Alberta Gardener Magazine - - Local Dirt -

Hi Dorothy,

I won­der if you can help me? My friend at the lake, Nancy, has these mush­rooms grow­ing at her cot­tage, in only one spot ev­ery year.

Any­one she's asked doesn't know what they are. I told her you might. Do you? Ob­vi­ously, she's not plan­ning on eat­ing them, she just wants to know what kind they are. Thanks gar­den­ing whiz.


Hi Judy,

Mush­rooms are very dif­fi­cult to iden­tify pos­i­tively and re­quire some­one who is an ex­pert, but this one looks like it could be a mem­ber of the genus Helvella. You can try Ken Fosty, I know he used to grow mush­rooms. Let us know if you get a de­fin­i­tive answer.


Thanks Dorothy, We are pretty sure they are black trum­pets. Nancy Greer If they are in­deed black trum­pets they are edi­ble and of­ten sought af­ter. They are also known as: horn of plenty, black chanterelle, or trum­pet of the dead. Why trum­pet of the dead? They were thought to have been played by those buried un­der­ground.

Dear Gar­dener,

I was won­der­ing if there is a cur­rent record for the tallest tomato plant? We cur­rently have a tomato plant that is 9 ft. 9 in. and still grow­ing. We are un­sure of the va­ri­ety, but the fruit is small, like a cherry tomato.

Karen Reimer

Hi Karen,

I have never heard of such a record, but per­haps Mr. Tomato has . . .

I do know that in­de­ter­mi­nate toma­toes or vin­ing toma­toes (such as Early Girl and Beef­steak) will keep on grow­ing and pro­duc­ing fruit un­til freeze, grow­ing as high as 12 feet (six feet is more usual). Peo­ple gen­er­ally stake these toma­toes. The fruit sets along the stem.


I know of no such record but I've heard of cherry toma­toes reach­ing 15 feet and more. – Mr. T

Craterel­lus cor­nu­co­pi­oides or black trum­pets.

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