“here is no fool-proof test that can be used for all mushrooms. Those species of mushrooms that are edible are known to be edible because someone at one time had tried it and discovered it to be safe to eat.” —University of Hawaii

Contents

In A Nutshell

The terms “mushroom” and “toadstool” are purely unscientific labels applied to different varieties of fungus. While there’s no real scientific difference or definition, the two terms have come to mean different things in the common parlance. The name “toadstool” is often given to those fungi that are inedible or poisonous, while “mushroom” is generally reserved for those that are safe to eat.

The Whole Bushel

There’s no real, scientifically accepted difference between a mushroom and a toadstool, and the terms can sometimes be used interchangeably to refer to the same types of fungus. However, in common, non-scientific usage, the term “toadstool” is more often given to those fungi that are poisonous or otherwise inedible.

This is by no means a worldwide, written-in-stone distinction, however, and shouldn’t be used to judge whether or not a mushroom is acceptable to eat. One of the most deadly members of the fungus family, the death cap, isn’t referred to as a toadstool, but a mushroom. There are an amazing amount of different varieties of mushrooms and toadstools, but one thing you should not do is use wives’ tales (e.g., “if you can peel it, it’s safe”) as a guide to what’s harmful and what’s not.

Both toadstools and mushrooms can be defined as the fruiting bodies of a fungus—that is, these are the part of the fungi that produce spores. Most of the fungus itself is underground, and the cap appears in the autumn months for most types. The only purpose of the cap is to release the fungi’s spores; the other parts of the fungi, including those that process and draw nutrients from dead and decaying matter, are underground, and we just never see them.

When most people envision a toadstool or a mushroom, they tend to think of a fungi that has a defined stalk and a cap. There are other types of fungi with less traditional forms, such as the puffball, an aptly-named round, white ball fungi with no apparent stalk. These types of rather non-traditionally formed fungi are typically referred to as mushrooms.

So why have toadstools become associated with the less desirable, more deadly type of fungus?

The answer is in the word itself. Toadstools were once believed to be exactly that—places that toads liked to sit. And since toads were also thought to be poisonous or carriers of disease, that quality transferred to the fungi they were said to favor. The term “toadstool” dates back to the 14th century and has also been recorded as “tadstoles.” Toadstools were also rumored to be a food source for the less-than-savory animals, sometimes called “toad’s meat,” “toad’s cap,” or “toad’s cheese.”

The poisonous variety of fungi have had a variety of names over the centuries, including “wart caps” and “Devil’s droppings.” Toads were also closely associated with the Christian devil, who took the form or attributes of a toad in many old European stories from Milton’s Paradise Lost to medieval folk tales, fairy stories, and wives’ tales.

It’s important to note that names like “Devil’s droppings” are completely warranted for some of the nastier types of poisonous fungi. Many cause mild to moderate gastrointestinal distress, but some types of mushrooms can cause internal hemorrhage, kidney or liver failure, and even psychosomatic symptoms like confusion and anxiety after eating. In some cases, symptoms might not set in for hours or even a few days after ingesting the poisonous toadstool—or mushroom—and in some cases a complete recovery may seem inevitable before organ failure or ruptures.

Show Me The Proof

Mushroom and Toadstool Toxicology
Royal Horticultural Society: Toadstools
Death cap: Amanita phalloides
The Word ‘Toadstool’ In Britain

Mushroom Identification – What Are Fairy Rings, Toadstools And Mushrooms?

Mushrooms are sometimes an annoyance to homeowners who do not welcome them in their gardens or lawns and often wish to get rid of them. However, mushrooms are considered decay fungi and make quick work of organic matter, such as thatch in lawns or compost materials. Their presence in the lawn and garden greatly improve the quality of soil. But how does one distinguish between various types of mushrooms? Continue reading to learn more about mushroom identification.

Mushroom Identification

A real mushroom is in the shape of an umbrella with a cup-shaped or flat cap on top of a stalk. Spores are produced by a group of cells, called basidia, found on the underside of the mushroom cap. While mushrooms come in all shapes, sizes and

colors, the general structure remains the same.

