Have you come across a colorful mushroom with a cap that looks like red deer hair? Well, that is a deer mushroom.
They, for sure, are exotic and pleasing to watch. But are they edible? Can you serve them as a meal? To learn about it, read the article till the end.
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What Does Deer Hair Red Cap Mushroom Look Like?
True to its name, deer hair red cap mushroom (Pluteus cervinus) look like red deer fur atop the short stalk.
The round, umbrella-like cap of the mushroom is usually white. But they turn pinkish or dark peachy pink as the mushroom matures.
But there are other varieties of mushrooms with different cap colors.
Nonetheless, they all have small, fine hairs that give them deer fur-like, velvety appearance. So, no wonder they are named Deer Shield or Deer Mushroom.
Interestingly, when the caps get wet, they turn smooth and become sticky.
Unlike the alluring, colorful cap of the mushroom, the stalk of deer hair red cap mushroom is short and thin.
Further, the unshowy stalks are hollow, just like any other mushroom. They are smooth in texture and sometimes have a ring-like zone where gills attach to.
Nonetheless, deer mushrooms also share white spores like Death Cap mushrooms.
You can find these exotic, one-of-a-kind mushrooms in North America, Europe, and Asia. They usually grow atop dead or rotting wet wood.
Is The Deer Hair Red Cap Mushroom Edible?
Though deer hair red cap mushrooms appear tempting to eat, they are edible.
But that said, unlike their tempting looks, they do not meet the expectation when it comes to taste.
Deer hair red cap mushroom is said to taste bitter and have an unpleasant rubbery texture. So, you may feel like chewing a rubber.
Furthermore, some people fell ill after having deer mushrooms in their meals.
So, if you find deer hair red cap mushrooms in the wilderness, avoid them. Instead, take a picture and show it off with your friends.
Furthermore, there are poisonous mushrooms that look like deer red hair cap mushrooms.
Therefore, if you are unsure of them, avoid eating mushrooms you find in the wild.
Deer Mushroom Look-Alikes
Proper identification of a mushroom is a must before picking or eating them. So, here are some other mushrooms that look like deer mushrooms.
- Pluteus petasus: Albeit not poisonous, avoid eating them.
- Pluteus americanus: You should avoid eating them.
- Pluteus exilis: They do not have a red cap. Instead, they have a brownish cap with white gills.
- Amanita Fulva: It is highly poisonous, so do not eat them.
- Amanita flavorubens: They contain high levels of toxins.
Remember, before eating any mushrooms you see in the forest or on roadsides, consult mycologists. And only eat edible mushrooms.
Beware of Poisonous Mushrooms!
Some mushrooms in nature are highly toxic and can cause death if consumed. Further, some mushrooms are so toxic that even bare-skin contact can be fatal.
Therefore, do not approach any unknown mushrooms with your bare hand. Remember, they can cause skin allergies.
Be Careful Out There!