Originally Posted by Roll_Bones
Chief. How does one know the safe mushrooms from the ones that will kill you?
I run across shrooms many times in the woods, but for fear they might be poisonous, I leave them alone.
Experience? Or do you carry a mushroom hand book along in your pocket protector? LOL kidding about the pocket protector.
There is a bunch of information about safe and poisonous mushrooms both on line, and at your local library. I only am familiar with 6 varieties that have no poisonous look alikes. These are inky caps (shaggy mains), pink gilled field mushrooms, puff balls, white, and black morrels (and the poisonous false morrels), and yellow sulpher mushrooms (Chicken of the Woods).
You need to put in the time to study, and learn about mushroom safety, how to take a spore print, and the mushrooms that are the safest to pick. Get a field guide from the library, or purchase one. There are usually mushroom hunting groups with expert mycologists in most areas. Find one, and go mushroom hunting with experienced mushroom hunters. And remember this saying; "There are educated mushroom hunters, and there are adventurous mushroom hunters. But there are no long lived adventurous mushroom hunters."
There are so many delicious edible mushrooms out there. But you need to know what is safe in the area in which you live. As I said, the pink gilled mushrooms that I pick, and that are found in North America, have no poisonous look alikes, at least none with pink gills. But if you were in Australia, there is a pink gilled mushroom, that when pinched, develops a blue bruise. It is deadly. Asian Imigrants, especially Chinese immigrants, suffered mushroom poisoning by picking LBM's in America (little brown mushrooms). They look like the edible straw mushrooms that the immigrants had picked in their home land, but here, are very poisonous. No picking LBM's.
Also, though all puffballs are edible, the Death Cap, and the angel of death (both members of the amanita family) when just popping out of the ground, look very similar. It is important to get the whole fruiting body. The amanita will have an underground stem, and a cap that has not yet turned into the familiar parasol shape. As it grows, it will develop a skirt on the stem, but otherwise look like button mushrooms you purchase in the store. Also, the amanitas have white gills.
Do the research, and go with experienced mycologists, and use a field guide.
That's how you know how to be safe.
Oh, another mushroom family that's worth studying, as the mushrooms are choice, is the bolete family, another easily identified mushroom. King Boletes are a real prize.
Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North