As the common name says, the Dormiente mushroom or Marzuolo, should be the most typical and common mushroom of the month of March. However, I deliberately used the conditional because, even this, indeed, this more than all the other mushrooms, in order to bear fruit, requires very particular climatic situations, which do not always happen and, if these do not happen, goodbye Marzuoli!
As you can read in the specific sheet dedicated to this mushroom, the Sleeping-Marzuolo Mushroom (Hygrophorus marzuolus) , unlike almost all the other more common mushrooms, needs cold, snow and very cold, if not completely semi-frozen water. .The Marzuolo in fact, as the common name says Dormiente, loves to under a thick layer of snow.
It begins to bear fruit already in the heart of winter, perhaps already between the end of November and December, snow permitting (provided it is already often present) and continues to vegetate protected from extreme frost, thick layers of snow or very thick humus-litter.
The carpophores-s pore holes-fruit bodies that we collect in March, were sometimes born many months earlier. The beginning of the thaw causes them to be found semi-underground, so much so that they are also called semi-hypogeal mushrooms (semi-hypigeal fungus) because sometimes to be able to identify them it is necessary to dig into the humus or the litter.
Recent climate changes have put a strain on the existence of this fungal species which does not tolerate drought, let alone the absence of snow on the ground. The faster the snow melts on the ground, already in the dead of winter, the easier it is that no fungus of this species will be found .The winter of 2021-2022 for example was a bad winter for Marzuoli mushrooms.
Very little snow fell in Northern Italy and that fall melted after a few weeks, even in the Alps, below the vegetation line. Snowless Alps, dry soils and dry bedding are not ideal conditions for these fungi, in fact, they are even very bad. Something similar has also happened in many Apennine locations.
March is therefore not necessarily the month of the Marzuoli. If very thick layers of snow persist on the ground until mid-June (as happened in past decades), the Marzuoli mushrooms will be harvested no earlier than May and by the end of June, therefore in a period that is completely antithetical to the name of the mushroom itself..
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