Burgeoning wild mushroom crop a once in a decade phenomenon

This fall has been a banner year for wild mushrooms in the B.C. Interior.

PENTICTON - If you’re finding yourself stepping on toadstools or mashing mushrooms when you’re out in your yard this fall, you’re not alone.

This has been a banner year for wild mushrooms, and they’re everywhere in the southern Interior, even as far south as Penticton where it has been a fairly dry fall.

Gary Hunt of the Kamloops Naturalist Club says mushroom abundance and diversity vary greatly each fall in the Interior, more so than in coastal areas.

He says the key factors are moisture and temperature.

“A year ago, we had virtually no mushrooms in the Kamloops area. We did not have the usual rains in June and only scant precipitation in September and October. There simply was not enough moisture to get the soil wet enough to stimulate fruiting. This year in comparison, we received very substantial rain beginning early in September and it continued through the month and into October,” Hunt says.

The rain, combined with an absence of hard frost so far this year has resulted in nearly ideal conditions of moisture and temperature to produce a mushroom abundance.

Hunt says these conditions are only seen once every 10 years or so.

An online publication produced by the B.C. government noted the province’s unprecedented wildfire activity in 2017 was likely to produce high morel mushroom growth in burned off areas for the 2018 season.

More information about B.C. mushrooms and picking on public land is available at this Province of B.C. website.


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