What Mushrooms Can Be Eaten and When to Pick Them: Dates and Tips for Mushroom Pickers

From midsummer to late fall, mushroom hunters roam the woods in search of edible gifts. Each mushroom has its own habitat and special traits that distinguish it from its poisonous counterparts. Weather conditions also affect the yield.

When to pick mushrooms – a month-by-month chart

Beginning in the second half of June, in many forests, there is a real mushroom expanse, for example:

  • June: porcini, boletus, aspen mushrooms, butterflies, chanterelles, champignons, rules.
  • July: ceps, red capercaillies, aspen mushrooms, butterflies, chanterelles, mushrooms, rules, milk mushrooms, milk mushrooms.
  • August: ceps, red capercaillies, aspen mushrooms, butterflies, chanterelles, shrooms, rules, milk mushrooms, milk caps, milk creepers, bean mushrooms.
  • September: ceps, red capercaillies, aspen mushrooms, butterflies, chanterelles, champignons, dunnocks, milk mushrooms, milkcocks, milk caps, chives.
  • October: ceps, red capercaillies, aspen mushrooms, chanterelles, rules, milk caps, milk mushrooms.
  • November: beech mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, truffles.

The assortment is rich but will vary depending on the type of forest. Different mushrooms “live” in certain forests. To know exactly where and which mushrooms to look for, check the list:

  • butter mushrooms (August – September) – pine forests, edges and glades of mixed coniferous and deciduous forests;
  • chanterelles (July-October) – mixed coniferous-leaved forests, near pine, birch, and oak;
  • ceps (mid-June-end of September) – well-warmed forests, with the absence of dense thickets
    ceps (second half of August – November) – mixed forests with an admixture of birch;
  • mountain aspen (from June) – in the vicinity of any deciduous trees;
  • rules (end of July – end of October) – coniferous forests, especially young forests.

In order to have a successful mushroom gathering, arm yourself with the obligatory minimum mushroom picker’s kit. Take a capacious basket, a sharp knife (to check the pulp for worms), and a compass (for orientation on the ground). In the woods, you need to find a smooth stick so that you can comfortably pull apart the grass and dry leaves.

How to pick mushrooms in the forest – rules

  • Choose places away from highways and cities, because mushrooms “absorb” toxins and can become poisonous;
  • If the woodland area grows fly agaric mushrooms – there is definitely a safe place and clean soil;
  • 90% of dewberries grow on edges – you can get them there;
  • Mushrooms must not be cut – it is better to break and twist out of the ground – cutting leads to rotting of the mushroom;
  • In no case do not take mushrooms, in which the cap is bent – they released spores and form a poison, and can therefore cause poisoning.

Remember that you should only pick mushrooms that you are familiar with: If you find one that you have doubts about, leave it in the woods instead.

It’s also important to bear in mind that only mushrooms with a cap that is not fully developed can be eaten – if you see that the cap has opened like an umbrella, do not pick it – such a mushroom has no nutritional value.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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