Giant Mushroom Cluster Found on our Farm!
We had a very special surprise this week at Buddha’s Cup Coffee Farm! On Tuesday, Manny found what looked like a pile of rocks. The odd looking rocks turned out to be a giant mushroom cluster!
Pictures don’t do it justice, but you can see its enormous size (goat for scale). It measures 44” in diameter, 24” high and 11’ 11” in circumference. The total count of fruiting bodies is 204 and the largest measure up to 8” to 10” in diameter
We knew this was something special and immediately contacted UH professor Don Hemmes, our island’s resident mycologist. He called this mysterious mushroom cluster “spectacular,” and identified it as Macrocybe spectabilis. According to his records, the species was first recorded on Kaua'i nearly 20 years ago, and may have been introduced with imported sugar cane. It has spread to all the major islands. Mycrocybe mushrooms grow all over the world, with some species reaching over 2ft in diameter.
These mushrooms bear a striking resemblance to some edible mushrooms, but Mr. Hemmes strongly advises against eating it. “Within the past couple of years a number of people cooked it on Kaua'i and got violently ill, enough to send them to the emergency ward with vomiting and diarrhea,” he says. It’s a good reminder to always ask an expert before eating any wild mushroom you find.
Maycrocybe spectabilis are saprotrophic fungi, meaning they consume dead matter, and appear on lawns and agricultural areas around the Hawaiian islands. They don't cause any diseases or harm nearby plants.
We are very excited by this special find, and are still taking measurements. It may be one of the biggest Maycrocybe spectabilis clusters in the world, and is certainly the biggest ever found on Hawaii Island!
This impressive mushroom cluster is located near our banana grove and visitors are welcome to see it this weekend. You’ll have to hurry though: we will be digging it up to weigh it soon, probably by Monday, July 2nd.