Conrad's Umbrella (Macrolepiota konradii)Systematics:
- Department: Basidiomycota (Basidiomycetes)
- Subdivision: Agaricomycotina (Agaricomycetes)
- Class: Agaricomycetes (Agaricomycetes)
- Subclass: Agaricomycetidae (Agaricomycetes)
- Order: Agaricales (Agaric or Lamellar)
- Family: Agaricaceae (Champignon)
- Genus: Macrolepiota (Macrolepiota)
- Species: Macrolepiota konradii (Conrad's Umbrella)
- Lepiota excoriata var. konradii
- Lepiota konradii
- Macrolepiota procera var. konradii
- Macrolepiota mastoidea var. konradii
- Agaricus mastoideus
- Agaricus gracilentus
- Lepiota rickenii
- How to make Konrad's umbrella
- How to distinguish Konrad's umbrella from other mushrooms
Konrad's umbrella grows and develops in the same way as all representatives of the genus Macrolepiota: in their youth they are indistinguishable. Here is a typical "umbrella embryo": the cap is ovoid, the skin on the cap has not yet cracked, and therefore it is completely incomprehensible what kind of cap an adult mushroom will have; the ring as such is not yet, it has not come off the cap; the leg has not yet really formed.
At this age, it is possible to more or less reliably identify only the blushing umbrella, by the characteristic reddening of the pulp on the cut.
Description of an adult mushroom
Hat : diameter 5-10, up to 12 centimeters. In youth, it is ovoid, with growth it opens, acquiring a semicircular, then bell-shaped, in adult mushrooms the cap is prostrate, with a pronounced small tubercle in the center. The brownish thin skin, completely covering the cap at the "embryo" stage, cracks with the growth of the fungus, remaining in larger pieces near the center of the cap.
In this case, the remnants of the skin quite often form a kind of "star-shaped" pattern. The surface of the cap outside this dark skin is light, whitish or grayish, smooth, silky, with elements of fiber in adult specimens. The edge of the cap is even, slightly grooved.
In the central part, the cap is fleshy, the flesh is thin to the edge, which is why the edge, especially in adult mushrooms, looks furrowed: there is almost no flesh there.
Leg : 6-10 centimeters in height, up to 12, in a good year and under good conditions - up to 15 cm.Diameter of 0.5-1.5 centimeters, thinner at the top, thicker downward, at the very base - a characteristic club-shaped thickening, which is not should be confused with the volva available from the Amanitovs (fly agarics and floats). Cylindrical, central, whole in youth, hollow with age. Fibrous, dense. The peel on the stem of young mushrooms is smooth, light brownish, cracks slightly with age, forming small brown scales.
Plates : White, creamy with age. Loose, wide, frequent.
Ring : yes. Pronounced, wide, mobile. Whitish above and brownish, brown below. Along the edge, the ring looks like "bifurcated".
Volvo : absent.
Flesh : white, does not change color when broken and cut.
Smell : very pleasant, mushroom.
Taste : mushroom. A little nutty when boiled.
Spore powder : off-white.
Spores : 11.5-15.5 x 7-9 microns, colorless, smooth, ellipsoid, pseudoamyloid, metachromatic, sometimes germinating, contain one large fluorescent drop.
Basidia: clavate, tetrasporous, 25–40 × 10–12 µm, sterigma 4–5 µm long.
Cheilocystids: clavate, 30–45 × 12–15 μm.
Season and distribution
Konrad's umbrella bears abundant fruit in late summer - early autumn, a slightly different range is indicated for different regions. The peak of fruiting is probably in August-September, but this mushroom can be found from June to October, with a warm autumn - in November.
The fungus is distributed throughout the middle zone, in forests of various types (coniferous, mixed, deciduous), can grow on the edges and open glades, on humus-rich soils and leaf litter. It is also found in urban areas, in large parks.
Edible mushroom, inferior in taste to the motley umbrella. Only hats are eaten, the legs are considered stiff and too fibrous.
How to cook Konrad's umbrella
The mushroom is suitable for consumption in almost any form. It can be fried, boiled, salted (cold and hot), pickled. In addition to the above, Konrad's macrolepiota is perfectly dried.
Before frying, the caps do not need pre-boiling, but it is recommended to take only caps of young mushrooms.
Legs seem to not be eaten: the pulp in them is so fibrous that it is difficult to chew it. But they (legs) can be dried, ground dry on a coffee grinder, close the powder in a jar with a tight lid, and in winter use when making soups (1 tablespoon of powder in a three-liter saucepan), when preparing meat or vegetable dishes, as well as sauces ...
Life hack from the author of the article: if you come across a huge glade with umbrellas ... if you are not too lazy to mess with the marinade ... if you feel sorry for throwing away such strong young umbrella legs ... and a bunch of “ifs” ... Well, but I warn you, my marinade is brutal!
For 1 kg of legs: 50 grams of salt, 1/2 cup of vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon of sugar, 5 allspice peas, 5 hot peppercorns, 5 cloves, 2 cinnamon sticks, 3-4 bay leaves.
Rinse the legs, boil once for no more than 5 minutes, drain the water, rinse the legs with cold water, put in an enamel pan, pour boiled water so that it only slightly covers the mushrooms, bring to a boil, add all the ingredients, simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, hot spread over the banks and close. I use euro covers, I don't roll them up. The photo shows a cinnamon stick.
This is my lifesaver during spontaneous parties. They can be finely chopped into almost any salad, they can be finely chopped on a crouton next to sprat. It is especially wonderful to ask one of the guests "Please run into the closet, there is a bank shelf with the inscription" Feet of flies "on the shelf, bring it here!"
How to distinguish Konrad's umbrella from similar mushrooms?
Among similar edible species there are other macrolepiots, such as the Umbrella motley - it is larger, the cap is much fleshy, and even in fairly young mushrooms, the skin is already cracking on the stem, forming a pattern similar to the "snake" one.
An umbrella that turns red at any age turns red on the cut, differs greatly in the surface of the cap and, in general, is also somewhat larger than Konrad's umbrella.
The pale toadstool is a poisonous mushroom! - in the stage “just hatched from an egg” it may look like a very young umbrella, whose skin on the cap has not yet started to crack. Look closely at the base of the mushroom. Amanita's Volvo is a "bag" from which a mushroom grows, this bag is clearly torn at the top. A fly agaric leg can be turned out of this bag. The thickening at the base of the stem of the umbrellas is just a thickening. But if in doubt, do not take newborn umbrellas. Let them grow up. They, kids, have such a small hat, there is not much to eat there.
Note: mycobank.org gives for Macrolepiota konradii "Current name: Macrolepiota mastoidea"