Wine-cap Stropharia
(Stropharia rugosoannulata)


Wine in Glass
Wine-cap Stropharia sculpture

Wine-cap Stropharia
sculpture, acrylic paint

This spectacular choice mushroom, which you can find in quantity throughout the United States in the spring and fall (sometimes even in the summer), has a cap that is red brown to tan and can sometimes grow to the size of a dinner plate, but is usually 2 to 5 inches across, bell-shaped when young, flat when old.

Violet Brill Holds Huge Wine-Cap

Violet Brill Holding Huge Wine-cap

The crowded broad lilac-colored gills attach to the stem. The spore print is a very dark purple brown.

The white stem is 4 to 6 inches long, 3/8 to 3/4 inch wide, emanating from an enlarged base.

Wine Caps

Wine-cap Stropharia Mushrooms

Penetrating the wood chips, where the mushroom grows, you'll see threads of white fungus coming from the mushroom's base.
Wine Cap Fungus

Wine-cap Stropharia Fungus in Wood Chips

A distinctive membranous ring with radial lines on the mushroom's upper surface grows on the upper stalk.

Wine Cap Partial Veil

Wine-cap Stropharia Partial Veil

Note how this membrane that protects the gills while the cap is closed resembles a cogwheel.

This large decomposer mushroom doesn't take to traditional Western onion-garlic seasonings. Cooked with a minimum of oil and ample quantities of lemon juice, wine (it is a wine-cap, after all), nutmeg, and fennel, its flavor is outstanding. Braise it, bake it, or add it to soups. It cooks in 15 to 20 minutes.
Wine Caps

Young Wine-caps

Unless you're using this mushroom with other ingredients, it gives off too much liquid to sauté properly, but it dehydrates well, and after cooking it, you can also freeze it for up to 2 years in a very cold freezer.
Wine-cap Stropharia drawing

Wine-cap Stropharia
pen-and-ink drawing

Wine-cap Recipes