Who knew a stint at the family cottage in Ontario would mean an abundance of lobster mushrooms!

To be factually correct lobster mushrooms are mushrooms that have been grown over by a parasitic fungus that changes the mushroom mycelia and resulting fruiting body structure (into delicious) and turns the colour to a gorgeous lobster orange.

These stunningly beautiful lobster mushrooms were found at McDowell Lane (named for my parents), Horton Township.

In this location the H. lactifluorum fungus has overtaken Russula mushrooms.

Late July and early August – final tally is 74 found and 41 perfect beauties.

Lobster mushroom, Horton, Ontario
Right outside the cottage the lobsters were growing loud and proud!

Lobster mushroom, Horton, Ontario
Stunning colouring and gorgeous. Unique is the granular texture where the gills would be on the original mushroom.

Lobster Mushroom, Horton, Ontario
Bright orange coating and blinding beautiful white interior. McDowell was beside herself.

Lobster Mushrooms, Horton, Ontario
A morning stroll to check on the chipmunks and this was the bounty. All this pre-coffee!

The Ontario weather means the mushrooms are firm and not water-logged as can often be the case in BC. McDowell was freaking out they were so perfect. In the pan there was no water coming out of them and no shrinkage. McDowell cooked up a big family dinner with the mushrooms and introduced 4 generations to the delicious taste of lobster mushrooms. And that’s what McDowell did on her summer holiday.

Lobster mushroom spores, Horton, Ontario

Lobster mushroom dropping spores: Beautiful, white crystalline spores.


About The Lobster Mushroom  (Hypomyces lactifluorum)

The Lobster mushroom, Hypomyces lactifluorum, contrary to its common name, is not a mushroom, but rather a parasitic ascomycete fungus that grows on certain species of mushrooms, turning them a reddish orange color that resembles the outer shell of a cooked lobster. H. lactifluorum specifically attacks members of the genera Lactarius and Lactifluus (milk-caps), and Russula (brittlegills), such as Russula brevipes and Lactifluus piperatus in North America. At maturity, H. lactifluorum thoroughly covers its host, rendering it unidentifiable. Lobster mushrooms have a seafood-like flavor and a firm, dense texture. According to some, they may taste somewhat spicy if the host mushroom is an acrid Lactarius.

More information: Hypomyces lactifluorum: Wikipedia