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Tricholoma zelleri


Common name: The Matsutake look alike
Spore Print: White
Habitat: Found at higher elevations in the rocky mountains under lodgepole pine.
Edibility: Non-edible
Comments: This mushroom looks very much like the Matsutake mushroom that is eagerly sought out by the Japanese. The main difference is the cap is a bit browner and the smell is terrible. However, if you find Tricholoma zelleri, you are most likely in the right habitat for finding Matsutake! This mushroom also tends to come up above the ground a bit more than Matsutake, which are usually under the pine duff and not up above it. Both mushrooms have a stem base that is pointed. When looking for Matsutake I've smelled hundreds of these mushrooms to test them and see if they are Matsutake. After smelling a lot of these I've gotten to the point where the smell is nearly unbearable! It's hard to explain the smell but it's very strong and has a distinctly unpleasant chemical odor. Once you smell a few of these you'll never forget the smell!

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Page Posted on August 18, 2006
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Mushroom Identification