Boletus mushroom

   Sticky top and

spongy gills called pores or tubes




Look out for Oyster mushrooms and Shiitake mushrooms bursting through the bark in late spring and early summer. It is also possible to find a few Boletus, Shaggy Inkcaps and St Georges mushroom.

WARNING- Our fungal invaders are safely looked at and photographed. Wash your hands after touching fungi. Lots of fungi are poisonous. Never eat food until you have washed your hands.

Fungi like soggy things, like wet walls, wet floors, wet forests and wet toes!!


Look for Boletus under pine trees. They are light brown and slimy on top. They have light yellow spongy pores underneath instead of gills.

Wood Ear mushrooms can often be found on dying willows, poplar, tobacco weed, lemonwood and flame trees. Their floppy brown jelly-like flesh becomes hard and brittle when dry weather arrives. Unlike many fungi they can continue growing when wet conditions return.

Shaggy Parasol mushrooms often grow under totara trees. Parasol mushrooms grow in grassy areas and are more delicate. They both have white gills, white spores and a white cap with shaggy brown/tan scales. If your mushrooms have greenish spores they are poisonous.

The Shaggy Inkcap is a candle-shaped fungus that often grows at the side of roads and paths. It has a white stem, about 1cm thick and up to 10cm long. The long white cap goes black at the bottom and the whole cap rapidly turns into an inky liquid that you can write with.

Look out for Giant Puffballs. If they are fresh they will look like a huge marshmallow, if they are old they will be a cocoa-brown bag of spores.

Many poisonous mushrooms live under trees. Enjoy looking at fungi and leave them to their job of making food for trees and other plants.

If you find any of these fungi, email a picture and details about where you found it and we will put it on the web site.



What's the difference between

'mushroom spawn'   and     'mushroom spores'?





Shop or field mushrooms are growing in gardens, fields and from compost.

Shiitake are growing on logs and sawdust.

Oyster mushrooms are growing on straw, logs and lots of other things too!

Burgundy mushrooms grow in damp sticks and leaves called mulch.



Have you heard of 'leaky buildings'? Fungi can grow around your home- if it is damp or has water leaks.  Click on the pictures below to see what can happen when bits of your house get soggy enough for fungi to eat them.


Leaky buildings and water damage costs a lot of money to repair. If the damage is not removed and replaced, spores that grow from the fungi can cause breathing problems. Sometimes fungi fruit in bathrooms.

 Send your pictures to


Some more identification pictures can be found at the two sites below.





Basket fungi
Click to see me grow!

  Wood Ear

Soft and jelly-like when moist, and crisp when dry. They can carry on growing when it rains- most unusual for a mushroom.

Parasol mushrooms

Ever checked undera parasol?

Poplar mushrooms

Look for these in autumn- they have a big veil under the gills that becomes a skirt!



Shop/Field Mushrooms

These are between pinhead and button stage.


Burgundy mushrooms




Morel mushrooms
Let me know if you find one of these- we'll pay you

Marsh mallow interior, great fun to kick around when they're old, but don't breathe the spores.

Inkcap mushrooms

   Also called Lawyers Wig

Shiitake mushrooms

Oyster mushrooms

Don't burn all the fire could eat it instead.

Cool way to recycle a phone book. Order a kit today!

Newspaper, magazines and cardboard are soaked then packed into bags with the mushroom spawn.

You can measure how much they grow between  9.00 and 2.00

  All contents copyright Mushroom Gourmet 2005  - Pictures on this page may be used for non-profit use by students for educational purposes. Please acknowledge this web site as the source. All other uses  email first.    


Site opened August 1999 

Last updated 12 02 2009