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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Poisonous Mushrooms - set from Bulgaria

The Bulgarian Post has issued a set of stamps from its traditional Flora series. This time the stamps depict poisonous mushrooms of Bulgaria: leader poisoner, sickener, jack-o'-lantern mushroom and deadly fibrecap.

The leader poisoner appears in late summer and autumn. Its fruit bodies are found in deciduous woodlands on clay or chalky soils, or nearby parklands, sometimes in the form of fairy rings. The ivory to light grey-brown cap is up to 20 cm (8 in) across with a margin that is rolled inward. The sinuate gills are pale and often yellowish, becoming pink as the spores develop.

The sickener is a basidiomycete mushroom with a predominantly red-coloured cap and white gills and stalk. It gets its common name from its inedibility, as it causes vomiting and diarrhea when consumed. It has an extremely peppery taste, which is said partly to disappear on cooking, along with its toxicity, though eating it is not recommended.

The jack-o'-lantern mushroom is an orange-to yellow-gill mushroom that to an untrained eye appears similar to some chanterelles, and is most notable for its bioluminescent properties. Unlike the chanterelle, the Jack o'Lantern mushroom is poisonous. While not lethal, consuming this mushroom leads to very severe cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea.

The deadly fibrecap (also brick-red tear mushroom or red-staining inocybe) is a poisonous basidiomycete fungus one of the few known to have caused death. It is found growing in small groups on leaf litters in association with beech. All mushroom guidebooks as well as the mushroomers advise that the entire genus should be avoided. The fruiting bodies appear in spring and summer; the bell-shaped caps are generally pale pinkish in colour with red stains, with a reddish-pink stipe and gills.