Angels'Wings

Judy Roger judyr at hevanet.com
Mon Mar 26 14:06:04 EST 2001


Edwin
> In a programme on the radio (BBC) last night about the wild mushroom
> business, mostly about the Scottish trade near Edinburgh,
> they mentioned an edible fungus growing on trees called 'Angel's Wings'.
> Does anyone know what species they are (scientific name please)?
> I have never heard of them before.
> The supplier said that they had to do a bit of research to ensure
> that they are edible.

Angel's Wings are Pleurocybella porrigens, a beautiful and delightful petalloid fungus growing on dead logs (conifers here in the Pacific Northwest.)
 
> They had someone on from Oregon talking about their research into
> the effects of gathering chanterelles on the reproductive rate.
> Apparently when they clear gather the chanterelles every two weeks
> the same total weight is produced over the season compared with
> a control area, though the fruiting bodies reduce in size after
> a lot of picking. Their opinion is that the reduction of yields
> of wild mushrooms over recent years is most likely due to things
> like increased use of artificial fertiliser, acid rain and habitat
> loss, and not really due to overpicking.

Yes, mostly, but think I said "it appears that the picked biomass is remaining about equal to that in the control plots". The picked ones are smaller as they haven't had time to grow up from the previous picking, since we check the plots every two weeks during the season. At this point in our research (15 years of observation and 12 yrs. of that time with harvesting of the chanterelles), the harvesting does not appear to reduce the numbers significantly. What we do find is that after the 1st or 2nd harvest of that particular spot, the next ones to come up appear in a cluster of many, with only a few that will grow to maturity, given good conditions. I haven't heard the program yet, but I hope my comment about weather conditions also was included, as spring weather conditions prior to fruiting and during fruiting can have an enormous impact on the number of mushrooms that come up and grow to a pickable size.
Habitat loss is a major factor in decreased numbers. Also, grooming the forest areas - ridding the area of logs, limbs, fallen trees, etc., to make it park-like also is detrimental. They debris serves as a marvelous reservoir of stored moisture that is slowly released back into the soil, as well as enriching the soil as the material rots.
Judy Roger
Oregon Chanterelle Study Project
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