As it is peak mushroom season we are busy trying to identify all of those awkward mushrooms that have dangerous look-a-like cousins. For example the common Parasol mushroom seems to be popping up in fields around us but did you know it has a wicked cousin called the green spored lepiota? Spore prints are a fun and easy way to get to know a mushroom. Spore prints are mostly used for mushroom identification and cultivation.
With gilled mushroom the print process is easy so here is how you conduct a basic spore print for a gilled mushroom:
- Cut off the stem of a fresh mushroom
- Lay it down on a piece of paper (white paper for dark gills/black for light gills)
- Cover the mushroom with a glass to trap the air
- Leave it for a few hours and when you come back you will have your very own spore print (many look like pieces of art).
Why do you want to do spore prints?
Spore prints are often the easiest way to see the exact pattern of the gills in a mushroom. Also, the colour of the spore can indicate the edibility of a mushroom type.
More Mushroom Resources
Now that you know how to do a spore print all you need to do if find some shrooms and give it a try. If you would like to learn more join us for a foraging workshop where we go out to see the mushrooms in their natural habitats.
- Fungi Cultivators – Fungi Ally
- Foraging and Wild Food Lovers in the UK Wild Food UK
- Mushroom Lovers in Canada
- Paul Stamets Ted Talk – 6 Ways Mushrooms Can Save the World