Of Princes & Parasols

For all you mycologists out there…..

….I have a question: what’s this, please??


I believe it’s either a Parasol/Shaggy Parasol or a Prince; but I’m not certain.  I’d love to cook it & see – however, I’d (obviously!) prefer to be absolutely certain it’s not poisonous before I give it a go.  A basic description is as follows: 

CAP:  16cm across, cream-coloured & concave, with brown fibrous scales. 

Mushroom cap.

Mushroom cap.

STEM:  8cm in length by 3cm width (full girth via tape measure 10cm).  Club-shaped, white & smooth.

RING:  ¾ of way down stem, firm, fairly large, white, smooth on underside.

GILLS:  Free of the stem, white.

FLESH:  White, slight bitter almond/classic mushroom scent. Colour changes gradually to pink-brown when bruised.

SPORES:  Not seen.

HABITAT:  Found in the haybarn, growing up against a wooden pallet.

FREQUENCY:  Single mushroom only.

SEASON:  Late autumn (November).

'Shroom underside. From my middle finger to my wrist the distance is 18cms.

I’m hoping it’s a rare Prince mushroom, as I gather they’re absolutely delicious.  However, I don’t want to take any chances – & certainly don’t fancy an impromptu tour of the new Accident & Emergency department of the local hospital, as a result of my meal….especially as it doesn’t quite seem to accurately fit that ‘fun guy’ John Wright’s descriptions of either species.

Anyway – grateful for any advice – preferably sooner rather than later, so if it IS edible I can make the most of it!

About LittleFfarm Dairy

The LittleFfarm Dairy Team: Jo - Goat farmer & Gelatiere Artigianale, plus General Dogsbody; Tony - Airline Pilot & part-time Herd Manager, Product Taster, Accounts Secretary, Handyman etc!
This entry was posted in Diary, Food, Fruit & Veg, Life, Locality, Nature, News, November 2008, Wild Food/Foraging. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Of Princes & Parasols

  1. sylvia says:

    Common sense says dump it.
    You do not need it – you cannot be that hungry!
    Anyway, you have too many animals fully dependent upon you to risk being sick or worse for the sake of curiosity.

    Any person that advises you to eat it without actually holding it in their hand is highly irresponsible.

    Not worth the risk.

    best wishes

  2. casalba says:

    Can’t help, I’m afraid. And think Sylvia’s advice is probably the best.

    Here you can take your finds to the pharmacist who will give you either the thumbs up, or down. We’re also lucky to have an ‘agronomist’ in the next village. We take all sorts of things for him to inspect – berries, bugs and weeds for advice on what to do with them, diseased leaves, etc.

    My advice would be: Track down a local expert – there must be one somewhere, so the next time you come across something as beautiful as that (the SIZE of it!!!) you’ll know where to go.

  3. casalba says:

    PS The chap who runs this great site may know someone who can help: http://www.wildmushroomsonline.co.uk/

  4. LittleFfarm Dairy says:

    Thanks, folks –

    don’t worry Sylvia, I’m not that daft….! And I do have a rudimentary enough working knowledge to spot the danger signs. That said, I inevitably prefer to err on the side of caution if I’m not absolutely 100% confident about a find.

    And you’re right, we’re not quite starving, yet; however the wild food larder is a wonderful & sadly undertapped resource about which I am constantly striving to learn more to our benefit.

    Meanwhile I think Tony would be more than a little offended at the implication he’s not capable of caring for our charges, any less competently than me…. 😉

    It’s such a shame though, that in Italy there’s the marvellous resource of consulting your local pharmacist; I can imagine what they’d say if I turned up in our local branch of Boots, clutching my mycological specimen & requesting a positive i/d! We have nothing like that here – but then again, nothing like the number of people taking advantage of Nature’s pantry.

    But thanks for the info Casalba, I will have a look at that site…albeit I promise that not a morsel will pass my lips until I have an absolutely cast-iron identification (& assuming it’s not poisonous, of course!!).

  5. sylvia says:

    Sorry Tony – I rather presumed that the new job was all systems go and that you were flying the blue skies again!

    I would love to go into our local chemist with an unknown lump of fungus! Still, you never know, someone there might be a world expert. There are a lot of clever people hidden in this corner of Wales with all types of skills and knowledge.
    They just dont talk about it very much.

    How is Nanuk?
    regards Sylvia

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