The presence of St. George’s mushroom (Calocybe gambosa) is often revealed by blooming rapeseeds
Which mushroom is mainly associated with the month of April? Well, St. George day is celebrated in April … that is probably why. St. George’s mushroom has a unique aroma and taste, similar to freshly ground grain. The taste is so unique that some mushroom pickers love it but others hate it. If you belong to the first category, use it in a cream sauce, pickled in vinegar, or fried.St. George’s mushroom is recommended for diabetics, for example, because it lowers blood sugar.So, where and when does this interesting mushroom grow and can it be confused with other mushrooms?
When and where
Traditionally, you can find St. George’s mushroom growing in parks, gardens and orchards or at the edge of a forest that gets sufficient light.St. George’s mushroom starts growing in the spring when the weather gets a little warmer. With a bit of luck you may have already found it during the recent days, but you have time until June,but the best time is when rapeseed is blooming and that is right now. And not surprisingly, when rapeseeds stops it is usually the end of St. George’s mushroom growing period too.St. George’s mushroom often grows in so-called magic circles and they usually grow in the same spot. So, an experienced mushroom pickers know where to go.
St. George’s mushroom has a whitish pileus, but yellow varieties may be ocher-yellow.When young, the pileus is convex. Later, the arch slowly disappears and turns into a flat shape and the pileus becomes “wavy”. The width can be around 10 cm. Gills are white, possibly creamy or yellow. The stipe is cylindrical, strong and has longitudinal fibres. The flesh is firm and white.
Can you confuse St. George’s mushroom with other mushrooms?h2>
Yes, you can. There are actually several of them. Let’s start with (Inocybe erubescens) known as the deadly fibrecap, for example. When young it resembles St. George’s mushroom but you can tell one from the other when you touch them. The deadly fibrecap turns red when touched…
The other mushroom it may be confused with is called (Entoloma sinuatum), the livid entoloma. This is a rare mushroom and deadly poisonous, but it only grows in summer and in deciduous forests. It has pink gills and the stipe is wider at the bottom.
St. George’s mushroom is also similar to Tricholoma album but this one is edible and you can find it from August to November under deciduous trees. It smells differently – or should we say, it rather stinks.
Preview photo: Zdeněk Pelda
Gardening is my hobby, I have a lot of experience and I am happy to share it.