Autumn time is mushroom time – even in the poplar plantations of Dendromass4Europe. Can you see them? They are quite hidden under the leaf. Plantations can become an important habitat not only for birds and beetles but also for flowers, herbs and mushrooms. This way, poplar plantations foster biodiversity and diversify landscape.
Last week, our partner Ökoforestino made an amazing discovery: In one of D4EU´s poplar plantations near Velke Leváre they have found the “Cottonwood mushroom” (Tricholoma populinum). This species grows only under poplars! It was traditionally eaten by indigenous Indian people in British Columbia. Based on literature, the juice from cooking cottonwood mushrooms was traditionally used to wash infants. It was believed to make them strong and independent like mushroom, which is able to push logs and rocks out of its way as it grows.
However, Cottonwood mushrooms are not really tasty, if cooked. The raw mushrooms are actually very poisonous because they contain hemolysins. These dissolve the blood. The dangerous thing about it is that it takes effect 2 to 12 days after eating the mushrooms. So, you may have already forgotten, that you have eaten them? Nevertheless, Tricholoma populinum is still of great interest to science because it contains ingredients against allergic reactions that could help with skin rashes, for example. Research is currently being conducted into whether these ingredients can be used in medicine.