Angels'Wings

Edwin Hutton e.hutton at ic.ac.uk
Thu Mar 29 04:19:55 EST 2001


> Judy Roger wrote:
> 
> 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

Thanks for a printed version of what you said on the programme, though
I don't honestly remember the comment about the weather conditions.
I did summarise your contribution rather briefly.

Your comment about grooming the forest areas is most apt. Here
in London in Hyde Park there used to be a lot of fungi, mostly
edible, but ever since they sub-contracted the 'gardening' maintenance
it is getting far too tidy and the mushroom supply has gone down
quite a lot.:-(.

I hope you get to hear the programme - it was quite interesting.

-- 
Edwin Hutton




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