This evening we went walking on Mount Kaukau and found some mushrooms. Although in New Zealand there isn’t much of a mushrooming culture here compared to Europe. In the past, foreigners have died as a result of poisonous mushrooms in NZ. So many local people just leave mushrooms well alone here, scared away by times when someone dies as a result of eating a poisonous one.
Many common species of mushroom in New Zealand that are edible look like poisonous mushrooms and vice versa. So it’s a bit tricky to find out which one is which. I think many mushrooms that are edible were introduced by Europeans. But I am not mushroom expert. So it’s all a bit worrying!
Information online about species and how they appear, feel and look in the flesh is hard to come by. Although I did manage to positively identify the mushrooms we found.
Suillus Granulatus. They grow everywhere on Kaukau in the forests there.
Although according to this British website, this type of mushroom although not poisonous, but is a bit boring on flavour. So I decided to give it a miss. Oh well…it was quite a nice adventure though. I met some nice people on the way who gave me advice on the mushrooms too. They basically scared the shit out of me telling me about how this person and that person died as a result of eating mushrooms off Mt Kaukau.
More info: NZ mushroom
For more info on this particular type of mushroom read the Spores Moulds and Fungi…FYI website restricted for viewing to those who are FUN GUYS.
Poisonous mushrooms in New Zealand Part 1
Poisonous mushrooms in New Zealand Part 2
Poisonous mushrooms in New Zealand Part 3
Poisonous mushrooms in New Zealand Part 4
If you do find mushrooms in New Zealand, your best bet before eating them is to consult with the series of posters above first or to ask Reddit or to get some advice from a mushroom expert before you snaffle them.
5 thoughts on “Mushrooming in New Zealand: a cautionary tale”
Thanks for the post and info! I love mushrooms and often imagine myself looking and picking wild mushrooms in a forest. But when I do see them, I don’t dare to try eat them. Mushrooms are amazing and so important for our ecosystem.
Yes Muky it’s such a nice adventure, forarging in the forest isn’t it. Yes mushrooms are great I read somewhere they break down trees and foliage although not sure what else they are responsible for. I have been turned off picking them by numerous people now too. There is a lot of information about things that are safe to eat in NZ, although yet to try to find these plants. Wild fennel, lettuce and berries seem like they would be a safer option rather than mushrooms. Have you tried to hunt for anything else while in the wilds? Although in Queensland you would have your pick of crocs and so on right? You would need a long long shovel to smack it on the head LOL!
I just don’t get the whole mushroom roulette! I mean these little guys can kill you lol. I especially stay away from red mushrooms and mushrooms with the words ‘death’ or ‘poison’ in the name.
I saw in the pamplet that the puffball is edible??!! is that right?? I also thought, and still do, that they were toxic?
Don’t worry about us eating them…they are thrown out. Hehehe yes the key is in the name right…death and poison. Yes …you would have to be a bit of an idiot to still eat them with that in the name. Yes I saw that in a Stuff article, (the universal source of all truth of course) about the Puff Balls. The idea of eating them sounds weird, they look horrible on the ground. If I did happen to find the magical kind it would result in some interesting insights.
Aren’t they the ones that give off a greenish smoke when they’re a few days old?! And they’re edible?!unbelievable