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The beginner's guide:

Identification.

Identification is the most important part of mushrooming.

Rule one if in doubt leave well alone!!!!!

The following are all good pointers as to which species it is

Fungi are microbial or saprophytic and therefore parasitic they fall into either of the following coprophilous, humicolous, hypogeous, ligincolous, saprophyte or xylophilous.

The Shape!

The pileus shape of the fungi can be any one or combination of the following: acute, appressed, conic, convex, ellipsoid, decurved, fusiod, inrolled, marginate, obtuse, ovoid, striated, umbilicated, umbo, undulating or xiphoid.

The colour!

The colour reaction amyloid when touched or cut.

The colour of any species of fungi can vary enormously but is still a good indicator. Remember just because it looks the same as the picture in your mushroom refrence book does not mean it is the same species!

Habitat!

Habitat is very important when trying to identify fungi most mushrooms have symbionic/mycorrhizal relationship with plants and deciduous/coniferous trees, only growing in acid or chalky soil.

The time of year is another indicator.

Best and most reliable is the spore print:

To make a spore print take a mature fruit body cut off the stem flush with the cap, place gill side downward in the middle of a piece of half white/ half black paper, leave for two to three days, to give the mushroom time to cast its spore.

The reason you should use a half white half black piece of paper is because the spore print can be dark as well as a light coloured print.

Taking all these facts into consideration you should not go far wrong.

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produced and published by

DENNIS IVAN GOODCHILD

e-mail denkestrel1@hotmail.com