Hygrophorus karstenii

Hygrophorus karstenii

Hygrophorus karstenii (Hygrophorus karstenii Sacc. & Cub.) Is a basidiomycete fungus belonging to the Hygrophoraceae family.

Systematic –
From the systematic point of view it belongs to the Domain Eukaryota, Kingdom Fungi, Phylum Basidiomycota, Class Basidiomycetes, Order Agaricales, Family Hygrophoraceae and therefore to the Genus Hygrophorus and to the Specie H. karstenii.
The terms Hygrophorus melizeus (Fr.) and Hygrophorus bicolor (Karsten) are synonymous.

Etymology –
The term Hygrophorus comes from the Greek ὐγρός hygrόs, moist and from φορέω phoréo to carry, to have: that is, which collects and conserves moisture. The specific karstenii epithet was attributed to him in honor of the Finnish mycologist Petter Adolf Karsten (1834-1917) who gave the name to about 200 genera and 2000 species, considered the pioneer of mycological microscopy.

Geographic Distribution and Habitat –
Hygrophorus karstenii is a fungus whose typical habitat is under conifers, in mountain areas, between blueberry or moss. Among the summer mushrooms of the genus Hygrophorus is the first to appear in the period between late July and October. It is not a common fungus and grows in small groups.

Recognition –
This hygrophore is recognized by a 2-8 cm hat, rather fleshy, smooth, dry, with a more or less convex shape, white in color and then with nuances or ocher patches. The lamellas are decurrent, of yellow-ocher color to apricot color, thick and sparse, with short lamellule. The stem is 3-7 cm x 6-12 mm, colorless to the cap, full, dry and attenuated downwards. The flesh has a whitish, tender, rather delicate and sweet taste. Under the microscope there are oval spores, white volcanic to yellowish, in mass, not amyloid, of 10-12 x 6-7 μm.

Cultivation –
Hygrophorus karstenii is not a cultivated fungus.

Uses and Traditions –
This hygrophore is the first among the summer fungi of the genus Hygrophorus that fructifies in the mountain woods. His recognition, within his group, is quite easy due to the characteristic chromatic contrast between the yellow-orange slices and the whitish hat.
It is however a very rare mushroom and given its lack of gastronomic interest, it is recommended not to collect it. It is in fact a mushroom that, although edible, has good value.

Preparation Mode –
Even if we do not recommend collecting it, if this happened it can be prepared like other Hygrophorus but preferably in dishes with mixed mushrooms.

Guido Bissanti

Sources
– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– Cetto B., 2008. Real mushrooms, Saturnia, Trento.
– Pignatti S., 1982. Flora d’Italia, Edagricole, Bologna.
– Conti F., Abbate G., Alessandrini A., Blasi C. (edited by), 2005. An annotated checklist of the Italian vascular flora, Palombi Editore.

Warning: Pharmaceutical applications and alimurgical uses are indicated for informational purposes only and do not in any way represent a medical prescription; there is therefore no liability for their use for curative, aesthetic or food purposes.

 



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