In the odd world of fungi, the hedgehog mushroom still manages to stand out as eccentric. Its the joker in the pack, and for anyone who is struggling to get to grips with identifying edible wild mushrooms, its refusal to conform to even the loosest of mycological norms make it a godsend. Better still, it is fairly common, immune to insect attack and very tasty.
Shaggy ink caps can usually be found growing in the same place year after year – often in urban environments. As with all ink caps, spore dispersal is by means of deliquesing whereby the entire cap liquifies from the bottom up, often leaving only the stipe and a disc of cap
Giant puffballs are a joy to stumble upon. Actively hunting for them can be a waste of time as they are eccentric in when and where they grow. Smaller types of puffballs turn up on most forays.
These are visually stunning mushrooms and almost as good gastronomically, made all the more special by their relative scarcity – I seldom find more than a handful a year. You don’t need to find many though – they can grow very large.
Winter chanterelles are a common, easy to identify and delicious mushrooms that can be picked in large numbers right through November and well into December. Here I look at 4 species that often get referred to as winter chanterelles: yellowlegs, golden chanterelle, ashen chanterelle and winter chanterelle