Calvatia excipuliformis

Calvatia excipuliformis

Calvatia excipuliformis (Calvatia excipuliformis (Scop .: Pers.) Perdeck) is a fungus belonging to the Lycoperdaceae family.

Systematics –
From the systematic point of view it belongs to the Eukaryota Domain, Kingdom Fungi, Basidiomycota Division, Basidiomycetes Class, Lycoperdales Order, Lycoperdaceae Family and then to the Genus Calvatia and to the C. Exipipuliformis species.
The term Lycoperdon excipuliforme (Scop.) Pers., 1801 is synonymous.

Etymology –
The term of the genus Calvatia comes from cálvus bald: fungus that resembles a bald skull. The specific epithet excipuliformis derives from excípulum, vessel and from the shape figure, appearance: then with a carpophore in the form of a container or cup.

Geographic Distribution and Habitat –
Calvatia excipuliformis is a fungus that can be found from late summer through autumn; it is found in uncultivated land, on moors, pastures and woods and grows in various parts of the world. They can grow in isolation or in groups.

Recognition –
Calvatia excipuliformis is recognized for having a fruiting body of 8-30 cm in height with the typical form of a mortar pestle; this consists of a round head and a thick and long, slightly wrinkled stem of white or ocher color and then, at maturity, brownish; the upper part of the surface is covered with small concolored spikes, which soon fall freeing a yellow background, from which the spores emerge due to tearing of the internal part. The meat is white in young specimens and then becomes greenish and brown-purple at maturity; the base is sterile, spongy and brownish and the smell and taste are pleasing. Under the microscope there are spores of olive-brown or brownish color in mass, spherical and clearly warty.

Cultivation –
We do not know crops of this fungus.

Uses and Traditions –
Calvatia excipuliformis is a fungus of excellent edibility as long as it is consumed when young, when the meat is still white. It is easily recognized by other species of the family due to the strange shape, with the stem very elongated (somewhat clavate form).
Substances such as calvatic acid, inhibiting some forms of cancer and leukemia have been extracted from various species of Calvatia. This molecule showed a powerful antibacterial and antifungal activity towards pathogenic fungi like Candida albicans. Of this compound synthesis analogs have been prepared with even more effective antibiotic action. A mucoprotein, calvacin, with a strong antitumor and antiviral activity (on the poliomyelitis virus) has also been isolated, unfortunately has a toxic accumulation action, with serious effects on the heart, kidneys and lungs.

Preparation Mode –
It is a fungus sought for its edibility which is excellent when young and unusable when the meat starts to turn white; its ideal preparation and maximum yield is cut into slices and breaded.

Guido Bissanti

Sources
– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– Cetto B., 2008. Real mushrooms, 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 alimurgical uses are indicated for informational purposes only, they do not in any way represent a medical prescription; there is therefore no liability for their use for curative, aesthetic or food purposes.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *