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Poisonous Mushrooms

Here is a list of poisonous mushrooms, of which the lethally poisonous mushrooms are listed first. Anyone gathering mushrooms to cook and eat needs to be able to identify at least the deadly poisonous mushrooms. Do not under any circumstances taste or eat of any of these mushrooms.

Click on the pictures to enlarge them.

Leucoagaricus leucothites   (White Dapperling)
Family
Agaricaceae
Location
North America and Europe
Dimensions
Cap 3-9 cm diameter, stem 6-8 cm tall * 0.8-1.8 cm diameter
Edibility
Poisonous

Description
Leucoagaricus leucothites, also known as the White Dapperling, is a medium-sized fleshy, white agaric that grows solitary or scattered mostly in grassy areas, gardens, and other human-influenced habitats, but also occasionally in forests. The mushroom fruits in spring and summer.

Cap white, initially convex, expanding to become almost flat. Often smooth and silky but occasionally with tiny flakes or scales. Gills white, tinged pallid buff with age, free from the stem and crowded. Stem White, smooth above ring, longitudinally fibrillose below. Cylindrical with a bulbous base. The white ring sometimes becomes moveable.

Similar species the mushroom is most commonly confused with the deadly poisonous mushrooms Amanita virosa and Amanita bisporigera, which also has white gills. Similar species in the Agaricus genus does not have white gills.

Note The mushroom is considered edible in some older field guides but according to more recent information Leucoagaricus leucothites is poisonous. There is also a great risk of confusion with the deadly Amanita species like Deathcap and Destroying Angel. A general guideline is to shun all mushrooms with white gills.

Leucoagaricus leucothites on the www.first-nature.com web site.
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Leucocoprinus birnbaumii   (Flowerpot parasol)
Family
Agaricaceae
Location
Europe, North America and Australia
Dimensions
Cap 2–6 cm diameter, stem 4-12 cm tall * 0.3-0.6 cm diameter
Edibility
Poisonous

Description
Leucocoprinus birnbaumii, also know as Flowerpot parasol is a bright yellow agaric that frequently occurs in greenhouses and flowerpots, especially with woody plants.

Cap long and bell-shaped, expanding to convex or humped, with a smooth disc and easily detached powdery to fibrillose-granular scales that often becomes greyish brown. The surface under or between the scales is white to pale yellow. Gills light yellow to white, thin, free from the stem, crowded and covered by a partial veil when young. Stem narrowly bulbous or swollen at base, tapering to a very narrow apex, hollow. The surface is white and smooth. The ring is well developed but thin and easily detached.

Similar species include Leucocoprinus straminellus which is slightly paler (sometimes entirely whitish), Leucocoprinus flavescens which also is small-spored and has a yellowish cap with a brownish centre and Leucocoprinus sulphurellus which occurs in the Caribbean area, but has gills that bruise bright blue-green.

Leucocoprinus birnbaumii on the First Nature Web site.
Leucocoprinus birnbaumii on the MushroomExpert.Com Web site.

The third photo is by Ryan Van Gelder and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.
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Mycena pura   (Poison Radish Ground Mycena)
Family
Tricholomataceae
Location
North America, Europe
Dimensions
Cap 2-6 cm diameter, stem 3-9 cm tall * 0.3-1 cm thick
Edibility
Poisonous

Description
Mycena pura, also know as the Poison Radish Ground Mycena, is a small or medium, variable agaric that comes in many different colours, usually with purple tints. Some are considered separate species or varieties; all smell of radishes. It grows typically in wooded and open habitats on humus-rich soil.

Cap convex or bell-shaped, becoming flattened; the margin lined; bald; moist or dry; typically lilac to purple when young, but often fading or developing other shades. Gills adnexed to adnate, may be sinuate and notched; whitish or sometimes slightly pinkish to purplish; developing cross-veins with maturity. Spores the spore print is white. Stem equal; hollow; smooth or with tiny hairs; usually similar coloured as the cap or paler. The mushroom has no ring.

Mycena pura on the First Nature Web site.
Mycena pura on the MushroomExpert.Com Web site.
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Omphalotus illudens   (Eastern jack-o'lantern)
Family
Marasmiaceae
Location
North America and Europe
Dimensions
Cap 8-12 cm diameter, stem 4-14 cm tall * 1-2.5 cm thick
Edibility
Poisonous

Description
Omphalotus illudens, commonly known as the eastern jack-o'lantern mushroom, is a large, orange mushroom, with strongly decurrent gills, that is often found in clumps on decaying stumps, buried roots or at the base of hardwood trees.

