Sunday, May 17, 2015


These mushrooms are from the Republic of Congo - not to be confused with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) which is its neighbour on the other side of the Congo River. This Congo was part of Equatorial East Africa and known as French Congo until 1960.

None of these mushrooms are native to any part of Africa, so why they are on a Congolese stamp, I'm not sure.

I am not a fan of eating mushrooms. In fact, I will avoid any like the plague. However, I do find them fascinating to look at. They seem rather pre-historic looking to me. I hate to think of what some of the those poor hunters and gatherers suffered while determining which ones were good to eat and which ones were toxic..
The edible mushrooms shown on these definitives are:  

  • Craterellus cornucopioides or horn of plenty. They are also known as black chantarelles. These are apparently quite tasty and nutritious when dried.
  • Amanita rubescens or blusher. These mushrooms turn pink on bruising or cutting. It is only edible when cooked.
  • Lepiota procera or parasol. The height and cap can reach 40 cm. It also must be cooked before eating.
  • Morchella elata or black morel. These can sometimes cause mild intoxication when eaten with alcohol
For more mushrooms and fungi, check out the links at See it on a Postcard for Sunday Stamps


  1. Yes like you say fascinating and quite other worldly.

  2. You have put me to shame by giving the common names for the mushrooms. I see you had country name changes also.

  3. I find these stamps beautiful. I mean the artistic part.
    But I somehow dislike stamps issued just for collectors (=money), which have nothing to do with the culture of countries. This is so common, alas.

  4. I think it a bit weird when a country issues stamps showing pictures of objects/people/plants/fungi which not are in that country. But I do understand - also the Dutch post earns a lot of money by new stamp issues (be it that most Dutch stamps show Dutch, or Dutch-related/connected subjects), and probably many stamp collectors are wanting to pay for 'wellknown' subjects, and less interested in 'other' subjects?

  5. I will happily eat all the mushrooms--except the poisonous ones!--on your behalf. I really love these stamps. Really, really.

  6. I will happily eat all the mushrooms--except the poisonous ones!--on your behalf. I really love these stamps. Really, really.

  7. They are fascinating to look at. I like Chantrelles and will eat them if picked by someone I trust! Would never eat a wild mushroom other than those ... I do enjoy cooking with the ordinary supermarket buttons tho. But they are boring to look at. Your stamp hobby teaches you a lot about geography and history and I'm glad you share it.

  8. I was wondering if they might have been a joint issue with, possibly, France but no amount of searching has brought up any evidence of that.

  9. I learned about some of these mushrooms when I took a mushroom foraging class. I only like to eat raw mushrooms, though.


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