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mycology's Journal

Fungus Friends
Posting Access:
All Members , Moderated
A community for people with an interest in mushrooms and other fungi. A place to discuss mushrooms, coral fungi, puffballs and anything having to do with them.

Posting photos applicable to the above is fine as long as they are 600x600 or smaller.

This isn't a community for discussing the use of hallucinogenic mushrooms, although talking about their biology, cultural significance and related topics is OK.

So You Want A Mushroom Identified?
We often get requests to identify mushrooms in this community, and that's fine. Many of the people you'll find in here do it as a hobby and will be only too happy to try to help you out. Be aware, though, that most mushrooms cannot be identified from a photograph alone! While some fungi are so distinctive that a photo alone can do it, the vast majority (better than 90%) look like something else. Sometimes that "something else" can make you very sick, or even kill you. If you want us to take a crack at identifying your mushroom for you, you'll get a better ID if you can offer more information to start with.

Here's what you should have ready before you ask for an ID:
  1. Take a spore print. If you don't know what a spore print is, then read this page. Once you have your spore print, take a picture of it or scan it if possible and provide it along with your mushroom photo. Spore prints are the very first step in identifying, or "keying out" a mushroom.
  2. Note the structures of the mushroom. Is the stem hollow, solid, or stuffed with fibers? Are there pores or gills under the cap? If there are gills, how do they connect to the stem? Does the mushroom bruise (change colors) when you crush part of it?
  3. If you don't know what to look for in a mushroom, then take a look at this page; it will tell you about the various features used to distinguish mushrooms from one another. The more information you can provide us that answers the questions on that page, the more likely someone here will be able to help you. If you can take pictures that show these features, that will also be a big help.

Keep in mind that correctly identifying mushroom can be tricky when you're holding it in your hand and you already know what to look for. Now, imagine how much more difficult it can be to identify a mushroom based on a couple of photos and a description provided by someone else who may not know quite what they're looking for! Therefore, a disclaimer goes along with this community:

No identification of a mushroom provided in this community is certain. Therefore, please think VERY carefully before eating a mushroom that has been identified for you only by a member of this community! This community does not represent that any or all members are experts in the field and assumes no liability for the results of someone eating a misidentified mushroom. This community is a good place to start, but before you eat that mushroom you found on the woodpile in the backyard, have it identified by an expert who can tell you for certain what it is. Also, be advised that some people have allergic or other health-related reactions to some edible mushrooms. BE CAREFUL. There is a saying among mushroom enthusiasts that you should know about:

There are old mushroom hunters
And there are bold mushroom hunters,
But there are no old, bold mushroom hunters!

Always use common sense!!!!


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