These funny looking structures are actually fruiting bodies, or flowers that are produced by fungi. The body of the fungus is actually underground. There are many kinds of fruit bodies that are not true mushrooms, including puffballs and morels. There are over 8,000 types of mushrooms found throughout the world. These include toadstools and fairy ring mushrooms.

Toadstool Info

Learning about mushrooms includes toadstool info. Many people are curious about the difference between a mushroom and a toadstool. In fact, the word is often used interchangeably. However, toadstools are actually considered poisonous mushrooms.

To be on the safe side, it is always best to consider all mushrooms as poisonous unless you are an expert at mushroom identification. Poisonous mushrooms, when eaten, can cause serious illness and, in some cases, even death.

What are Fairy Rings?

You’ve probably heard mention of fairy rings at some point or other. So what are fairy rings? Lawn mushrooms that form a distinctive arc or circle, especially in the lawn, are known as “fairy rings.” They are the result of a special fungus called fairy ring, and there are between 30 and 60 different types of fairy ring fungi.

Fairy ring fungi feed on decaying matter in the lawn and tend to be worse in poor or sandy soil. Fairy rings can become very dense and kill grass. Good lawn aeration generally helps improve the quality of soil and reduce the presence of fairy rings.

The main difference between mushrooms and toadstools is that the mushrooms mainly refer to the edible fungi, whereas the toadstools mainly refer to the inedible fungi. Furthermore, mushrooms are nonpoisonous, while toadstools are poisonous.

In brief, mushrooms and toadstools are fruiting bodies that produce spores of the fungi. Generally, many fungi grow underground, and mainly in the autumn months, cup-like structures appear on the ground.

Key Areas Covered

1. What are Mushrooms
– Definition, Features, Importance
2. What are Toadstools
– Definition, Features, Importance
3. What are the Similarities Between Mushrooms and Toadstools
– Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Mushrooms and Toadstools
– Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

Edible, Fungi, Inedible, Mushrooms, Toadstools

What are Mushrooms

Mushrooms are fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting bodies of a fungus. Generally, they occur on the ground. The two fungi divisions Basidiomycota and Agaricomycetes produce mushrooms with a stem and a cup. The cup contains gills in its underside. Furthermore, mushrooms also refer to the number of gilled fungi without a stem. The second type of mushrooms occurs in the division Ascomycota. Moreover, the gills of mushrooms produce spores, which are microscopic. Spores are reproductive structures capable of spreading the fungus around the ground.

Figure 1: Mushroom Morphology

Moreover, different morphologies of mushrooms include “bolete“, “puffball“, “stinkhorn“, and “morel“, and “agarics“. The standard term ‘mushrooms’ refers to the cultivated white button mushroom, Agaricus bisporus. Thus, typical mushrooms belong to the order Agaricales. Other groups of fungi that produce edible mushrooms are boletes, milk caps, and russulas. In addition to these, some examples of edible mushrooms include the Giant Puffball, Beefsteak Fungus, Porcelain Fungus, Cauliflower Fungus, Dryads Saddle, the Hedgehog Fungus, etc.

What are Toadstools

Toadstools are a type of mushroom-like fruiting bodies of fungi, producing poisons. Therefore, they are inedible. Generally, these poisons are secondary metabolites that are capable of being toxic, antibiotic, antiviral, mind-altering, or bioluminescent. Although only fewer species are deadly, most poisonous mushrooms can produce severe and unpleasant symptoms. However, toxicity plays a key role in the protection of the fruiting bodies, defending against consumption and premature destruction by animals. Some mushrooms can be poisonous due to their propensity to absorb heavy metals.

Figure 2: Amanita muscaria

Furthermore, the main poisonous mushrooms are in the Amanita family. All of them contain white gills and spores, growing on the underside of the sack-like or bulbous structures called sups or volva. Some examples of deadly mushrooms include destroying angel and death cap.

