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The variegated umbrella mushroom belongs to the Champignon family. It is often called differently: big, tall, royal champignon. And in some areas - a chicken coop, because it, cooked in butter, resembles the taste of chicken meat.
Mushrooms are very noticeable in size
Where does the umbrella mushroom grow
The variegated umbrella, or macrolepiota procera in Latin, is common on all continents. It is also found everywhere on the territory of Russia - on fertile soil with a light structural composition, rich in organic residues. Fungi of the species - saprotrophs, feed on decaying organic matter. Fruit bodies of variegated umbrellas prefer to grow in open spaces of forest edges, clearings, meadows, city parks and squares. They are easy to find at the site of clearings, along roads, in unplowed fields, pastures and in gardens. They grow singly or in groups. At the same time, the mycelium is often located on a spacious territory, creating rows or so-called "witch circles", where from 15 to 30 fruit bodies are formed. The variegated species bears fruit from mid-June to late September.
Important! Large and numerous umbrellas are found in meadows set aside for pastures, or in sunny glades with a high layer of fallen leaves.
What does a mushroom umbrella look like?
Young mushrooms are variegated umbrellas, as in the photo, - ovoid, from a distance they seem fluffy. The leg with a rounded top begins to rise first, and then the cap opens. Because of this characteristic in Italy, the species is called "drumsticks". The open cap is wide-conical, among the largest: adult fruiting bodies reach a diameter of 15-24 to 32-35 cm. In the middle of the fibrous gray-beige cap there is a tubercle, the skin tone is darker - brownish, without scales. Sometimes it is whitish-gray, at times with a brown tint. Along the entire surface, except for the central part, light brown triangular small scales always remain, which are easily separated. The edges of the cap are slightly bent down, covered with scales.
White plates of young mushrooms are whitish or light beige, turn brown in old ones, densely located. Near the leg, a mass of plates forms a cartilaginous seal. The white, friable pulp becomes denser with age, the color remains on the cut. A mushroom or sweetish nutty aroma emanates from the fruiting body. A peculiarity of the species is that the cap is easily separated from the stem, as well as the plates are freely torn off from the base of the cap. The mass of spores is white or slightly creamy.
The ring on the leg moves
In young representatives of the species, the leg is light brown, turns brown with age, frequent, dark scales form on the surface. Sometimes the whole is covered with alternating dark and light stripes. The height of the leg of a variegated umbrella is from 15 to 40 cm. Mushroom pickers claim that they have met umbrellas 60 cm high. The diameter of a thin stem is 3 cm, rarely 4 cm. It is hollow in structure, with rigid fibers. High under the cap is a filmy ring, usually wide, it is the remnant of the original veil in which the young mushroom emerges from the ground. The mushrooms have no sack-like volva, like champignons. Thickening is noticeable near the ground.
The species has a variegated hat and leg
Attention! A characteristic feature of all types of umbrellas is that the ring is not adherent, but moves freely along the leg up or down.
Edible or not mushroom umbrella variegated
The species is edible. In terms of nutritional value, they are referred to the 4th category. Many mushroom pickers consider the dishes made from umbrella hats to be the most delicious.
Useful properties of a large umbrella mushroom
The fruit bodies of variegated umbrellas contain a lot of water and fiber, proteins, a balanced amount of carbohydrates and fats. The pulp is valuable for the presence of minerals, vitamins of group B, as well as C and E with a low calorie content. Since the caps are also eaten raw, mushrooms are considered an ideal dietary food suitable for weight loss and diabetes, valuable for vegetarians because they:
- saturates quickly;
- stimulates digestion;
- removes cholesterol;
- eases the condition of cancer patients;
- promotes rejuvenation of the body;
- maintains the tone of the nervous system and brain activity.
Adepts of traditional medicine treat stomach diseases, gout, rheumatism, purulent wounds with harvested raw materials.
False doubles of the mushroom umbrella variegated
Fruit bodies of variegated umbrella mushrooms, judging by the photo, are similar to the edible and poisonous species of some species of the Champignon and Amanite families. Of these, edible umbrellas:
From the photo, it is easy to confuse the species in question and the poisonous rare dark brown chlorophyllum, which is found in North America and the forests of the Western Carpathians.
Chlorophyllum is a dangerous fungus, but not found in Russia
Often inexperienced mushroom pickers mistake a variegated umbrella for poisonous:
panther fly agaric;
Amanita muscaria has a reddish top
Pale toadstool is noticeable by a greenish-yellow tint of the cap
The variegated species differs from the poisonous ones in such signs:
- the ring on the leg moves easily;
- near the ground, there is no bag on the leg, which remained from the coverlet, like in fly agaric and pale toadstool;
- scales on the cap are numerous, merged in the center, while on fly agarics they are small and rare;
- a distinctive feature of the pale toadstool, except for the Volvo, is the greenish-olive top;
- the umbrellas of poisonous species differ in that they are very small compared to the size of large and tall variegated ones.
Rules for collecting a large variegated umbrella
Delicious mushrooms are harvested only when the different species are well identified. If in doubt, it is best to leave them in the forest. Famous species should not be taken in contaminated areas:
- near industrial areas;
- in the vicinity of large cities;
- along busy roads.
How to cook a variegated mushroom umbrella
For eating, hats are used more often, they are:
- fried whole or chopped;
- frozen cooked or fried;
- eaten raw.
The legs are tough, so they are usually dried and then ground into mushroom powder, which is used for seasoning in soups.
The quick-cooking recipes for the motley umbrella are the most artless - omelets, scrambled eggs, a salted raw hat along with vegetables.
Growing mushrooms of variegated umbrellas
Today they buy mycelium in specialized stores or bring ripe mushrooms and disperse spores in shady, humid places from February to May. The site is treated, the sod cannot be tolerated, but the mycelium or spore mass is sprinkled with a layer of humus. Fruiting begins after 3-5 months, it lasts up to 5-6 years.
The variegated umbrella mushroom is considered tasty, its lovers not only collect, but also grow the species. On a quiet hunt, the main thing is an unshakable rule: bypass unknown myceliums.