**UPDATE: This post has been updated to reflect the true cost of the Beginner Mushroom ID class $40 (that's a steal). Also, the next beginner series will be held September 2011.**
The teacher then knocked on wood.
|Example of a wood substrate.|
There are many parts of a mushroom, each species having its own set of parts, and each part having a name or multiple names. For example, the ring is also called the annulus or belt. The stem is also known as the stipe. Learning this new vocabulary is essential to becoming proficient in mushroom identification.
Most simply put: the mushroom that you pick is the fruiting body of the organism. Much like an apple is to an apple tree or a strawberry to a strawberry plant.
For more information on the Kingdom of Fungi refer to Tom Volk’s presentation.
The family of a mushroom is determined by the spore color. Therefore, making a spore print will help in identification purposes. For the crafty at heart spore prints can also become art.
To make a spore print, turn the mushroom onto a glass plate or piece of paper (some people use newsprint) the side of the mushroom that goes down is the side that contains the spores. You remove the stipe (or stem) to do this. If the mushroom is large then you cut a portion of it. Then, place a cup over the specimen.
- Try to keep the specimen intact!
- Bring an older specimen and a younger one if you can. This will show the identifier different parts of the lifecycle.
- In advance of the clinic store your specimen in a paper bag in the refrigerator this way it won’t mold.
- Only eat fresh specimens (this does not mean raw; refer to rule #4). If it feels squishy it's squishy. If it smells rotten it's rotten.
- Always cook wild mushrooms.
- Only eat a judicious amount the first time.