Cyprus, Nicosia

What mushrooms are collected in Northern Cyprus?

Updated: 4 weeks ago

The "quiet hunting" season in Cyprus begins in October, after the first autumn rains, and ends with the onset of cold weather, specifically in January. These are approximate dates for most edible mushrooms in Cyprus. Morel mushrooms, for example, appear in April and only last for three weeks.

As we know from our school natural science course, mushrooms are classified as edible, conditionally edible, inedible, and poisonous. We have already talked about poisonous mushrooms.

Mushroom Picking Rules

Locals mainly pick boletes, which can be found for sale at the beginning of the mushroom season. If you want to pick mushrooms yourself, here are a few rules to remember:

  • Only pick mushrooms that you are familiar with;
  • If you pick conditionally edible mushrooms, make sure you know how to properly prepare them;
  • Pick mushrooms by hand or with a knife, refrain from using tools like rakes and shovels, and respect nature.

Edible Mushrooms in Northern Cyprus

Chanterelles

съедобные грибы северный кипр

The grainy chanterelle is a common species in Cyprus, usually growing in groups under coniferous trees, pines, and cedars. The mushroom cap is convex or flat, often slimy and sticky to the touch, with shades ranging from yellow-brown to red-brown. The hymenophore (the part of the mushroom under the cap) is tubular. The flesh is white or yellowish and does not change color when cut.

Cep Mushrooms

съедобные грибы северный кипр

The most popular mushroom among the locals. It also grows in groups in coniferous forests, grass, and moss. The cap is bright orange, ranging from lighter to darker shades. It has a depression in the center, and as the mushroom ages, the cap becomes more funnel-shaped. The hymenophore is gilled. The flesh is yellow-orange, firm, and exudes a milky sap that turns green when fresh. Sometimes cep mushrooms are mistaken for the poisonous Russula rosea, which has white milky sap and a strongly hairy cap.

Porcini Mushrooms

съедобные грибы северный кипр

Porcini mushrooms belong to the bolete genus and are considered one of the most valuable edible mushrooms. They get their name from the fact that their flesh does not change color when cut. They are quite widespread in Europe, but not as common in Northern Cyprus as mushroom hunters would like, mainly found in oak forests in the mountains.

Slippery Jack Mushrooms

съедобные грибы северный кипр

Also known as white brittlegill, despite the name, it belongs to the milk-cap family rather than the brittlegills. A popular mushroom in Cyprus, it appears in the same locations as cep mushrooms, but slightly earlier.

Morel Mushrooms

съедобные грибы северный кипр

A mushroom of unusual but memorable shape, it is popular on the island and grows in uncultivated lands, as well as in deserted areas after fires or on burnt expanses. It is considered conditionally edible because it must be boiled for 10-15 minutes before consumption.

Oyster Mushrooms

съедобные грибы северный кипр

A popular mushroom on the island, which the local population eagerly uses in food. They appear in spring in heather thickets, as it grows on the roots of this shrub.

Truffles

съедобные грибы северный кипр

Famous for their inaccessibility, mushrooms are also found in Cyprus, but they are very difficult to find due to their location underground or under foliage. They are usually searched for with specially trained dogs in November-December.

Frequently Asked Questions about Mushrooms in Northern Cyprus

How many mushroom species are there in Cyprus?

Experts claim that there are more than a thousand, but an ordinary person can't identify and classify them.

Are there poisonous mushrooms in Northern Cyprus?

Yes, on the island of Cyprus (and the flora and fauna on both the northern and southern parts, unlike the political structure, are the same), there are 15 species of poisonous mushrooms. We have written about the most common ones here. There are also poisonous or inedible "false" versions of well-known and edible mushrooms, so if there are any doubts, refrain from the temptation to pick the mushroom.

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