Imperial catatelasma (Catathelasma imperiale)Systematics:
- Department: Basidiomycota (Basidiomycetes)
- Subdivision: Agaricomycotina (Agaricomycetes)
- Class: Agaricomycetes (Agaricomycetes)
- Subclass: Agaricomycetidae (Agaricomycetes)
- Order: Agaricales (Agaric or Lamellar)
- Family: Catathelasmataceae
- Genus: Catathelasma (Catatelasma)
- Species: Catathelasma imperiale
Such a mushroom as Imperial Catatelasma is also called by many imperial champignon .
Hat: 10-40 cm; in young mushrooms it is convex and sticky, later becomes flat-convex or almost flat and dry; with crumbling fibers or scales. Color from dark brown to brown, reddish brown or yellowish brown, the surface of the cap often cracks in adulthood.
Plates: Descending, whitish or slightly yellowish, sometimes discolored to gray with age.
Stem: up to 18 cm long and 8 cm wide, tapering towards the base, and usually deeply rooted, sometimes almost completely underground. The color above the ring is whitish, below the ring is brownish. Double ring, hanging. The upper ring is the remnants of the bedspread, often wrinkled, and the lower ring is the remains of the common bedspread, which quickly collapses, so in adult mushrooms the second ring can only be guessed.
Flesh: White, tough, firm, does not change color upon exposure.
Smell and taste: Raw mushrooms have a distinct mealy taste; the smell is strongly mealy. After heat treatment, the taste and smell of flour completely disappear.
Spore powder: White.
The main feature is a rather interesting appearance, as well as an impressive size. While the mushroom is young, it has a yellowish tint. However, after full maturation, it darkens to brown. The cap is slightly convex and rather thick, it is located on a very powerful stem, which is even too thick and dense at the base of the cap. Imperial catatelasma is smooth, may have small brown spots on the stem and an uneven color of the cap.
You can find this amazing mushroom only in the eastern part, in the mountainous areas, most often in the Alps. Locals meet him from July to mid-autumn. This mushroom can be easily eaten in any form. It is quite tasty, without pronounced flavors, ideal as an addition to a dish.
Ecology: Presumably mycorrhizal. It occurs in the second half of summer and in autumn alone or in small groups on the ground under coniferous trees. It prefers to grow under the Engelmann spruce and rough-fruited fir (subalpine).
Microscopic examination: Spores 10-15 x 4-6 microns, smooth, oblong-elliptical, starchy. Basidia about 75 microns or more.
Similar species: Swollen catatelasma (Sakhalin champignon), differs from the imperial champignon in a slightly smaller size, color and lack of a flour smell and taste.