This page is used to feature mushrooms that are prevalent for the particular time of the year or, during the winter months, to feature some of the less desirable or hard to find mushrooms. To see some of our previous stars follow this link to an index of previously featured mushrooms.
January's Mushroom of the Month
Strawberries and Cream
Strawberries and cream is a very distinctive mushroom found with conifers. When damp the irregular whitish to slightly pinkish cap exudes drops of red juice that exhibits anticoagulant properties similar to heparin. The red droplets on a toothed mushroom are very striking, making this mushroom very easy to identify when it is moist.
The 1 to 6 inch wide cap is flat to convex, becoming slightly sunken with age. The smooth margin of young specimens becomes ragged with age and produces jagged projections. The color of young specimens is white, becoming brown to dark brown with age. When very old the mushroom is usually all brown. The stalk is 1 to 3 inches long, 3/8 to 1 inch thick and colored like the cap. The teeth or spines are dull pinkish becoming brown with age. The reddish brown to brown flesh is corky and zoned (bands of color). The spore print is brown.
The mushroom has a peppery taste and a disagreeable odor. Given the taste, odor and corkiness, the mushroom is inedible. I have seen this mushroom in Michigan and in Colorado. It is common is the Pacific Northwest.