Similarities Between Mushrooms and Toadstools

  • Mushrooms and toadstools are two types of fruiting bodies of fungi.
  • They are fleshy structures that occur above the ground or on their food source.
  • Typically, a mushroom develops from a pinhead or nodule called primordium, which is around 2 mm in diameter. Primordium is a mass of threadlike hyphae, formed within the mycelium.
  • Then, the primordium enlarges into a roundish structure called the ‘button’.
  • In addition to these, the button has a cottony roll called the ‘universal veil’, surrounding the fruit body.
  • As the button expands, the universal veil ruptures, remaining as a cup at the base of the stalk.
  • Often, the second layer of tissue called the partial veil covers blade-like gills, which bear spores.
  • The remnants of the partial veil that result from the cap expansion remain as a ring called annulus.
  • The stalk is the middle support of the cap.

Difference Between Mushrooms and Toadstools

Definition

Mushrooms refer to a fungal growth which takes the form of a domed cap on a stalk with gills on the underside of the cap, while toadstools refer to the spore-bearing fruiting bodies of fungi in the form of a rounded cap on a stalk, especially believed to be inedible or poisonous.

Features

The cap of a mushroom can be peeled and normally, and they grow on wood, while toadstools usually have white gills, a skirt or ring on the stem and a bulbous or sack-like base and their cap or stem can be red in color.

Edibility

Mushrooms are mainly edible and are not poisonous, while toadstools are inedible or poisonous.

Examples

Moreover, mushrooms mainly refer to the cultivated white button mushrooms, while one main example of toadstools includes Amanita muscaria.

Conclusion

Mushrooms are a type of fungal growth with a form of a domed cap on a stalk. They also contain gills on the underside of the cup, producing spores. Generally, mushrooms are not poisonous. Therefore, they are edible. In comparison, toadstools are a type of mushroom-like growth, which contains poisons. Hence, they are not edible. Thus, the main difference between mushrooms and toadstools is the containment of poisons.

1. Biggane, Eric. “How to Tell the Difference Between Poisonous and Edible Mushrooms.” Wild Food UK, 5 Oct. 2018, Available Here.

Image Courtesy:

1. “Mushroom cap morphology2” By debivort (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Amanita muscaria (fly agaric)” By MichaelMaggs – Own work (CC BY-SA 2.5) via Commons Wikimedia

Fungi – the most Colourful, Curious Kingdom of Life on Earth

Microscopic examination and/or chemical tests are necessary to identify some of the more difficult type of fungi. See our introductory guide to microscopy and the use of chemical reagents and stains…

The roles and importance of fungi

Everywhere there is water there are also fungi. Most fungi live on land, but a few live permanently in water. In grassland and woodland habitats fungi play key roles – without them most plants could not grow vigorously – indeed orchid seeds can germinate only when ‘infected’ by particular types of fungi.

Not all fungus-plant interactions are mutually beneficial. Some fungi are parasites, feeding on, and in some instances killing their hosts. Foresters fear infection of their plantations by certain virulently parasitic fungi, such as Honey Fungus Armillaria mellea (above).

Many more species act as waste recyclers, breaking down dead wood and leaves into simpler compounds that living plants can use as food.

Some of the many other Uses and Benefits of Fungi

We now know that over 95% of plants live in symbiosis with fungi, via what are called mycorrhizal interactions. (The fungi link to and act as extensions of – in some instances actually invading the cells of – the fine rootlets of trees, orchids and most other plants.) The role of fungi as natural recyclers of dead plant and animal material is crucial to the survival of all other forms of life on Planet Earth. Apart from a few bacteria, fungi are the only thing that consumes the tough lignin material contained in dead wood.

We derive many other benefits from fungi. Since the discovery of Penicillin (which was developed from a Penicillium fungus species) most other antibiotics come from fungi, at least originally. Now that superbugs such as MRSA (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus) are becoming immune to our current range of antibiotics new medicines are required, and almost certainly they too will be derived from fungi.

