Tricholoma populinum

Tricholoma populinum

Tricholoma populinum (Tricholoma populinum (J.E. Lange, 1933)) is a basidiomycete fungus belonging to the Tricholomataceae family.

Systematics –
From the systematic point of view it belongs to the Eukaryota Domain, Fungi Kingdom, Basidiomycota Division, Agaricomycotina Subdivision, Agaricomycetes Class, Agaricomycetidae Subclass, Agaricales Order, Tricholomataceae Family and then to the Tricholoma Genus and T. populinum Species.
The terms are synonymous: Agaricus populinus f. campestris Fr. and Tricholoma pessundatum var. populinum (J.E. Lange).

Etymology –
The term Tricholoma comes from the Greek ϑρίξ, τριχóϛ thríx, trichόs hair, hair, braid and from λῶμα loma edge: with down along the hem. The specific epithet populinum is in reference to the genus Populus, poplar: of poplar, that is relevant to the poplars, due to the habitat where it grows.

Geographical Distribution and Habitat –
Tricholoma populinum grows under poplars and in quite numerous groups. It can be found from sea level up to mountain altitudes. The fruiting period is autumn even in dry weather.

Recognition –
This mushroom is recognized by a hat with a size varying from 6 to 12 cm, which appears first convex and then flat and at the center of which is a large, low and flat umbon. The hat has a color ranging from hazel to greyish brown and tends to darken in the center. The cuticle is glossy, glabrous, viscose and easy to remove.
The lamellas are dense, broad, rounded, initially white in color and later stained with reddish.
The stem is 5–12 cm high, robust, enlarged at the base, curved, white-ocher-colored and stained with reddish-brown. The bulb ends with a radiciform structure that sinks into the ground until it reaches the hyphae. The volva is absent.
The meat is white, compact and with the smell of flour.
At the microscope we can see spheres of spherical-elliptic shape, smooth and of whitish color.

Cultivation –
Tricholoma populinum is not a cultivable mushroom.

Uses and Traditions –
This mushroom can be confused with the Tricholoma pessundatum both for the color of the cap and the extensively white stem; however the latter grows preferably under conifers (pines).
The edibility of the Tricholoma populinum is mediocre from the food point of view due to the bitter taste, which can however be mitigated if preserved in oil.

Preparation Mode –
As for some other Tricholoma this mushroom has a mediocre edibility, due to the bitter taste) and therefore of almost no use in the kitchen. It can however be preserved in oil and, in this case, the process allows a mitigation of the flavor.

Guido Bissanti

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

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

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