Mushrooms take over Central Ohio after steamy, soggy start to summer

(WSYX/WTTE)

Mushrooms of all shapes, sizes, and colors are out this summer. Dog walker Tristina Singley is keeping an eye out for them while walking her pals. She calls these guys her street snackers, because they love eating anything and everything. "It's definitely frightening and on my walks I definitely try to avoid letting them in an area that has a large population of mushrooms."

OSU mushroom experts say the abundance of mushrooms is due to our steamy, wet summer. “It's been an unusual June for mushrooms so far," says Django Grootmyers.

Some are getting big by soaking up all the rainwater and other varieties are out earlier than usual. Certain types are okay to eat, if they’re identified correctly. "I know someone that reported that they were good in an almond chicken recipe,” says Grootmyers as he describes one mushroom.

However, a lot of safe and toxic mushrooms look the same. "There’s not an easy way to tell unless you’ve actually sat down with somebody that knows their mushrooms," says assistant professor of OSU plant pathology Jason Slot.

They can grow anywhere- even your yard. "Anywhere there's trees, mulch, even in grass you can find the toxic species." If you choose poorly or your dog gets ahold of one life threatening symptoms will show up 3 to 4 days later. “it can be really difficult to survive at that point,” adds Slot.

They say your best bet this summer is to keep an eye on your pets and enjoy the fungi from a distance. "When you walk the neighborhoods you never really know what's going to happen. They're everywhere. No matter what street you're on," adds Singley.

More Information:

Ohio Mushroom Society: https://ohiomushroomsociety.wordpress.com/

Wild Mushroom Fact Sheet: https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/HYG-3303

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