September 2018 Newsletter

“How to Properly Identify a Mushroom”
  • Proper Observations
  • CLEAR in-focus photos showing top, underside, cross-section
  • Bruising
  • Other notable features
  • Size comparisons; buttons to mature (if possible)
  • Habitat: grass, mulch, woods, stump, log, dead standing tree, base of living tree, ETC
  • Location and Date
  • Odor
  • Spore print
  • Microscopic features?
  • Chemical reactions?

Take clear photos showing these features:

Example of a good clear photo:

The following photos are ACTUAL pics that people recently sent me to get me to identify for them:

Differences in the Underside of a Mushroom:
Cross Sections/ Sliced:
Reactions When Sliced/ Bruising:

Other Notable Features:
  1. Stains Your Hands…
  2. Slimey

If Possible, Observe Size Comparisons:


Location and Date, (Some mushrooms only grow in the north, others in the south, some only in the PNW):

Odor? (Sometimes certain species have a distinctive odor):

Sometimes, a “Spore Print” is needed for identification… How to do a proper spore print:

A white spore print won’t show up well on white paper, best to use white and black paper, but I even prefer to use aluminum foil or a mirror…

Slice of the stem, place the pore or gill or spine surface face down… Cover it with a glass bowl… Sit back and wait a few hours, sometimes overnight.

Microscopic details? (Some similar species can only be 100% identified by using a microscope):

Chemical reactions? Some species have a particular chemical reaction with KOH, Ammonia, and Iron Salts:


Iron Salts


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