meadows, and gardens. This type of mushroom is edible, but it is not considered to be very tasty.
[Related Article: 4 Common Mushrooms In Arizona]
Gilled Mushrooms are a common type of mushroom found in Alaska. They are characterized by their gills, which are thin, fleshy structures that run down the length of the mushroom’s stem.
These gills are responsible for producing spores, which are the tiny, seed-like structures that allow mushrooms to reproduce.
While most mushrooms are safe to eat, there are some poisonous varieties that can cause serious illness or even death. It is important to be able to identify edible mushrooms before consuming them. Some helpful tips for identifying edible gilled mushrooms include:
- Checking to see if the mushroom has true gills. False gills are usually found on poisonous mushrooms.
- Looking for a ring around the stem of the mushroom. This is a key identifying feature of many edible gilled mushrooms.
- Identifying the specific type of gilled mushroom. There are many different types of edible gilled mushrooms, so it is important to do your research and know which ones are safe to eat.
If you are unsure about whether or not a mushroom is safe to eat, it is always best to err on the side of caution and avoid consuming it.
Grisettes are a common type of mushroom found in Alaska. They are small, round mushrooms that can vary in color from white to brown. Grisettes are often found growing on trees, stumps, or logs.
These mushrooms are edible, but not very popular due to their bland taste. Grisettes can be cooked and used in soups or sauces, or simply eaten raw. However, many people choose to avoid eating them due to their lack of flavor.
Despite their unappealing taste, grisettes are an important food source for many animals in Alaska. Birds, squirrels, and other small mammals often eat these mushrooms. Grisettes are also a key ingredient in the diet of the Alaskan black bear.
Yellow Patches are a common mushroom in Alaska that can be found growing on the ground near trees. These mushrooms have a yellow cap with white spots, and a white stem. The spores of this mushroom are black.
This mushroom is often mistaken for the poisonous Amanita muscaria, but it is not deadly. Yellow Patches are edible and have a mild flavor. They can be cooked and eaten, or used in soups and stews.
If you are foraging for these mushrooms, be sure to correctly identify them before eating them. While they are not poisonous, they can cause stomach upset if eaten raw. When cooking Yellow Patches, be sure to cook them thoroughly to avoid any gastrointestinal issues.
Fly agaric is one of the most common mushrooms in Alaska. It’s a type of Amanita mushroom and it’s easily recognizable because of its red cap with white spots.
Fly agaric is poisonous to humans and it can cause hallucinations, so it’s important to be careful if you come across this mushroom while you’re out hiking.
Catathelasma ventricosum is a common mushroom in Alaska. It is found in both coniferous and deciduous forests, often near the bases of trees. This mushroom has a large, dark brown cap with white gills.
The stem is thick and fleshy, and the spores are white. Catathelasma ventricosum is edible, but not particularly flavorful.
Lackluster Laccaria / Laccaria Laccata
Laccaria laccata, commonly known as the lackluster laccaria, is a common mushroom in Alaska. This small, unassuming mushroom can be found growing on the ground in forests throughout the state. While it may not be the most beautiful mushroom out there, it is an important part of the forest ecosystem.
The lackluster laccaria is a mycorrhizal fungus, which means that it forms a symbiotic relationship with trees. The fungus essentially acts as an extension of the tree’s root system, helping the tree to absorb nutrients and water from the soil.
In exchange, the fungus receives carbohydrates from the tree. This relationship is beneficial for both parties involved and helps to ensure the health of the forest.
While the lackluster laccaria may not be the prettiest mushroom around, it plays an important role in Alaska’s forest ecosystems. If you’re out hiking in the woods, keep your eyes peeled for this small but important fungi!
Angel Wings / Pleurocybella Porrigens
Angel Wings are a common mushroom in Alaska that can be found growing on dead or dying trees. This type of mushroom is also known as the Pleurocybella porrigens. Angel Wings are white or pale gray in color and have a fan-shaped cap. These mushrooms typically grow in clusters and can range in size from 2-10 inches wide. The stem of the Angel Wing is very fragile and breaks easily.
Although Angel Wings are considered to be a choice edible mushroom, they should only be eaten when they are young and fresh. Older Angel Wings tend to be tough and woody, making them less desirable to eat.
When preparing Angel Wings for cooking, it is best to remove the stem as it is not edible. The caps can then be sliced thin and added to soups, stews, or sautéed dishes.
We have highlighted some of the most common mushrooms in Alaska. These include the Grisettes, Yellow Patches, Fly Agaric, Fairy Bonnet Mushrooms, Catathelasma ventricosum, Lackluster Laccaria / Laccaria laccata, and Angel Wings / Pleurocybella porrigens.
We hope this blog post has been informative and will help you identify some of the mushrooms growing in Alaska.