The Hoosier Mushroom Society

April 27th, 2010

Just this week we received our certification letter from the North American Mycological Association approving the membership of The Hoosier Mushroom Society. Up until this week, Indiana was one of the 15 states that did not have a mycological association. There are now 36 states that have an association, with many more regional organizations.

The goals of this organization will be the same as most of the other mushroom societies – to promote the education and research of all types of fungi.  We will have information for those interested in hunting, photographing, growing, eating, or identifying mushrooms or other types of fungi.

We are planning to have an organizational meeting sometime in mid-May, and would encourage any and all interested individuals to attend. Please contact us if you are interested, as we have not yet set a date for this meeting.

We also have our first event scheduled for the Society. On June 5th-7th at Brown County State Park, there will be a Bioblitz occuring.  This is a timed event that seeks to account for any and all living things in a natural area. One of the taxa being documented during this event are the mushrooms that are occuring during this time.

We will be camping at the state park that weekend and would invite you to join us for this event! Brown County State park is a beautiful place to camp if you have never been.


NYT Article on Growing Mushrooms

April 17th, 2010

The New York Times recently published a great article on the growing demand for mushroom gear and products. Particularly the growing use of plug spawn around the nation:

Kendall Morrison cultivates mushrooms in the Secret Garden in Brooklyn.

Kendall Morrison cultivates mushrooms in the Secret Garden in Brooklyn.

You might not be able to tell right away what Mr. Morrison is doing. He may be wielding a hand drill, for instance, boring holes into a salvaged oak log. Or he may be pounding inchlong dowels into the wood with a mallet, each little peg impregnated with shiitake mushroom spawn.

If small-scale mushrooming is indeed a movement, Mr. Morrison seems to have a growing number of comrades nationwide.

We have seen a very similar interest in our retail store. Our five varieties of plug spawn are some of the best sellers online and in the retail environment where most of the visitors didn’t even know it was possible to easily grow mushrooms at home. Usually, if we are able to explain to someone how easy the process is, they are very interested and would like to try it out themselves.

Take a couple of minutes to read the full New York Times Article. It is a worthwhile read.



Our First Morel Find!

April 12th, 2010

Last night, we uploaded some photos to our Facebook page of our first morel find of the year. We had been watching a spot that produces morels annually, and the first one popped within the last day or so. It is currently only the size of a fingertip.  Checkout the pictures of  our first find below:


Collect Tulip Fungus Finds for Research

April 11th, 2010

Tom Volk, a prominent mycologist from Wisconsin, is looking for some help with his research. He needs help from mushroomers collecting samples of Urnula craterium – The Black Tuplip fungus, also commonly called the Devil’s Urn. Wish I would have seen his request for help a day earlier. I had just photographed several out in the woods.

TulipFungus0002 TulipFungus0001

A request from Tom Volk posted on Facebook:

Hi y’all. While you’re out morel hunting, I
need some help from my mushroom friends. I need as many samples of
Urnula craterium, the black tulip fungus, for some experiments we
are running. If you don’t know what these are, see

They fruit very early in
the spring,…… usually along the undersides of downed logs.
We need as many as possible to extract a useful chemical. Even if
you find justa few, every little bit helps. You can just air dry
them and send wrapped in paper or wax paper (no plastic) to:
Tom Volk
Dept. Biology
1725 State St.
University of Wisconsin- La Crosse
La Crosse, WI 54601

Thanks for your help!—-Tom


Journal – 4/6/10

April 7th, 2010

Went out last night for an hour or so to see if any morels are popping up on our land. We weren’t able to find any morels yet, but we did find several other species of fungi that are common in the spring. They are Scarlet Cups and Pheasant Backs. Some samples of the Scarlet Cups were brought into the store for the “Whats in the Woods?” section. Often times these mushrooms first appear in the woods slightly before the morels do. We are hearing that some people are finding a few morels in the area, but not in any great numbers yet.

These Scarlet Cups were found in a ravine near a small creek. Only one mushroom was initially visible at the surface, but brushing back some leaves revealed a great number. Most were solitary on the partially buried sticks, but there was one cluster of 4  mushrooms.

The Pheasant Backs – which some call Dryad’s Saddle – were still very immature, so we left them to grow a bit longer. We will go back to the spot every night and take some pictures of the growth. It is only a short walk from our house, so it should make a nice set of pictures over the next week or two. Most books make reference to these Pheasant Backs growing on dead elms.

We will be adding the following information to our Hoosier Mushroom Society Page:

Scarlet Cup
Sarcoscypha dudleyi & Sarcoscypha austriaca

Common Name: Scarlet Cup

Scientific Name: Sarcoscypha dudleyi or Sarcoscypha austriaca depending on spores. Sarcoscypha coccinea on the West Coast.

Time of year: Early Spring : Late March to Early May

Edibility: Said to be Edible.

Fruitbody:  2-4 cm (2-6 cm) once mature. Bright red cup-shaped surface. Small white/clear hairs on surface under magnification. Underside of the fruitbody is white. Flesh is thin but not brittle.

Stalks: Absent or up to 2 cm. References mentions up to 3-4cm.

Habitat: This specimen was found on the base of a hillside on partially buried wood.  Near a creek in a ravine. One reference makes a mention that these are found near wet places.

Spores: From Sarcoscypha dudleyi: Spores 25-33 x 12-14 µ; elliptical, with rounded ends; typically with several to many oil droplets; when fresh, entirely sheathed. Sarcoscypha austriaca: Spores 29-36 x 12-15 µ; elliptical, with slightly flattened ends; typically with several to many oil droplets; when fresh not entirely sheathed, but with small “polar caps” sheathing each end.

Lookalikes: S. occidentalis – Occurs later in the spring, has a smaller cup, and a well developed stalk.

Journal Notes: One mushroom was slightly showing through the leaves with its bright red color. Moving nearby leaves found another 5 or 6 more between 2 other partially buried sticks. One cluster of 4 and 2 solitary mushrooms on one 14” stick; 3 solitary on another.


Arora, 1986; Lincoff, 1981; Miller, 2006;; Tom Volk – 1998