Xerula australis – edible and medicinal

Xerula australis has synonyms Xerula radicata var. australis and Oudemansiella radicata var. australis.  (ref: Bougher and Syme)  There are several closely related species that are difficult to distinguish even with a microscope.

While this species is reported to be edible, it does not find too many rave reviews, although one variety of Xerula radicata is being sold in kit form in China and they describe it as delicious (I suppose they would!).

It has been suggested that they might make a colourful addition to a stir fry.  You would need to find a few of them though, as they are only a small mushroom with a cap 20-40 mm across and a tough inedible stem.  They have quite a distinctive appearance as shown in this image kindly provided by sunphlo.

Xerula australis

An interesting feature of Xerula radicata and most probably this variety is that it contains an anti-hypertensive agent known as  oudenone.  (who’d have known?)  The cultivation of  the fungus in liquid medium and extraction of the active ingredient is the subject of US patent 3835170.  The information in that patent suggests that the active ingredient is reasonably heat stable and should survive a mild cooking process at least.  Whether this is a good thing or not might depend on the individual.

I have set up a new category for fungi that I have not had any personal experience with, or reports of, other than that they are mentioned in the literature as being edible.   If anyone has experience with eating these, I would like hear about it.

9 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Kathy Rose said,

    I’ve found Xerula australis which were much bigger than you describe, big enough to cover a slice of bread, if memory serves. Perhaps they need good rain to get that big. Fuhrer describes them as up to 80mm across.

    • 2

      morrie2 said,

      Wow! I would like to get some cultures going of ones that would cover a slice of bread. Mind you, I wouldn’t want them to drop my blood pressure too low🙂

  2. 3

    Carolyn said,

    also listed as containing antibiotic and antitumour bioactives – and not ‘worthwhile’ ( i guess he doesn’t count hypertension or cancer just flavr!) or inedible by Roger http://www.rogersmushrooms.com/gallery/DisplayBlock~bid~6556.asp for north american? variety if indeed it is exactly the same mushroom

  3. 4

    Carolyn said,

    “Welcome vast planting doors come to here to consult and shop.” chinglish from growers website🙂 http://www.unicornbags.com/cultivation/oura.shtml

  4. 5

    forthferalz said,

    i’ve since found another reference on steve brill the wildman’s website which might demystify the radicata’s – the big one sounds like the introduced species, probably found in pine forests here. he says they are tasty if cooked correctly.

  5. 6

    scott van egeren said,

    I am eating some now. There isn’t much of a flavor at all. Maybe they need to be marinated.

  6. 8

    jsunlau said,

    If I remember correctly they feature a page in 100 Edible Mushrooms by Michael Kuo (The Mushroom Expert).


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