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Only experienced mushroom pickers know that the abundance of honey mushrooms in the forest is an alarming sign of his troubles. These mushrooms often parasitize on birch, spruce, aspen, which for some reason get sick and disappear. Among the edible varieties of these forest gifts, their dangerous counterparts - false mushrooms, often grow.
Botanical description of false mushrooms
Not all mushroom lovers can recognize inedible or poisonous species among forest gifts. And false mushrooms are also not always amenable to classification; their different types belong to several families. And only experienced mushroom pickers with confidence collect edible specimens, although cases of poisoning by them are known. The reason for this is the species variability of representatives of this very common and numerous family of agaric mushrooms.
False honey mushrooms always try to attract attention. They have brightly colored brick-brown or red-brown hats. Especially dangerous are mushrooms with bright yellow caps. They are smooth, evenly colored, sticky when touched. The same bright colors are present on the back of the hat of false mushrooms. Their plates are green, yellow or dark olive. Sometimes they are covered with a thin cobweb-like film.
These representatives of the forest flora have a heavy smell of damp, sometimes smell of earth. This is due to the fact that they lack useful organic oils.
Features of false mushrooms
Places of growth of false honey mushrooms
All species of honey mushrooms justify their name by the fact that they grow mainly on stumps or around them. They surround the trunks of fallen trees, are found on rotters or in moss, and sometimes they do not disdain outwardly healthy trees. And it’s always big mushroom families that “draw” large circles. Often, without leaving the place, you can type a full box of mushrooms.
What false mushrooms look like
There are about two dozen species of unsuitable twins for mushrooms, there are much more than edible ones. Most often, such varieties are found.
Brick red honey agaric
Outwardly, it is a very beautiful and bright mushroom. In young specimens, it is dome-shaped, and eventually opens up and becomes up to 8 cm in diameter. At the edges it is bright brown, and in the center it is bright brick. Its surface is smooth, there are no scales on it. Mushroom flesh is light yellow. The spore plates are firmly attached to the leg. At first they are yellow, then they turn brown, and in adult specimens they are dark brown. The mushroom legs are thin and long, at the base they are denser, their color closer to the ground is dark, and at the top - light yellow.
The mushroom is distributed from late summer to frost on the remains of deciduous trees. It belongs to the inedible species.
Sulfur yellow honey agaric
This is an extremely dangerous, poisonous mushroom. It occurs both on decaying deciduous species and on the remnants of conifers. His hat is a little smaller in size than the brick-red brother, but undergoes the same transformations of its shape - from bell-shaped to open. The edges are usually lighter - gray-yellow or yellow, and the center - a red-brown hue. Mushroom pulp yellow with a repulsive odor. Numerous thin plates fit snugly on the leg. In young specimens, they are yellow. Then they turn green, and in old specimens almost black with an olive or chocolate tint.
The mushroom's leg is empty and thin, growing in length up to ten centimeters. Sometimes you can meet a family of up to fifty fused fungi. Fruiting is observed from the end of spring until the first frost. These mushrooms have such strong toxins that even a single specimen trapped among a whole pot of edible counterparts is enough to get serious poisoning with a risk to life. Moreover, the poison passes to all forest gifts cooked in one container, making them also dangerous.
The second name of the fungus is gray plate honey. The hemisphere-shaped seven-centimeter hat then opens, often keeping the remains of the bedspread around the edges in the form of a thin film. The color of the hat, depending on humidity, changes color from pale yellow to bright brown. The edges of the hat are lighter than the middle. Its flesh is light, smelling of damp. Thin plates that fit snugly on the leg are first light yellow and later colored like poppy seeds. The thin and long curving leg at the base is bright brown and yellow at the top.
The fungus appears abundantly in late summer, preferring pine forests. Young specimens are considered edible, but old individuals are tasteless.
How to distinguish false mushrooms from autumn
Signs of poisoning with false mushrooms
Signs of poisoning with false mushrooms appear soon after food enters the stomach. But depending on the type and portion of dangerous doubles, a reaction to them can occur in a few hours. Toxins, getting into the bloodstream, are distributed throughout the body. Most of them go to the digestive organs. Symptoms of poisoning are similar to manifestations of acute gastroenteritis, with the following:
- nausea, accompanied by severe vomiting.
- pallor of the skin.
- reusable loose stools.
- weakness, dizziness, increased sweating.
- acute paroxysmal abdominal pain.
When poisoning with brick red mushrooms, the nervous system also suffers. This results in headache, high blood pressure, difficulty speaking and nosebleeds. In severe cases, intoxication sets in, threatening a coma and even cardiac arrest.
Sulfur yellow honey agaric is also dangerous because its toxins do not decay during heat treatment. Poisonous substances are stored and even accumulate during the conservation of the insidious forest gift.
First aid for acute mushroom poisoning comes down to cleaning the digestive tract. It is necessary to provoke vomiting with a large volume of drunk boiled water. After this, you need to drink activated carbon, washed down with a large amount of liquid. In this case, mineral water without gas and broths are useful. You need to drink them in small portions every quarter hour.
Before the arrival of the "Ambulance" you need to lay the patient, warming the limbs with a blanket and warmers. In case of loss of consciousness, it is necessary to fix the language so that suffocation does not occur in the victim.
How to distinguish a false mushroom from an edible mushroom
The main difference between the dangerous doubles of honey mushrooms is their lack of a small ring of film residues in the form of a "skirt" surrounding the leg from above. But sometimes it is not on benign types of mushrooms, they can simply lose it.
In addition, they can be distinguished from real mushrooms by the following features:
- Edible brethren smell pleasantly, while false ones give away with earth or damp.
- Good mushrooms “wear” more modest clothes of a light brown or beige hue. And false counterparts differ from edible mushrooms in brick red or yellow hats.
- The hats are scaly on young real mushrooms, and on smooth ones. But mature specimens cannot be distinguished by this criterion, because their scaleiness disappears over time.
- Spore plates on the back of the cap also differ in color. In high-quality mushrooms, they are creamy or dirty white, and in their dangerous counterparts they are dark: bluish, olive-black or dark gray.
- During heat treatment, false honey mushrooms turn black or blue.
The most poisonous mushrooms in Russia
If you are not an experienced mushroom picker and are not sure about the quality of the harvested forest, you should not risk it. There can be no one-hundred-percent guarantee of revealing poisonous mushrooms when they are visually compared. With significant species diversity, honey mushrooms sometimes even professionals are mistaken in their identification. And the consequences of such a fallacy are serious - right up to cardiac arrest. Therefore, you need to collect only those mushrooms that you are familiar with.