Cap convex to flat, often with a low, central, pointed knob and an incurved margin which is soon becoming depressed on disc centre and inner limb. The surface is smooth to fibrillose and bright orange to orange-yellow. The flesh is firm, thin and yellow. Gills strongly decurrent, narrow to moderately broad, close and orange-yellow. Stem cylindric or tapered to base. The surface is dry, smooth to minutely downy or somewhat scaly in age. The mushroom has no ring.

Similar species Omphalotus olearius which has a less brighter orange cap.

Omphalotus illudens on the First Nature Web site.
Omphalotus illudens on Wikipedia.
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Omphalotus olearius   (Jack o'Lantern)
Family
Marasmiaceae
Location
North America and Europe
Dimensions
Cap 8-12 cm diameter, stem up to 14 cm tall * 1-2 cm thick
Edibility
Poisonous

Description
Omphalotus olearius, also know as Jack o'Lantern is an orange mushroom that usually grows in dense tufts from the decaying underground roots of olive trees.

Cap initially convex with an inrolled margin, flattening and eventually developing an upturned wavy margin. The colour is bright orange to yellowish-orange. Gills deeper orange, recurrent narrow and forked. Stem orange, smooth, tapering and darkening towards the base.

Similar species Omphalotus illudens which has a more brighter orange cap.

Omphalotus olearius on the First Nature Web site.
Omphalotus olearius on Wikipedia.
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Paxillus involutus   (Poison Pax)
Family
Paxillaceae
Location
North America, Europe
Dimensions
Cap 5-12 cm diameter, stem 3-7 cm tall * 0.8-1.2 cm diameter
Edibility
Poisonous

Description
Paxillus involutus, also know as Poison Pax, is a medium to large agaric with a strongly inrolled, yellow- to red-brown cap and crowded, decurrent gills extended down on the firm stem. The mushroom grows solitary or in trooping groups on soil in leaf woods and is moderately poisonous.

Cap initially convex then more funnel-shaped with a depressed centre and rolled rim, may be reddish-, yellowish- or olive-brown in colour. The surface is initially downy and later smooth, becoming sticky when wet. Gills brownish yellow, narrow, decurrent and forked, and can be peeled easily from the flesh. They further down toward the stem become more irregular and anastomose. Stem is similarly coloured as the cap, however bruising darker brown. It is smooth, equal or tapering downwards. The mushroom has no ring.

Similar species Paxillus filamentous has a less incurved margin, yellow flesh, and occurs under alder.

Paxillus involutus on the First Nature Web site.
Paxillus involutus on the MushroomExpert.Com Web site.
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Russula emetica   (The Sickener)
Family
Russulaceae
Location
North America, Europe
Dimensions
Cap 3-10 cm diameter, stem 4-9 cm tall * 0.7-2 cm thick
Edibility
Poisonous

Description
Russula emetica, also know as The Sickener, is a medium-sized agaric that has a convex to slightly depressed, scarlet-red cap. It grows mainly with coniferous trees in boggy areas. The mushroom is moderately poisonous and has a very hot taste.

Cap convex to slightly depressed, and often shiny scarlet or cherry red, becoming sticky at wet. Gills are whitish, becoming pallid straw, more or less free, brittle, and narrow. Spores are white. Stem white, club shaped with a scurfy skin.

Similar species include Russula silvicola which is the common dry woodland species across North America and Russula fageticola which usually grows under beech trees, and it also tastes hot. Russula emetica can also be confused with Amanita muscaria but can be distinguished by having veil patches on the cap, a stem ring, and a bulb.

Russula emetica on the www.first-nature.com web site.
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Stropharia hornemannii   (Conifer Roundhead)
Family
Strophariaceae
Location
North America, Europe
Dimensions
Cap 6-15 cm diameter, stem 6-12 cm tall * 1-2 cm thick
Edibility
Poisonous

Description
Stropharia hornemannii, also known as Conifer Roundhead, is a medium-sized to large agaric with a large slimy purple or olive cap whose gills become purple with age. The stalk is long and richly decorated with pieces of the white sheath that extends up to a prominent ring.

Cap domed with an inrolled margin, becoming broadly umbonate; usually violet brown, sometimes with yellow tints, but occasional specimens are creamy white; surface sticky when wet, drying silky smooth. Stem smooth and white above ring zone; below ring covered in small white scales that become larger and more pronounced with age.

Stropharia hornemannii on the first-nature.com Web site.
Stropharia hornemannii on the MushroomExpert.Com Web site.
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WARNING

If you plan to collect fungi to be eaten, misidentified mushrooms can make you sick or kill you. Never eat a mushroom that you are not 100% sure is edible. Use many resources, and be skeptical of your own conclusions. Please consider that many mushrooms take years of experience to identify reliably.

The site takes no responsibility for damage caused by ingesting poisonous mushrooms. If you continue, you agree to view this website under these terms.