Identifying Wild Mushrooms
An inevitable result of our cultural fear of wild mushrooms is that misinformation and myth persist…
Facebook Mushroom Groups!
1. Know The Group Rules
There are different groups with different rules. It is a wise to know which group you are in and which rules apply. Failure to do so may result in anything from a mild ticking off to instant removal.
Some groups have ridiculous rules, it’s true, I know a “discussion” group with a strict policy against discussion, but hey, that’s their rules, you don’t have to join.
You can find groups for discussion, identification, recipes, specific types of fungi; There seems to be a group for every aspect of mushroom exploration.
2. Don't Start A Post With "Can I Eat This?"
3. Learn How To Take A Photo (And Other Information To Include)
4. Read The Comments Before Commenting
5. Don't Appear Certain Unless You Actually Are Certain.
6. Use Scientific (Binomial) Names
As you can imagine, this caused quite a heated debate, during which, I did some googling and discovered that the same common name was used for both of these mushrooms in different parts of the world.
7. Never Call Anything A False Morel!
8. Don't Offer Advice On A Mushroom You Haven't Identified
9. Never Say: All Mushrooms Are Edible... Once. (They Hate That.)
It’s also incorrect, in case that needs to be said… some of the deadliest mushrooms kill you so slowly, you could probably eat several more before you actually die. Others are too hard to physically chew and swallow.
Also, Never Say: "There Are Old Mushroom Hunters And Bold Mushroom Hunters But There Are No Old Bold Mushroom Hunters." (They don't like that either, especially the old bold ones...)
10. Always Be Willing To Learn.
It's A Kind Of Magic...
I’ve heard of many other similar experiences, including my own.
My Favourite Mushroom Forums
- Mushroom Spotters UK – “A group devoted to discussion and pictures of fungi. A nice escape from the world…”
- The Mushroom Identification Forum (UK) – “This group is primarily for mushroom identification, but is open to discussion of all things shroomy.”
- Mushroom foraging united kingdom – “Share pictures of your foraging finds and discuss topics related to sustainable foraging and wild mushroom-hunting.”
- UK Mushroom hunters – “UK Mushroom Hunters is a facebook based forum for those of us who like to go foraging for edible mushrooms.”
- Fungi Foraging UK + EU – “THIS GROUP IS SPECIFICALLY FOR EUROPEAN FUNGI FORAGING.”
- British Mycological Society (BMS) – “The British Mycological Society (BMS) was founded in 1896 and has some 1200 members from many countries around the world, reflecting its international status. Its main objective is to promote mycology in all its aspects.”
(Check for local/county groups, using the search function.)
UK groups are great for seeing what people are picking in different parts of the country and learning to recognise fungi that I’m likely to come across, but there are also loads of great International groups worth joining:
- The Mushroom Identification Forum– “This group a place to get your mushrooms identified.”
- Fungus Identification – “Fungus Identification is an experimental group which seeks to explore the possibility of managing the identifications of all fungi, including those which do not produce fruitbodies, and thus evade the loose confines of the term “Mushroom”, with some new approaches.”
- Mushroom Identification– “A forum for mushroom ID.”
- Mushroom Identification Page– “PLEASE READ THIS.” [rules follow]
- The Mushroom Identification Group – “This group is for the identification of mushrooms. We post pictures, help one another learn mushroom ID, and hopefully we can identify most of the mushrooms that are posted.”
- Mushroom Identification & Mycology Myths – “This is a group where we dispel any common myths about mushrooms and mycology, Knowledge is power!”
- The Mushroom Discussion Group – NOT an Identification Group – “This group is for discussion of mushrooms.”
- Mushroom CSI – “A group dedicated to identifying mushrooms/fungi from extremely bad photos, and/or in very poor condition.”
- Medicinal Mushrooms – “This is a group for discussing all types of medicinal mushrooms.”
- Mushroom Photography – “This is a place to display your *best* photography with fungi as the subject… any fungi will suffice.”
- Wild Mushroom Recipes – “Sharing, asking questions about, and commenting on *recipes* for *wild* mushrooms.”
- Advanced Mushroom Identification & Discussion – “More advanced Identification than the novice. Amateur and Professional mycologists welcome, with greater than beginner, to mid-level to advanced expert level of wild identifiers welcome. Feel free to join as a beginner/ novice but please, sit back and watch.”
Poisons Help; Emergency Identification For Mushrooms & Plants – “This group is for EMERGENCY HELP only. It is for situations where someone has consumed an unknown fungi, or touched or consumed an unknown plant.”
And a few more specialist groups for those interested…
- The Shroomery – “We are here to help with any information regarding mycology, cultivation and identification.”
- Amanita Mushroom Truths, Science, Allies & Experience
- Universal Magic (Liberty Caps UK)
- Psilocybin Mushrooms Education & Discussion