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10 Edible and Poisonous Mushrooms-Guide to Mushroom Identification

Have you ever wondered while cooking what can you possibly add to make your dish standout? Mushrooms are an option and they can take your cooking to a whole new level. But in order to use them for eating and cooking, inedible and edible mushroom identification is essential. You will find hundreds of mushrooms out there in your garden, some of them are edible while others are poisonous and should not be eaten.  Here are the ten edible and poisonous mushrooms after which you will be easily able to distinguish between mushrooms.

10. Chanterelle Mushrooms:

Also known as Girolle, these wild edible mushrooms are orange or yellow in color. They are commonly found in the Northern parts of Europe and North America including Mexico. They have a wonderful and a rich flavor and are cooked in many famous gourmet restaurants all over the world. They have several benefits towards health as it is low in saturated and unsaturated fat.

Chanterelle Mushrooms

9. Sulfur Tuft:

This mushroom is found in UK and all types of forests and woods. They are found in small clusters and large groups as well and feed on dead matter. They look beautiful when clustered together in woods and look really good to eat but are inedible and can lead to serious poisoning and diarrhea.

Sulfur Tuft

8. Shittake mushroom:

Because of its abundant benefits for human health this mushroom is very famous and most edible in renowned restaurants. This mushroom species was formerly known as Lentinus Edodes and is a native of Japan, China and Korea and is used widely in Asian countries. Their caps grow up to 8 inches in diameter with a wide umbrella like shape and are of cream colored from the inside.

Recent studies have shown that Shittaki mushrooms protect us against cardiovascular disease along with making our immune system strong. They are available in tin food as well and a number of dishes are prepared using the shitake mushrooms which are loved throughout the world.

shiitake-mushrooms

7. Deadly Parasol:

This deadly parasol is a medium sized umbrella mushroom and is extremely deadly as the name portrays. This mushroom is found in woods and on grounds. They have reddish scales on the top which is their distinguished feature. They are mostly found in North America and if digested can destroy intestines and then results in death.

Deadly Parasol

6. Portobello Mushrooms:

Mostly used in Italian cooking, Portobello mushrooms are large in size about 4 inches and 10 cm in diameter and are easily distinguished. These mushrooms when young are called crimini or baby bellas because they are white and rounded.  As this mushroom matures they turn dark in color and become flat. Their cooking trait is that the longer they are cooked the more taste it produces in the foods just like meat so they are mostly grilled. It is best for those people who have to watch their weight while eating or their cholesterol. They are the best source of potassium, Vitamin B and amino acids.

Portobello Mushrooms

5. False Morel:

Among the types of the edible mushrooms comes the Morel Mushroom as well but there is a false morel mushroom too which contains the chemical monomethyl hydrazine and is poisonous. These deadly mushrooms feed on dead rotting matter and its caps are usually reddish brown and in rare cases yellow.

False Morel1

4. Bolete Mushrooms:

Wild mushrooms can only be eaten if available in the market not from the wild because they can be poisonous. This brown capped Bolete mushroom is extremely delicious when cooked and is quite popular. The baby mushrooms begin to appear after heavy rainfalls in the West mostly in September and October.

Bolete Mushrooms

3.Clitocybe rivulosa or False Champignon(fool’s funnel):

Commonly found in the grassy areas of Europe and North America, a false champignon mushroom looks like a small funnel. It is also known as the ‘sweating mushroom’ because of its symptoms and it leads to severe poisoning but is not deadly. It contains muscarin which is dangerous for human health. It is a very small mushroom with no smell and taste and is found growing on grasses which increases the risk of children getting close to it.  It can be easily mixed up with the edible fairy ring champignon because of the lack of knowledge of identifying mushrooms.

Clitocybe rivulosa

2. Oyster mushroom:

These edible mushrooms are easily found in the supermarkets. It is also known by its scientific name Pleurotus Ostreatus and is found all the way through the North Temperate Zone.  Their name shows that they look like oysters and grow mostly on wood of fallen and dead trees. They are 2-8 inches wide and look like a white shell with no stalk. Among all the edible mushrooms oyster mushrooms has shown to be a benefit for human health. They are enriched in Vitamin D, niacin, fiber and iron all very essential for human health. Along with improving your health they are healthy for the environment as well; as they can diminish all the harmful toxins present in our air especially hydrocarbon contaminated. Oyster mushrooms are widely used in cooking all over in every sort of dish. You just stir fry it in the end and it will give a lovely taste and a great look to your dish.

 oyster mushrooms

1. Destroying angel:

One of the most toxic and poisonous mushroom is the destroying angel. It belongs to the species of Amanita Virosa. With a white stalk and gills they can sometimes be mistaken for button mushrooms and the meadow mushrooms which are edible so it is important to know how to identify mushrooms as they can also be found on lawns or grassy areas. They are white in color and grow in summer and autumn. They are highly poisonous and can result in instant death if consumed. These mushrooms are dangerous for human health and if digested the symptoms occur after 5 to 24 hours and by then the poison has been absorbed in the kidneys and liver.

Destroying angel

Please not confined merely to this guide read more resources to make clear identifications of edible and inedible mushrooms.The identification of  edible and poisonous from pic alone is not quite enough.

About Farhan Ahsan

My name is Farhan Ahsan,I am web enthusiast, writer and blogger. I always strive to be passionate about my work. I started my work at the beginning of 2007 by engaging myself with detail reading and exchanging information with others. Since then things and times have changed, but one thing remains the same and that is my passion for helping and educating people, building a successful blog and delivering quality content to the readers. I always love to write about gardening, sustainable life, off grid living and homestead farming.

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5 comments

  1. Is fairy umbrella poisonous?

    • The most important thing to know about fairy rings is not to eat any of the mushrooms they produce. Just about any kind of mushroom can potentially make a fairy ring – some are edible, but most will kill you graveyard dead! In fact, all wild mushrooms should be considered poisonous unless their identity is confirmed by an experienced mycologist.

  2. Doing some research & found you, like your work a lot! Would you know someone that can help ID some mushrooms, in the AnnArbor Mi area? I started a fungi garden, & its out control! The directions on soil prep seem to be friendly to many types I did not propagate. Need help…lol 3 type’s I do not know, are banging out huge crops now. The garden substrate is a rich soil (lots of hard wood ash & sawdust) & planted red oak timbers. Spores planted: Morels, 3 Oysters, 2 Shiitake, In over my head…

  3. Thank you for sharing and spreading awareness! It is nice to know how to spot the right mushroom in the wild. Nevertheless, we can still eat some of them even if they are not medicinal it can still cure our hunger. It has endless capabilities!

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