The Blusher / Summer / Autumn / Edible ( when cooked)
Meaning of Botanical Name
Rubescens means reddening, which refers to the colour change of the mushroom flesh when it is touched or damaged and is exposed to the air, a chemical reaction occurs turning the flesh from white to a pinkish red.
The Blusher contains hemolytic toxin which causes anemea if eaten raw.
Could be confused with
The Panther Cap (amanita pantherina) skirt of the blusher is striped and the panther cap is smooth, the spots easily move on the blusher an dnot so on the panther cap, the blusher shows signs of reddening (blushing) when damaged or cut, the panther cap does not change colour chen damaged or cut.
Grey Spot Amanita, the grey spot amanita does not change colour when it is cut or damaged.
Food Plant of…
The blusher is often eaten by slugs and favourable to maggot infestation
The Blusher is very common and widespread throughout Britain and Ireland as well as in mainland Europe and in North America.
Blushers are mycorhizal with a wide range of trees, it particualy likes coniferous trees growing on poor acidic soil.
The cap is buff brown to a pinkish brown colour, with movable white spots. ranging from 5_20cm across. the cap is domed shaped when young becoming very slightly funnel shaped with age.
The gills are crouded and not quite touching the stem. The gills are white in colour but have pinkish red spots where insects have damaged them.
The stem has a striped white veil (skirt), the stem is between 1-2cm in diameter and is white above the veil becoming darker brown toward the base with small scales.
The base is bulbous with scales which is the remnants of the egg which the mushroom grew from.
The Busher will have a white spore print
The Blusher is a good edible mushroom but must be cooked thoroughly due to the toxins, which are destroyed by cooking.
I’ve actually come to pick this mushroom for consumption more and more regularly, when heavily cooked like an oldish piece of meat it produces a really meaty texture and flavour itself. What’s even better is that most people are fairly terrified of this mushroom meaning no one else picks it – giving us free reign on its harvest 🙂