While some fungi cause crop diseases, others can be used in biological control of far more serious crop pests. Contaminated land is also being brought back into useful production by first introducing soil fungi, which break down toxins into simpler and less harmful chemicals.

Some kinds of polypores have been used in dyeing of fabrics and for drying fishermen’s artificial flies. The list of uses for fungi seems almost endless. Oh yes… and for aesthetic value (beauty) their form and colour diversity certainly rival flowers! The list of benefits we derive from fungi also goes on and on. One thing, however, could not go on without fungi, life on Earth would be impossible not just for us but for most other creatures with the possible exception of bacteria!

Mycology, Fungal Taxonomy and Conservation Legislation

The Science of Fungi

The binomial system devised by Carolus (Carl) Linnaeus, is explained in our section covering the naming conventions and rules. Brief biographies of famous mycologists are a valuable addition, and Red Data List information from many countries as well as the implications of UK and EU legislation – Wildlife and Countryside Act; Countryside and Rights of Way Act (CROW Act); Habitats Directive; and explanations of site designations such as SSSI, Ramsar, SAC and SPA are also included. Our Search facility will take you to the relevant pages.

What else?

We also have pages on how to plan and organise a fungus foray; fungal microscopy, fungus quizzesand more…

More about Fungi on First-Nature.com

Our identification guide has features of mushrooms, toadstools, puffballs, brackets and crust fungi in the – Class Basidiomycota (basidiomycetes) as well as cup and flask fungi from the Ascomycota (ascomycetes). In the gilled mushroom section learn about the Agaricaceae, which includes edible fungi such as Agaricus arvensis, the Horse Mushroom; Agaricus campestris (above), the Field Mushroom, and woodland species such as Agaricus sylvicola, Agaricus sylvaticus, and Agaricus augustus – the Prince. Supermarket mushrooms also belong here, and they include Agaricus bisporus, the well-known button mushroom, as well as Portabello Mushrooms and Chestnut Mushrooms, all variations on the same theme. Lepiota or dapperling mushrooms and Macrolepiota or parasol mushrooms, notably Macrolepiota procera, also belong in the Agaricaceae. Macrolepiota rhacodes is now known as Chlorophyllum rhacodes, having moved genus as also have other members of the same group. Lepiota cristata is an example of a dapperling; it used to be known as the stinking parasol. Various of the puffballs, Lycoperdon perlatum and relatives, including the Giant Puffball Calvatia gigantea, are now considered to be members of the Agaricaceae; they were formerly grouped with earthballs and stinkhorns in a mixed bag known as gasteromycetes or stomach fungi. Coprinus comatus, the Shaggy Inkcap, is now recognised as an Agaricaceae member, so most other inkcaps have been moved to the genera Coprinopsis and Coprinellus. We quote common synonyms.

The Amanita fungi, which we categorise as the family Amanitaceae, are by some authorities included in the family Plutaceae, along with Pluteus and Volvariella species. Amanita caesarea (above) occurs in southern Europe and is a prized edible mushroom. Deadly poisonous amanitas include the Deathcap, Amanita phalloides; and Destroying Angel, Amanita virosa. Most famous is Amanita muscaria, the Fly Agaric – a hallucinogenic mushroom that must therefore be treated as poisonous. On the subject of toxins and hallucinogens, Psilocybe semilaceata, the Magic Mushroom, contains Psilobin and Psilocybin, which are hallucinogenic substances; so do many other gilled fungi. Grisettes are also Amanita species, the most common being Amanita fulva, Amanita crocea and Amanita vaginata. Other mushrooms in the group include False Deathcap, Amanita excelsa (synonym Amanita spissa), and Blusher, Amanita rubescens.

