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.