Mushroom season in our backyard

One of the reasons why I am studying plant pathology is because I love mushrooms. We used to have a mushroom farm way back in college and I helped in preparing the spawn and “planting” then in plots of dried banana leaves. We used to culture the species Volvariella volvacea or commonly called straw mushrooms. A pity that in the tropics they easily rot and don’t last as long. Another popular cultivated species are the oyster mushrooms or Pleurotus ostreatus which has a woody smell.

During the rainy season, however, mushrooms of the genus Termitomyces sprout from the grounds. These are wild mushrooms that grow on anthills and termite hills hence the genus name. Local people believed that these mushrooms were brought about by thunders, since they usually sprout during rains and thunderstorms. My professor in mycology (the study of mushrooms) told us that it is a very difficult mushroom to cultivate hence we rely on our supply of these mushrooms during the rainy months of August and September. These mushrooms are usually gathered in the morning, skewered in coconut midrib and sold by streethawkers. In Laguna, we call the local name is mamarang. It is cooked simply by sauteing in tomatoes and onions. I’m not sure if these mushrooms are found in other regions in the Philippines.

I posted before about the oyster mushrooms that grew on our mango tree, and which I didn’t eat. This time, I was eagerly waiting for the mamarang season. Last Sunday, one of the help found these mushrooms growing near the taro plants in the backyard. I wasted no time in using them as spring roll filling (recipe later) and as omelete filling. I’m hoping we’d find more next weekend.

Mushroom omelete

2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup mamarang, chopped
1 tsp bell pepper, chopped
2 eggs
salt and pepper to taste

Since mamarang grows on the ground, clean the mushrooms by gently wiping away the soil attached. Chop the mushrooms including the cap and stems (or stipe, in scientific terms). Saute mushrooms in garlic and bell pepper until mushroom has softened. Whisk eggs in a bowl and add the sauted mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. In a pan, heat oil and fry the eggs until done.

I’m sharing this post to Weekend Herb Blogging hosted by Ulrike of Kuchenlatein this week.

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Comments

  1. Interesting looking mushrooms. I haven’t ever seen any that look like those in the top photo around here.

  2. I looove mushrooms. I wish I had the guts and know-how to go harvest them myself, but I am always scared I’d end up poisoning myself or something.

    Good post! Thanks for dropping by my site!

  3. Hola Gay! I’m so so glad I came! I love mushrooms too and can’t wait for the Autumn to come and buy some fresh ones :D. Yesterday, I was thinking about writing a post about mushrooms which I will do soon… I hope. So interesting to see the ones that grow in your side of the world :D

  4. I’m impressed – I know absolutely nothing about identifying the good, the bad and the ugly. I’m sure I’d kill myself trying.

  5. Well, I only eat this mushroom since I know that this has been traditionally eaten in my place. Otherwise I wouldn’t. I’ve studied mushrooms and fungi, and generally, the more beautiful, intricate, colorful and odorous they are, the more poisonous.

  6. It’s always better to know what you eat …

    Thanks for your WHB entry.

  7. Do these mushrooms live underground all year, waiting for the right conditions?

  8. i find it so fascinating to read post written by people who really know what they are tallking about. I just love eating mushrooms. Not a great coinesseur.i have never seen the one on the top picture.

  9. This kind is also found in the Provinces of Davao mostly during the months of August to September. We call this “libgus” in the local dialect

  10. @GAY, is this kind of mushroom impossible to be grown in my backyard? Or is it just difficult to cultivate? Here’s my e-mail address Deidreamer@yahoo.com. Tnx.

  11. @GAY, right now im cultivating the oyster kind of mushroom and I’m interested to culture this kind if it’s possible. Tnx.

  12. Are you familiar also with the kabuteng mamunso? Tnx.

  13. Hi Albert, I think the ones above are also kabuteng mamunso since they grow in punso ng anay. Hence the scientific name is Termitomyces. I think they have not been cultivated yet. The oyster mushrooms are easier to grow though you have to grow them in cooler areas or at lower temperatures.

  14. @ GAY, do you think its possible if I have a termite mound in my backyard and take care of it a bit like watering and using some nitrogen supplement to bear an off season mamunso and mamarang? After all thats the requirement for a mushroom growth. Are you Gay Charlotte Biadnes mam? Tnx.

