Wet weather leads to myriad mushrooms
MUSHROOMS.jpg

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- You may have noticed there is a fungus among us, and it could be taking over your yard.

At Still Meadow Village Apartments, the maintenance staff works hard to ensure that the grounds are maintained at the highest level. Recently, though, they noticed a small problem popping up.

"When you're trying to keep a nice green property and you get white mushrooms popping up all over the place, it takes away from the beauty of your property," Ray Heath said.

Weather conditions in recent weeks have contributed to this mushroom mania in the Cape Fear Region.

"The perfect scenario is what we have had in the last week or so," Al Hight with the NC Cooperative Extension said. "Perfect conditions: high humidity, lots of rainfall, warm soil temperatures. One thing that you will have about a mushroom... you know if you have that you have organic matter in the soil."

Because mushrooms grow in areas rich in organic material it could be good news for your garden, but it could be deadly if these same mushrooms reached your dinner table.

"There are so many different kinds of poisonous mushrooms that the symptoms can vary dramatically," Dr. David Hill, a Wilmington pediatrician, said. "Some will make a child ill immediately with vomiting or stomach upset or confusion or seeing and hearing things. Others may take a week or two before you see any impact."

If you eat a mushroom from your yard, call poison control and try and keep a sample of the mushroom with you so that emergency workers can identify the toxins you may have ingested.

The "morel" of this story is unless you are trained to tell which mushrooms are safe, get your portabella's at the grocery store.

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The mushrooms pictured are called Chlorophyllum molybdites, I study mushrooms in this area by collecting samples and conducting spore testing for fun!

are they poisonious?

I have quite a few of them in my yard. The squirrels love them. I watch them eat them as though they were a sweet. They do not eat the stems though. It does not seem to affect them.