Giant talker - a mushroom, which is a representative of the Tricholomovy or Ryadovkovy family. This species is distinguished by its large size, for which it got its name. Also in other sources it is found as a giant ryadovka. It grows mainly in large groups, in the form of witch circles. The official name is Leucopaxillus giganteus.
Where giant talkers grow
The species can be found in deciduous, coniferous and mixed forest. The fungus prefers to grow on well-lit forest edges, clearings, roadsides, as well as in grazing areas and parks.
In Russia, it grows in the following regions:
- European part;
- Western Siberia;
- Far East;
- mountainous regions of the Caucasus.
There is also a giant Crimean talker. In the world, the mushroom can be found in Western Europe, North America and China.
Important! This fungus is a saprotroph, therefore it actively participates in the decomposition of forest litter and contributes to the formation of humus.
What giant talkers look like
A distinctive feature of this species is its large size. The diameter of the cap in an adult specimen reaches 15-25 cm, but sometimes there are champions up to 45 cm.The thickness of the upper part at the base when cross-sectioned is 1.5 cm.
The shape of the cap in young specimens is convex, less often flat, but as it grows it becomes concave, forming a funnel in the center. On the edge, it is lobed-wavy. The surface is initially fine velvety, but then the silkiness disappears, and circular scales and sometimes cracks appear.
The color of the cap and legs of the giant talker, as seen in the photo, is the same. Initially, it is creamy milk, and as the mushroom matures, it becomes white-fawn with light ocher spots.
On the back of the cap there are dense plates. They descend on the leg and, with little physical impact, are easily separated from it. They do not differ in shade from the main tone. Spores are translucent, oval or elliptical. Their size is 6-8 x 3.5-5 microns. The spore powder is white.
The pulp of the mushroom is white, dense, elastic. When cut, it retains its hue. Has a mild smell of freshly ground flour.
The giant talker leg is characterized by a smooth surface, without a ring. Its height reaches 4.5-6 cm, and its cross-sectional diameter is 1.5-3 cm. The structure is fibrous, dry.
Is it possible to eat giant talkers
This species is classified as conditionally edible. This means that it is not poisonous or poisonous. But it also does not differ in special taste, therefore, it belongs to the fourth category.
Taste qualities of a giant govorushka mushroom
Young specimens of the Giant Talker have a neutral taste. Many mushroom pickers find it to resemble boiled fish. In the process of maturation of the mushroom, characteristic bitterness appears, which negatively affects the taste.
Important! For cooking, only the caps of young giant talkers should be used, since the legs have a dry fibrous structure. Ripe mushrooms of this type are suitable only for drying.
Benefits and harm to the body
The giant talker is distinguished by a high content of B vitamins, micro- and macroelements.
Other positive properties of this mushroom:
- reduces the level of bad cholesterol;
- removes toxins;
- normalizes the work of the digestive system.
The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect of the giant talker has found application in the treatment of tuberculosis. And the clitocybin contained in its composition allows to treat diabetes mellitus, epilepsy.
The fruit body, in the process of growth and ripening, absorbs toxic substances and salts of heavy metals like a sponge. Therefore, the older the mushroom, the higher the likelihood that it has accumulated harmful components.
According to the description, the giant talker is characterized by a large size, so it is very difficult to confuse adult specimens with other species. But young mushrooms should be learned to distinguish from twins, since many representatives of the Ryadovkovy family are similar to each other, but among them there are also poisonous ones.
- The talker is bent. A conditionally edible species, which in its taste is superior to other varieties of talkers. A distinctive feature is a tubercle in the center of the cap, which appears in young specimens and persists throughout the entire period of growth. Also, this species is characterized by a white-ocher hue of the fruiting body and a higher stalk in comparison with its giant congener. The official name is Infundibulicybe geotropa.
- Funnel-shaped talker. A distinctive feature of this variety is a cap in the form of a deep funnel with a diameter of 10 cm with a thin and winding edge. The color of the fruit body varies from brownish-fawn to yellow-buffy. You can also distinguish a funnel-shaped talker by its fruity smell. This mushroom is considered edible. In special reference books it can be found under the name - Clitocybe gibba.
- Waxy talker. It belongs to the category of poisonous mushrooms, as it contains a high concentration of muscarine, which causes a deadly intoxication. The hat is smooth, 6-8 cm in diameter, the edges are bent up. The color of the fruiting body is off-white. Among mycologists, it is known as Clitocybe phyllophila.
- Clawfoot talker. It belongs to the category of conditionally edible mushrooms, but it cannot be used in combination with alcohol. You can distinguish this species from its giant congener by the leg, which thickens at the base and resembles a mace. Also a characteristic feature are the rare descending plates. When cut, the pulp is ash-gray with a pronounced mushroom odor. The official name is Ampulloclitocybe clavipes.
The fruiting period of the giant talker begins at the end of August and lasts until October. If the weather is favorable, then this species can be found in November.
You should not pick overgrown mushrooms, as well as those that grow near the road and industrial enterprises. Ignoring this rule can lead to food poisoning.
How to cook giant talkers
Before eating a giant talker, you need to boil it for 15 minutes. After that, drain the liquid, and only then use the mushroom to prepare pickles, marinades and main courses. Also this type is suitable for drying.
The giant talker, although it is considered a conditionally edible species, can compete with other more common mushrooms if all the recommendations for collection and preparation are followed. The main thing is to know its differences, so as not to accidentally confuse it with poisonous relatives.