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Monday, February 15, 2010

Bloom Day #3: Not of this Kingdom

I was walking in town minding my own business when I happened to notice a planter with lantana, fresh growing weeds, freshly pulled weeds, mulch and something else in it. I regularly check out landscaped spaces as I walk, something of a professional hazard. It was interesting how the tender of this space, gardener or otherwise, had pulled roughly 1/2 of the weeds most of which had attained heights of 4 to 6 inches. This space is a parking lot island adjacent to the sidewalk, recently re-irrigated and planted with 1 gallon spreading lantana. It had also been mulched with ground wood product from the local green waste recycling plant. Oh, and there were these mushrooms growing in it. Lots of them. Some seemed to be a bit dried out, but most looked quite succulent in the early spring sunshine.

A bit of checking on the internets leads me to believe these are actually called landscape morels, said to be fairly common in Southern California this time of year. The planter (about 150 square feet in area or so) had maybe 40 morels growing in it. We did not feel tempted to harvest this bounty, but if you did you are advised to snip the fruiting bodies off at ground level so as not to damage the mycelium under the soil surface. You are also advised that eating wild unidentified mushrooms is hazardous to the health.

As I took a close look at the 'shrooms I noticed flies swarming around them. I am guessing these were (what else?) fungus gnats.

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