In early spring, after the snow cover melts and the top layer of the earth begins to warm up, the mushroom mycelium is activated. There are a number of early spring fungi characterized by the rapid maturation of fruiting bodies. These include edible strobeleurus. Fruiting of these mushrooms begins in mid-April and continues until hot weather sets in. This variety does not tolerate the scorching sun. Under the influence of its rays, they dry out and shrink. But as soon as the heat subsides, the growth of representatives of this species continues with the same activity. The second stage of fruiting begins in mid-September and continues until the very frost.
Where the edible strobilus grows
Edible strobilurus can be found exclusively in spruce forests. He settles in close proximity to fallen fir cones, buried in a damp litter. Edible strobilurus is a saprotroph - an organism that uses dead organic tissue for food. Strobilurus love moist areas of the spruce litter, well-lit by the sun's rays. Only a small fruiting body is visible above the surface of the earth, and most of the fruiting body is hidden from prying eyes. It is a long and fluffy micellar thread that goes several tens of centimeters into the earth, where a half-decomposed spruce cone lies.
What does edible strobilus look like?
Edible strobilurus - a very small representative of the Fizalacriaceae family with a lamellar hymenophore. The hat in adult specimens is no more than 3 cm in diameter, and in young ones it is less than a centimeter. At first, it is hemispherical, convex. Later it becomes prostrate: its edges open, leaving a central tubercle. Dry, velvety skin becomes sticky after rain. The shade of the cap can be different: cream, grayish or brown. The hymenophore is more brightly colored. It consists of frequent, slightly branched plates of medium thickness, sometimes visible through the thin skin of the cap.
The leg of the edible strobilus is thin and long. Its aboveground part reaches 4 cm, and the root-like micellar base goes deep into the soil and originates from a spruce cone. The leg is rigid in structure, hollow inside and therefore cannot be eaten. White or yellowish at the top, it darkens slightly downward.
The flesh of the strobilus is dense, white. Almost all of it is contained in a thin cap. It tastes almost neutral, but has a pleasant mushroom smell.
Is it possible to eat edible strobilurus
Edible strobilus can be eaten as the name suggests. The pulp of the hats is pre-boiled, after which it is subjected to various types of culinary processing. Due to its small size, this mushroom species is not economically important. In order to feed at least one person, you will need to collect a significant number of fruit bodies.
Edible strobilurus does not differ in valuable culinary properties. According to the classifier, it belongs to the fourth category, which includes low-value varieties, with low taste, as well as little-known and rarely collected. The pulp of the mushrooms is very fragrant, but it can be bitter, so it is pre-cooked.
Advice! Overgrown specimens are not recommended for food, as they can be tough and tasteless.
Benefits and harm to the body
Like all edible varieties, strobiluriuses are rich in valuable vegetable protein, contain carbohydrates - mushroom sugars (mycosis and glycogen), useful amino acids. They have a diverse microelement composition (phosphorus, sulfur, magnesium, potassium, calcium, chlorine) and vitamins (A, group B, C, D, PP).
Edible strobilurus has several related species. It is necessary to be able to distinguish them, since among the edible and conditionally edible varieties there are also poisonous ones.
In pine forests, root strobilurus (twine-legged) and cuttings (knitting) grow. These species settle only on pine cones, finding them at a depth of up to 30 cm:
- Cutting strobilus is classified as conditionally edible. Its cap is up to 2 cm in diameter, convex-outstretched, matte. Its leg is thin, 0.2 cm in diameter, long, yellow with an orange tint. The flesh of representatives of this species is thin, white, in older specimens it is astringent, bitter and has an unpleasant herring smell.
- The twine-legged strobilus is edible. It has a white, tasty and aromatic flesh. Its cap is convex, thin, brown to dark brown, up to 1.8 cm in diameter. Ocher or reddish leg - up to 0.4 cm. The culture bears fruit from mid-April to the first frost, sometimes it occurs during a thaw.
- Mycena pineapple-loving is another edible species related to strobilurus, feeding on spruce cones. It bears fruit in April-May. Representatives of it have a brown hat, which is larger than that of a strobilurus, and has the shape of a bell. Its leg is fragile, slightly pubescent. The main distinguishing feature of the pulp is a pungent ammonia smell.
- Entoloma vernal, fruiting at the end of April, is a poisonous mushroom. His gray-brown cap fades over time. The main feature that distinguishes representatives of this species from strobilurus is a dark brown leg.
- The mouse-tailed beospore has a hygrophane (absorbent liquid) pale brown cap up to 2 cm in diameter and a yellow-brown hollow stem. It bears fruit in the fall, and can grow on both spruce and pine cones.
Edible strobilurus is very small in size. Collecting it, you need to walk slowly through the forest, carefully examining each piece of spruce bedding. Having found the mushroom, you should carefully unscrew it from the ground or cut off the leg with a sharp knife to the very root. The remaining hole must be carefully sprinkled, and the found specimen must be cleaned of the remnants of the earth and put in a basket. It is recommended to take only adult specimens with larger caps, since after boiling they significantly decrease in size.
Edible strobilus is most often consumed fried. For food, take only the caps of the mushrooms, cutting off the hard leg. Before frying, the caps are boiled whole for 10 minutes, after which they are laid out in a pan.
The marasmic acid found in mushrooms is a powerful antibacterial agent. In folk medicine, powder and alcoholic infusion of strobilurus are used to treat bacterial infections. These mushrooms are also used as an anti-inflammatory agent in Chinese medicine.
The double of the fungus - cuttings strobilurus - has a high fungitoxic activity. It secretes substances that inhibit the growth of other fungi that are its nutritional competitors. From this variety of strobilurus, a substance was isolated - a fungicide of organic origin. This is strobirulin A, which is also a natural antibiotic. On its basis, scientists synthesized an artificial drug - Azoxystrobin, in which the disadvantages of an organic fungicide (sensitivity to light) were eliminated.
Important! The fungicide Azoxystrobin has been used in agriculture for many years.
Edible strobilurus is a small nondescript mushroom, but its significance is great. Together with other inhabitants of the forest, he is part of the forest community. All plants and animals in it are interconnected with each other, thanks to which the forest is a well-functioning organism. The organs provide his vital activity, and, therefore, are equally important and necessary. Thanks to the rich enzyme apparatus, forest mushrooms actively decompose organic residues and contribute to the formation of a fertile soil layer.