Main features and dissemination

Nail mushrooms come in many forms grouped under the scientific name of "Armillaria mellea". They are "parasitic" fungi that can damage forests and forests, but also gardens and orchards if they grow on trees by attaching themselves to the trunks by means of the "micellar wires" which are similar to roots. Tacks, widespread throughout Europe and in many other areas of the world including North America, have gills that emit a faint light, hardly visible to the human eye in a normal forest environment, even on a moonless night. To try to see this effect one must observe the tacks in a completely darkened room, after having accustomed the eyes to the dark and the pupils are completely dilated. The most well-known luminescent fungus is "Illudens Omphalotus", also commonly known as "Jack O 'Lantern".

Taxonomic history and their variety

The honey mushrooms were first described in 1790 by the Danish mycologist Martin Vahl, who classified them as "Agaricus mellea", later they were moved to the current genus "Armillaria mellea" by the famous German mycologist Paul Kummer. The experts divide the honey mushrooms, also called "honey mushrooms", for their characteristic color rather than for their taste which is anything but sweet, in different varieties. For example, there are pegs with very scaly caps and small, or almost flake-free, stem rings with large white rings. Then there are the species of fungi that are similar to pegs in general but distinguishable by some details, such as the "Hypholoma Sublateritium", called false nails, very bitter and inedible but very effective for antirheumatic therapies.

Morphological characteristics

To recognize the nails you can take into consideration the cap (or cap), the gills and the stem, bearing in mind that they can present themselves with different shapes and shades of color in relation to the seasonal period and the environment. The cap has a variable diameter from 5 to 10 cm, with a color ranging from yellow-honey to red-brown, initially very convex which later flattens, with white or light flesh. The gills, weakly decurrent, are dense, initially flesh-colored, they become more yellow and with aging develop rust spots. The stems, initially white in color, turn yellow and yellowish-brown, the flesh is white and fairly firm. The diameter of the stem can vary from 5 to 15 mm and its height from 6 to 15 cm, with a finely woolly surface.

Nails: Guide to home cultivation

It is possible to grow pegs at home by obtaining spores and an adequate culture medium. Spores are available in food mushroom stores and as far as the culture medium is concerned, it is advisable to use sterilized hardwood sawdust, such as oak. Then place the culture medium in a container, a cardboard box or a plastic tray, for a depth of 5-6 cm. Sow the spores and spray the entire container and place the container in a dark place at 20 ° C for at least three weeks. Lower the temperature to 13 ° C, spread 2-3 cm of compost on the surface of the culture medium and place a damp cloth on top. Keep the fabric and the soil constantly moist until the pegs are seen growing, which take another 2-3 weeks to reach maturity.