Identifying mushrooms

Identification of mushrooms.

In identifying fungi the starting point is still the macroscopic appearance of the fruiting body and
    there are a large number of descriptive terms used.

Various authors can use different terms and different groupings.
Within any group there are exceptions, variations and atypical features.

With some basic knowledge, and a field guide, the genus of a specimen can often be determined but
    species identification is more difficult.

Points to note include –

  • the substrate is it growing on and how it is attached to it,
  • the shape of the fruiting body, size, colour, texture, and smell,
  • are there remnants of the universal or marginal veils on the stem and cap,
  • the type, and details of, the spore bearing layer,
  • if there are gills, do they attach to the stem or run down it,
  • the colour of any spores that way have fallen onto adjacent structures,
  • other details such as the presence of any exudate, does it bruise when touched etc.

Some of these points will be discussed in more detail in the following pages.