Mushroom Picking

Friday, October 16, 2015

I have been dying to go mushroom picking since we first moved to Lithuania and I found out that foraging was a common weekend practice. Perfect for my nerdy ethnobotanist self! Lithuania is about 40% forested, which means that it is pretty easy to find a prime place to collect mushrooms, herbs, or berries. It's even possible just a few minutes outside of the capitol, Vilnius.

Two Sundays ago, one of J's colleagues offered to take us mushroom hunting in the afternoon. Yes! She is well versed in mushrooming as well as in edible plants, so it was such a treat for me to go out to explore and learn. Since moving to Vilnius we haven't had the chance to spend much time out in nature (except in city parks), so it also felt great to just go out into the woods and wander.

I was impressed by the diversity of mushroom species as well as the huge populations of mushrooms that were littering the forest floor half hidden by fallen leaves. It took a careful eye trained on the forest floor to find one of the edible brownish species that was hidden deep in the moss. Some of the mushrooms we saw were brown and plain, while others were red, purple, spotted, or blue. J's colleague went one step further and boiled some of the mushrooms we collected, so we could use them at our leisure. I'm thinking about chopping them up and adding them into a chicken pot pie. What do you think?

Lithuanian forest right outside of Vilnius
This forest is only about a 15 minute drive from the center of Vilnius

edible mushrooms with white gills from Vilnius, Lithuania
A few edible mushrooms

a forest frog

An edible mushroom hidden in moss
Hello there hidden mushroom

A blue, small mushroom in moss in Lithuania
Not an edible one

A dark red mushroom in moss in Lithuania
Love the color of this one!

Lithuanian forests

Gaultheria spp.

A mushroom with a very large cap in Lithuania

Puff ball mushrooms in Lithuania

Have you been mushrooming before? Would you go? Do you like to eat mushrooms?


  1. Totally jealous... I've been trying to get someone to take me mushrooming for years now... maybe I have to try harder ;) I can't believe that beautiful forest is so close to the city-- very cool! Was it easier than you expected to identify the different species?

    1. If I'm still here in the fall next year I'd be happy to take you mushrooming! Yes, I thought it was easy to identify the different species, but I think I have an unfair advantage because I'm a botanist so I'm used to looking at little details in organisms. J had a bit of a harder time IDing them.

  2. I'd love to do something like this! x

    1. Now I need some recipes for cooking them. Any tips?

  3. Ahh how very Eastern European! I never did this while in Russia & I seriously regret it!

    1. Maybe someday you can have the Russky's family take you out! I bet they would know!

  4. That looks like so much fun! Great pictures, I love how green everything is.

    1. Thank you! It was so lovely to get out of the city for a few hours :)

  5. I love your blog! Have a nice weekend:)