The New Student's Reference Work/Mushrooms

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Mush′rooms, edible fungi. They grow in fields and pastures, occasionally in open, grassy woods, abound in the early autumn, may be found throughout the summer. They are cultivated for the market both outdoors and in caves, cellars and other dark, cool places. Their food-value is not high, but they are prized as a table delicacy. Poisonous toadstools are frequently mistaken for mushrooms, and great care must be used when gathering the fungi. In the Agricultural Year Book, Washington, 1897, Farlow says: “Avoid fungi when in the button or unexpanded stage, also those in which the flesh has begun to decay, even if only slightly. Avoid all fungi which have stalks with a swollen base surrounded by a sac-like or scaly envelope, especially if the gills are white. Avoid all fungi having a milky juice, unless the milk is reddish. Avoid fungi in which the cap or pileus is thin in proportion to the gills, and in which the gills are nearly all of equal length, especially if the pileus is bright-colored. Avoid all tube-bearing fungi in which the flesh changes color when cut or broken or where the mouths of the tube are reddish; and in case of other tube-bearing fungi experiment with caution. Fungi which have a sort of spider-web or flocculent ring around the upper part of the stalk should in general be avoided.” See Fungi and Basidomycetes. Consult Farlow as above and Falconer: How to Grow Mushrooms.