The Parklands is home to a variety of mushrooms flourishing in the forests of the park, scattered along miles of trails. Joe Lacefield, Private Lands Wildlife Biologist with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, gives us insight on some of the mushroom species you might come across on your next adventure in The Parklands.
The Common Morel is often associated with elm, sycamore, hickory, poplar and ash tree root systems. Morels can be found during the spring season, just after night temperatures remain above 50 degrees for several days and adequate moisture is available. You can find Morel hiding in the Big Beech Woods in Pope Lick Park, from late March through early May.
Shaggy Mane is often seen growing in lawns from roots or woody material under the soil. On your next adventure through the forests of Broad Run Park, in the late spring through summer, you might come across one of these peculiar mushrooms.
Bolete is often found around oaks in late June through August. These mushrooms are defined as any ground fruiting fungi with a stem that does not have gills. Boletes have tubular pores, which release spores, and can be found decorating the ground along Trestle Point in Pope Lick Park.
Chanterelles pop up in the summer, 2-3 days after a significant rainfall. This fungus species has gills and exudes a milky "sap" when cut or damaged. You can often spot them around oak trees throughout Turkey Run Forest and The Strand.
CHICKEN OF THE WOODS
Chicken of the Woods is often found on decaying oak trees during late summer and early fall. You may come across these fungi while exploring areas such as Trestle Point in Pope Lick Park, The Strand and in the forests of Turkey Run Park.
Known for its smooth texture and licorice scent, Oyster Fungi can be found accessorizing the trees at Trestle Point in Pope Lick Park during the warmer months in Kentucky.
Although some mushrooms found in grocery stores may be tasty, please remember not to ingest wild mushrooms found in nature. However, it’s pretty neat to be able to walk along a trail in The Parklands and identify mushrooms you may pass. To learn even more about Fungi in your surrounding areas, check out Mushroomexpert.com.
Interested in the "Fungus Among Us" bandana, pictured below? Become a Member at The Parklands Partner level ($100+) at theparklands.org/Member.
Joe Lacefield is the Private Lands Wildlife Biologist with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. He resides in Woodford County on the Kentucky River and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Wildlife Management from EKU. He became interested in fungi as a result of not knowing what they were when encountered. In 2010, his curiosity led to the discovery of a native clover previously unknown to science, Trifolium kentuckiense.
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