Wine Cap (Stropharia rugosa-annulata) is a natural soil builder and weed suppressor which makes it the perfect fungi for companion planting. It is also known to reduce parasitic nematodes and filter Coliform bacteria.
Thanks to their meaty caps, Stropharia mushrooms are great for braising and grilling.
There are three ways to grow Wine Caps:
Oyster mushrooms can also be planted following the methods above.
Mushroom beds are not only fun but extremely beneficial for your soil and surrounding plants. However, there are many secondary and tertiary decomposers that like to grow around established beds or occupy them once the mushroom you planted has exhausted its potential. So it is very important to properly identify the species before consumption.
Wine Caps are also known wanderers and due to their symbiotic abilities, they can end up fruiting several feet from where you plant them!
Once you become familiar with them, Wine Caps and Oyster mushrooms are very easy to identify.
Quick identification guide for Wine Caps
1. Burgundy cap in young specimens, plain brown in older ones. Dry weather also makes Wine Caps look more brown than red.
2. Lilac gray color gills and spores in young specimens, charcoal or deep purple in older ones.
3. Annulus ring (which may be absent in older specimens as it is very fragile).
4. No bulb but a slight swelling at the bottom of the stem, with mycelial “roots”.