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How to Ask for Help Identifying Mushrooms


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Thanks to DaveW for providing this guideline for getting help identifying your mushroom finds.

There are NO "rule of thumb" criteria for determining edibility of wild mushrooms. When in doubt, throw it out.

Tips on how to ask for an Identifying (ID)

  • Only request identification of one type of mushroom in a post. If you have more than one type of mushroom that you need help identifying, create a post for each one. This will help avoid confusion about which mushroom is being ID'd. (this is a forum rule)
  • Preferred photos of the mushroom include the cap, gills/pores (on the underside), base of the stem, and the entire mushroom in profile. One or two photos of any unusual or otherwise interesting feature may also be helpful. Blurry photos are probably not going to help.
  • Information about any odor, staining/bruising color change, or otherwise interesting feature may be useful.
  • Information about habitat is usually essential. Type of dead wood or, for terrestrials, types of nearby living trees is very useful.
  • Learning to make a good spore print can be very useful.

Identifying fresh mushrooms in person can be hard enough. Discussing IDs online can be very tricky business. When a member suggests that a name applies to some mushroom, this should be viewed as a suggestion only. It is up to the collector to be certain of the ID. We recommend joining a mushroom club nearby your home and learning from experienced hunters about your own local mushrooms.

Here is a diagram that will help you learn the parts of a mushroom. It will be handy for understanding terms used by other members and will also help you describe what you're seeing.


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