A variety of mushrooms can be seen in landscape mulch, in lawns, on forest floors, and in open meadows after autumn rains. For many, there may be a temptation to gather and eat these wild mushrooms or toadstools. Unfortunately, there is a dark side to mushroom foraging: poisoning. Each year, wild mushrooms lead to numerous illnesses and even a few deaths. While the threat of mushroom poisoning is real, most mushroom-caused illnesses can be prevented if collectors are well-informed and cautious. This fact sheet provides introductory information regarding mushroom safety.
Don’t Eat Those Wild Mushrooms…is a joint effort of the UK Departments of Plant Pathology and Forestry, and as such, has publication numbers from each department. This publication is online at PPFS-GEN-14/FORFS-16-01
For additional publications on plant diseases and related topics, visit the UK Plant Pathology Extension Publications webpage.
By Cheryl Kaiser, Plant Pathology Extension Support and Nicole Gauthier, Plant Pathology Extension Specialist