Armillaria gallica (above), the so-called Humongous Fungus (read about it in Fascinated by Fungi, Pat O’Reilly’s new book about fungi) and Armillaria mellea, the Honey Fungus, are just two of a complex of related species that are serious parasites and damage forests. These are members of the Physalacriaceae, but until recently they were included in the Tricholomatacea, a huge family that includes many white-spored fungi of various genera including Tricholoma, Tricholomopsis (the Plums and Custard mushroom is Tricholomopsis rutilans), Deceiver, Laccaria laccata, and Amethyst Deceiver, Laccaria amethystea. All the funnels, such as Clitocybe nebularis, Clitocybe geotropa and Clitocybe gibba belong in the Tricholomatacea, as do Lepista (Blewitts) and Mycena (bellcaps) and Flammulina velutipes or Velvet Shank. Calocybe (St George’s Mushroom is Calocybe gambosa) and species from the genus Lyophyllum now belong to the family Lyophyllaceae, whereas they had been included in the Tricholomataceae for many years.

Astraeus hygrometricus, the Barometer Earthstar is not a close relative of the other Geastrum species earthstars, which are grouped here with Phallus impudicus, Clathrus ruber, Clathrus archeri and other stinkhorns in a gasteromycetes group which has never had any taxonomic justification other than the convenience of grouping ‘stomach fungi’ together. Cyathus striatus and Crucibulum laeve are bird’s-nest fungi in this group. Jelly fungi, another mixed bag within the Basidiomycota, include Auricularia auricula-judae, Jelly Ear Fungus, and Exidia, Calocera, Pseudohydnum and Tremella species.

Boletales are interesting, and many are edible. Boletus edulis (above), known as Cep, Cépe, or Penny Bun Bolete (King Bolete in the USA, and Porcini in Italy) is most highly rated. Other boletes with pores include Suillelus satanas, Boletus badius, Suillus luteus, Suillus bovinus, Leccinum scabrum and Strobilomyces strobilaceus (synonym Strobilomyces floccopus). Some boletoid fungi have gills – Gomphidius roseus, Chroogomphus rutilus and Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca are examples. Paxillus species have recently been split up, too, and DNA sequencing has provided the evidence necessary for recategorisation. Paxillus involutus is the Brown Rollrim, now known to be deadly poisonous.

Back with good edible species, we have Cantharellus cibaria and other Chanterelle mushrooms – Horn of Plenty, Craterellus cornucopioides, is one such; club fungi and some coral fungi are related – see Clavulina, Clavulinopsis and the Cauliflower Fungus Sparassis crispa. Hedgehog fungi, Hydnum repandum and Hydnum rufescens, also reside in the order Cantharellales. Certain other spined fungi belong in Boletales and Russulales, for example, so form is not a guaranteed guide to phylogeny.

Wood-staining Chlorociboria aeruginascens, the Green Elfcup, is in form similar to many other cup fungi in the Ascomycota, such as Orange Peel Fungus, Aleuria aurantia, Scarlet Elfcup, Sarcoscypha coccinea and Sarcoscypha austriaca, and Bulgaria inquinans. Many other Peziza and pezizoid species are described with images, as are Morels, Morchella esculenta, Black Morels, Morchella elata, and the False Morel, Gyromitra esculenta – the latter is not edible – as well as Helvella saddle fungi, Dead Man’s Fingers – Xylaria polymorpha – and the Candle-snuff Fungus, Xylaria hypoxylon. Daldinia concentrica, Cramp Balls or King Alfred’s Cakes, also belongs to this group. Even a low-powered microscope reveals a lot about these kinds of fungi. Spore analysis needs a powerful microscope – mine is trinocular and I use it for taking spore and cystidia photographs.

Grassland fungi include CHEG species – Clavaria, Hygrocybe, Entoloma and Geoglossum. Waxcap fungi, written wax cap in some books and waxy caps in the USA, are colourful, and the Pink Waxcap Porpolomopsis calyptriformis (above) and Parrot Waxcap Gliophorus psittacinus, are just two examples. Entoloma or pinkgill species are mainly dull and difficult to identify, but there are some blue mushrooms in this group including Entoloma serrulatum, which has black-edged gills. Geoglossum species are known as Earth Tongues. Most are rare and small – hard to see in grass. Some poisonous Entoloma species occus in woodlands as well as in grasslands.