  15. I’m not so sure about that, but you could try. Just make sure that the termite mound you will take care of has already borne those mushrooms before. These mushrooms bear spores (like seeds) that need to be “germinated” with moisture. Good luck!

    PS – Sorry, am not that person :)

  16. Okay. Maybe I should just try it.

    I thought you were the one that i saw in the list of USM graduates, plus you’re in plant pathology. Thanks!

  17. I stumbled upon your site when I was searching for articles about mushrooms that grow on anthills, and the mamarang you were describing is what we call here in Iloilo as simply “uhong”. Though uhong is a general term here for mushroom, the kind I’m referring to only grows on anthills from late July to early September. So, I think this answers your question wether mamarang also grows in other regions in the Philippines.

    But the real reason of my search was, I want to affirm what I have read somewhere(with vague recollection), that the growth of this kind of mushrooms are enhanced by enzymes (or something along that line) that are developed when lightning occurs. Maybe this just proves that the old belief that they are more abundant during thunderstorms is not totally baseless.

    We have also the kind that Noel calls “libgus” but with a slight twist on the spelling, we call it “ligbus”. This kind however does not grow on anthills, and they usually grow on clusters.

  18. Hi Ricky, good to know how other places call mamarang. I remember ligbus also when I was growing up in Iligan City.

  19. It’s true. But it applies to all mushrooms. The natural phenomenon thunder do help in helping mushrooms grow abundantly. It is naturally because thunder help unlocks the unusable form of air nitrogen. Utilizable nitrogen is necessary for a mushroom’s growth that’s why I’m happy when there’s thunder. My harvest increases during thunder storms.

  20. Hi Gay, I was browsing about mushrooms in the philippines when I got into ur article. Since I was little, I’ve always been amazed how that species of mushrooms you have shown above sprout out. When I was in Mindoro, I’d look forward to months of July thru September knowing this mushrooms grow on these months. I asked my college prof, tho she’s not a mycologist, about how to cultivate these mushrooms, if anyone cultivates it (tho I’m no one coz I haven’t seen this kind in any market in Manila) and if spawns can b bought) but she didn’t know. What kind of mushrooms are they? And why are they difficult to cultivate? I was thinking of studying how to cultivate this kind of mushroom. Thanks and more power.

  21. What months of the year are those mushrooms most abundant? Where in laguna are those mushrooms most abundant and where in Laguna can I buy them?

  22. cris infante says:

    “kabuting mamarang” are brownish to blackish in color. And this white mushrooms are called “kabuting mamunso” here in San Pablo City Laguna and in some parts of Quezon Province like Tiaong Quezon. It is abundant during this month. As for this month there are some of this “kabuting mamarang” and “kabuting mamunso” at the wet market that cost as much as 20 to 25 pesos sa isang tuhog ng coco ting-ting.

  23. paulcambia says:

    I had these mushrooms in the philippines, near baler. I was curious about their (sci.) name because they look very alike and taste also alike mushrooms i used to gather in prairies with my grand father… in france. a check on wikipedia wasnt so conclusive, given the illustration they feature there.

  24. paulcambia says:
  25. Maria Bonita says:

    We call that mushroom “mamarang” as well in Alfonso, Indang Cavite and Tagaytay. I think it’s the Tagalog region thinggy. ;) Bulacan, Batangas and Quezon should call them mamarang as well? :-/ I thought it’s the same as oyster mushroom because they really do look and taste very similar. Except that oyster mushrooms can grow bigger and fatter?

  26. We, also have this kind of mushroom in Pangasinan we call it O-ong ti Arban or O-ong ti mannagado cause once you see 1mushroom all of a sudden you see alot of them its like a mat in the floor during the months of July to Sept. in Pangasinan I used to get up sooooooo early in the morning during those months cause O-ong ti Arban are my favorite mushroom.

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  1. Weekend Herb Blogging #148: The Round-up…

    It’s always fun to write the round-up, but I always have some initial difficulties: Some entries ended in the spam-filter, some entries were very late.. Allow me some word for future hosts. Don’t send your entries at the last moment. Sometimes em…

  2. [...] anthills and termite hills. The variety I found belongs to the genus Termitomyces (thanks to  A Scientist in the Kitche rel=nofollow) since they grow on anthills and termite hills. The subdivision where I live used to be a sugarcane [...]

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