Large Mushroom Found in Kentucky Looks Like a Fluffy Loaf of Bread
Mushrooms come in all shapes and sizes. Some are perfectly fine to eat, some can make you feel like you're seeing every color in the spectrum, and some can kill you if you ingest them. There's your standard white button, portabella, shitake, and morel mushrooms that you'll find in your local grocery store and countless others that can be found in the wild like this one spotted in Owensboro, Kentucky that looks like a freshly baked loaf of bread that's just been taken out of the oven.
Mushrooms have been around for a long time. And by "a long time," I mean a loooooonnnnng time, like millions of years. It was once believed the first mushrooms evolved on Earth some 300 million years ago, but new research published in early 2020 suggests researchers were off by 400 to 500 million years, making them closer to "715 and 810 million" years old.
When we think about mushrooms, we typically think of those we can eat. But, research is showing they have the potential to be used for a wide variety of other purposes, including medicine, biofuel, and even construction material.
What Type of Mushroom Was Found in Owensboro, Kentucky?
Let's get back to the one a friend of mine found recently in Owensboro. It's a pretty good size mushroom, she said about the size of her hand, and its golden brown top makes it look like a slightly deformed loaf of bread or an oblong pancake.
I've tried to figure out what type of 'shroom it was by uploading the photo to Google Images, but the only results it gave me were light brown sandals. The type that has soles that either look like or are made from cork.
With my image result coming up empty, I searched "wild mushrooms that look like bread" and the only result that kind of, sort of, matched was the King Boletes, but I'm not 100% sure that's what we have here. According to Mushroom Appreciation, the King Boletes is edible "with unequaled flavor and texture," and hard to find because wild animals as well as insects find them to be delicious as well. This one was found in some landscaping in the middle of town. Plus, all the pictures of King Boletes mushrooms shared by Mushroom Appreciation show them to have the same golden brown top, but shaped similarly to a white button or portabella with a longer stem and umbrella-style top. This is the only picture my friend took, so I'm not sure what the stem looks like.
I've posted the photo in a public mushroom-hunting group on Facebook asking for some help identifying what kind of mushroom it is, but no one has responded as of this writing. If you or someone you know is a mushroom aficionado and know what kind it is, shoot me an email. I'd love to know.