Poisonous mushrooms can be hard to identify, which is why it’s best to avoid consuming any mushrooms you find in your yard.
Enlisting the help of a professional or growing your own mushrooms can make it safer for you to consume.
It’s important to note that not all mushrooms are edible, so you should be aware of the difference.
Mushrooms in your yard are a sign that your lawn is healthy, in fact, the more mushrooms, the healthier.
Mushrooms can also be a sign that a tree is decaying, if you want to get rid of the mushrooms, you’ll have to get rid of the tree as well.
Edible mushrooms include maitake mushrooms, usually found at the base of a tree and grey-brown in color.
The mushrooms are usually large and weigh around 3-15 lbs but can get as heavy as 50lbs.
Oyster mushrooms are edible and tend to look like oysters.
They tend to grow on decaying or dead trees.
Sulfur shelf mushrooms, also known as chicken mushrooms, are yellow or bright orange and tend to grow on hardwood trees.
Non-edible mushrooms are essentially poisonous, which is why they’re inedible.
Being able to identify these types is important especially if you have mushrooms growing in your yard.
Deadly galerina mushrooms, have small caps and brown and tend to usually grow on rotting wood.
Death angel mushrooms are white in color, and when consumed can be fatal.
Death cap mushrooms are found globally and are responsible for a majority of mushroom-related deaths every year.
How do I know if the mushrooms in my yard are poisonous?
You should avoid mushrooms that have red on the stem or cap, a volva, white gills, or have a ring around the stem.
Not all of these mushrooms will be poisonous but these are some of the most defending characteristics of poisonous mushrooms.
The most accurate way to identify poisonous mushrooms is by learning about the different mushroom families.
You can’t identify if a mushroom is poisonous or not with complete accuracy if you haven’t yet identified the type.
You should avoid mushrooms that have white gills, a skirt, or ring on the stem.
You should also avoid mushrooms that have red on the stem or cap.
Typically, mushrooms that have some red on the stem or cap are poisonous or hallucinogenic.
Even if you don’t mind ending up with some magic mushrooms, it’s best to avoid picking them yourself as they could be poisonous.
Mushrooms that have a volva should be avoided, the volva tends to be underground so it’s best to dig around to figure out if the mushroom has it.
Following these guidelines doesn’t mean that you can consume any mushrooms that fall outside of this, it just means you can avoid some of the nastier varieties.
A helpful way to learn to identify mushrooms is by figuring out which family it belongs to, this can help you narrow down whether it’s safe or not.
Learning about the different types and their edible and non-edible mushrooms will help ensure that you don’t pick or consume poisonous mushrooms.
Picking the wrong mushroom can have dire consequences so it’s good to ask important questions before you even handle it.
Check to see where the mushroom is growing, if it’s under a tree, what kind of tree?
If it’s growing on wood, what kind of wood is it?
Chicks mushrooms tend to be safe but they can cause bad side effects if they grow on cedar trees, for example.
Note if the mushroom is growing by itself or in a cluster, and the time of year as well as whether it’s growing in the sun or shade.
If you want to examine the mushroom closer, it’s best to use gloves, this way you can see the gills, check the stem for rings and find out if the mushroom has a volva.
If you press on the cap or make a small cut in the cap and notice an unpleasant smell, the mushroom is probably poisonous.
What happens if I eat a mushroom from my yard?
Eating poisonous mushrooms can cause hallucinations, gastrointestinal issues, liver failure and even death.
Death cap mushrooms are responsible for most mushroom-related deaths so you should be aware of this mushroom type and how to identify it.
If the mushroom is not poisonous, nothing would happen, and you would be fine.
If the mushroom is poisonous however you may experience a variety of side effects.
Some mushrooms contain toxins that lead to hallucinations.
These tend to be commonly known as ‘magic mushrooms’ and are taken purposely to induce a hallucinogenic state.
Other side effects you can experience from hallucinogenic mushrooms include muscle weakness, agitation, confusion, headache, and a rapid heart rate.
You can also experience gastrointestinal distress from poisonous mushrooms and suffer side effects like vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps.
The worst side effects you can suffer are liver failure and death, most mushroom-related deaths are linked to the death cap mushroom.
Death cap mushrooms usually have white gills that don’t become brown, a volva, a green-yellow camp, a big skirt, and a white spore print.
With death cap mushrooms, symptoms start 6-24 hours after ingesting, if the toxin has fatally harmed the liver, death can happen within 48 hours.
Other mushroom types that cause a similar effect include some galerine, conocybe and lepiota mushrooms.
My child ate a mushroom from the yard
If your child eats a mushroom from the yard, you should seek medical attention as quickly as possible.
Common symptoms include vomiting, nausea, and stomach pain but even if your child is not exhibiting any symptoms of mushroom poisoning you should still seek medical attention.
Try and get a small sample of the mushroom or take a picture to show the doctors.
If you have mushrooms growing in your yard, it’s best to teach your kids to avoid them or even get rid of them altogether.
If it so happens that your child eats a mushroom from your yard, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Some of the most common symptoms your child might experience include vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain.
Side effects can vary depending on the type of mushroom consumed, so there may be other side effects that they experience.
If you realize your child has consumed a mushroom from the yard but is not yet displaying any symptoms, you should seek medical attention.
Symptoms can take some time to kick in and the longer it’s left untreated, the more severe the consequences may be.
Of course, the mushroom might not have been poisonous but it’s best to be cautious.
Death cap mushrooms are the cause of most mushroom-related deaths, and symptoms from these mushrooms begin around 6-24 hours after ingestion.
This is why it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
If you are able to collect a sample of the mushroom, do this, so you can show the doctors as this can help them treat your child.
If you can’t get a sample, try and snap a picture so you can show this instead, the more information the doctors know, the more they’ll be able to help.
I’m Chris Watson & the Founder of EatForLonger.com. I’m a food and wellbeing enthusiast researching and sharing foodstuffs and simple food-based concepts, such as fasting and clean eating.
I hope it inspires you to make tiny changes to what you eat and when you eat while optimizing your healthspan and all-around well-being.
Read more About Me here.