Poisonous flowers and edible mushrooms

Last year, it basically didn’t rain in the central Missouri Ozarks after about March. So we had a brief spell of green, and then things were brown, for a very long time.

But this year, things are different. We’re saturated. And it has made our world both tasty and beautiful.

I started some foxgloves from seed a couple of years ago, and as biennials, this year they have finally shown their lovely flowers.

foxglove1 foxglove2 foxglove3 foxglove4

Foxgloves, though having some medicinal uses traditionally, are generally quite toxic. I didn’t really realize that when I started them. Luckily, nobody around here has shown much interest in eating flowers.

But something else has been growing at The Ozark House that carries the stigma of toxicity, but is in fact quite the opposite.

Oyster mushrooms have sprung up on an unidentified log (white oak, maybe?) that has been laying in our pasture for probably two years. (If anyone wants to identify the log from the pictures below, we’ll give you a mushroom… if there are any left.)

Oyster mushrooms are considered a delicacy, and are growing in popularity these days; they can be found at some grocery stores, and many people are even buying “starter kits” to grow their own. Thankfully, the good Lord has given us an abundant supply just out our back door!

I have noticed oyster mushrooms growing on this log for the last two years, but have been unsure about their identity. I did pick them last year; I stuck them in the fridge and never ate them. Regret.

The one thing I did right, though, was to shake the mushrooms over the top of the log and try to help the spores disperse throughout. I think it might have helped. Here’s the progression (these were a little old when I found them):

old oyster mushrooms

December 2011

To this:

November 2012

November 2012

To this, which I discovered yesterday:

oyster mushrooms1

oyster mushroom pair oyster mushroom spiral oyster mushrooms galore

We plan on cooking the mushrooms in an Asian-inspired concoction we found here. We’ll let you know how it tastes!

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4 Responses to Poisonous flowers and edible mushrooms

  1. Sheila says:

    Nice pictures! That is one type of wild mushrooms I haven’t tried yet. Let us know how they taste.
    I checked out the Asian-inspired recipe and it looks amazing!

  2. How interesting! I’ve seen mushrooms like that growing on logs in the woods before, but just assumed they were poisonous. I’ll have to look into that more the next time I see them!

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