Date: July 24, 2016
On July 24, 2016 twenty-seven human members and six canine members of the Asheville Mushroom Club participated in the Pink Beds Foray in Pisgah National Forest. Periodic clouds moderated the 80 degree temperatures during the foray, providing ideal conditions. The foray separated into three separate groups (figure 1). Two groups diverged either north or south for a 50-100 foot width on the Pink Beds Loop Trail. The third group headed south of Yellow Gap Road on the Barnett Branch Trail. Approximately 2 to 2 and ½ hours were spent by the participants along the individual trail areas.
Habitats encountered within the Pink Beds included acidic cove forest, swamp forest-bog complex, and dry-mesic oak forest. The elevation range along the trails varied from 3200-3300 feet above sea level.
Following periodic summer showers during June and July across the Pink Beds there was a good variety of mushrooms. A total of 113 species were recorded – the greatest number ever for an AMC Pink Beds Foray. There were 54 gilled mushrooms, 25 boletes, 10 polypores, 5 coral, 5 earthclub like, 4 jelly, 3 puffballs or earthstars, 2 teeth, one crust, one cup, one flask, one fiber fan, and one parasitic species (figures 2 & 3). Many species were recorded for the first time in the eight Pink Beds forays since 2005. Three bolete species: Butyriboletus brunneus, Tylopilus ferrugineus, and Austroboletus gracilis var flavipes (Yellow-stalked Graceful Bolete) were completely new records for the club - meaning that either we have never seen them before on any foray or, more likely, we are getting better at identifying boletes!
But the most prized find was a large cauliflower mushroom, Sparassis crispa, located by Barbara Rothrock and her proud dog.