Mild, Damp Weather a Boom to Va Mushrooms

Scientists say wild mushrooms are flourishing in Virginia because of the recent mild, damp weather.

Virginia Commonwealth University biologist Fernando Tenjo says the rains of August, including Hurricane Irene, probably helped bring spores to the ground, producing fungi from which new mushrooms sprung in the last couple of weeks.

But experts say it's hard to distinguish between harmless mushrooms and toxic ones, so it's best not to eat any that are found growing in the wild.

Rutherford Rose, director of the Virginia Poison Center at VCU, tells the Richmond Times-Dispatch ( ) that 32 cases of people eating or tasting potentially dangerous mushrooms were reported to the center in the past month. That's up from just three during the same period in 2010.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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