Strobilomyces confusus (“Old Man of the Woods”)

Cap has pointier, more erect scales than the other Old Men. Flesh stains orange-red to orange. Pores start white but quickly age toward gray-black.

SKU: Strobilomyces floccopus Categories: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Description

Genus: Strobilomyces

Species: confusus

Common Name: “Old Man of the Woods”

Tells: Cap often (not always) has pointier, more erect scales than the other Old Men. Flesh stains orange-red to orange. Pores start white but quickly age toward gray-black.

Other Information: Spore print edges toward black. When cooked, will stain a pot of food dark or black. You pretty much need chemical or microscopic tests to tell the three types of Old Man apart and it makes no difference from a practical point of view. The rules of thumb are these:

  • dryophilus tends to have a lighter stem & scales that are grayish pink instead of grayish black;
  • confusus tends to have stiffer & pointer scales; and
  • strobilaceus is the most common & often has a distinct ring zone on the stem.

Edibility: Good, but will stain a pot of food dark or black when cooked.

CHEMICAL TESTS:

  • NH4OH (Ammonia): Cap skin turns brown.
  • KOH: Cap skin turns dark reddish brown. Cap flesh turns red and then brownish.
  • FeSO4 (Iron Salts): Cap skin turns brown. Cap flesh turns bluish gray.

Links:

National Audubon Society Field guide to Mushrooms, Gary Lincoff581Mushrooms of West Virginia and the Central Appalachians308North American Boletes224BENA307

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