Polypores and crust fungi are many and varied. Fomes fomentarius, the Hoof Fungus, also known as Tinder Fungus, grows mainly on birch trees. Another birch-specific polypore is Piptoporus betulinus, also known as the Razor Strop Fungus. Other bracket fungi, or conks, include Ganoderma lucidum, Ganoderma applanatum, Inonotus dryadeus, Fistulina hepatica, Laetiporus sulphureus, Meripilus giganteus and Phaeolus schweinitzii. Crusts are as plentiful and include Stereum hirsutum and Stereum subtomentosum. Trametes versicolor, Turkeytail, is a pored bracket that grows in tiers, as do many more.

In the webcap group, many toxic Cortinarius toadstools are described with pictures, including the deadly poisonous Cortinarius rubellus and Cortinarius orellanus. Gymnopilus junonius, Inocybe geophylla, and Galerina marginata are also poisonous. Deaths and serious poisonings including murders result from being fed fungi from this deadly bunch.

Pisolithus arrhizus (above), the Dyeball, is ectomycorrhizal with many tree genera including Pinus species (pines). Russula fungi and Cortinarius, Tricholoma and Amanita all form mycorrhizas (some write mycorrhizae) with tree root systems. A mycorrhiza is a ‘fungus root’ – there areimages of mycorrizae on this website. Endomycorrhizas actually invade the roots; ectomycorrhizas surround the root and look like coral; see the book Fascinated by Fungi for photographs and much more information on this topic.

Acknowledgements

Many of the fungi species pages include pictures supplied by generous contributors to who we are most grateful. It’s not possible to mention them all, but you will see pictures provided by David Kelly, Simon Harding, Richard Shotbolt, David Harries, David Adamson, David Lawman, Steven Holden, Alistair Hutchinson, Tom Pearman, Tony Anderson, Hugh Purvis, Arnor Gullanger, Richard Haynes, Doug Collins, Nigel Kent, Penny Turner, Nathan Wilson, James Lindley, Stanislav Jirasek, Vaisey Bramley, Jochen Dahlke, Mike and Hilary Rose, Shane Templeton, Brian Broad and Bill Prince.

We are also indebted to Angelos Papadimitriou for several corrections and valuable additions to the etymology included in these pages.

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If you have found this information helpful, we are sure you would also find our book Fascinated by Fungi by Pat O’Reilly very useful. Author-signed hardback copies at a special discount price are available here…

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Everybody knows that for most of us going into the woods to pick and eat a random selection of toadstools and mushrooms is pretty much like playing Russian roulette – it’s been drummed into us since we were reading fairy tales. The point is unless you are an absolute expert on gathering mushrooms you should probably steer well clear. But, I hear you say, isn’t it the red ones with white spots to watch out for?! Well that’s one type to avoid, and they will make you pretty ill. The one’s that will really do some damage look pretty unthreatening, often just like the edible ones.

One estimate I read puts the number of cases of mushroom poisonings at between 6-7,000 cases a year in the USA alone. Whilst the fatality rate is a fraction of a percent many do experience serious poisoning symptoms. Many of these cases are children but there are plenty involving adults, and in extreme cases entire families have been poisoned.

In total there are about 30 species of mushroom that have proven consistently fatal to humans, many of which are related. In addition there are a further 20 that have on occasions been known to cause death. The list below includes those responsible for killing the most people or with the greatest potential to do harm.

10. Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria)

Photo: H. Krisp / License

The fly agaric is the iconic toadstool of children’s fairy tales. Instantly recognisable with its bright red cap and white spots you would have to be an idiot to eat one of these! Or a child or pet. Whilst you can imagine why a kid may eat one of these it is less clear why dogs (and occasionally cats) seem to have a taste for them. Unfortunately fly agaric is even more poisonous to these animals and invariably lethal.

The main toxic agents in Amanita muscaria are muscimol and ibotenic acid. These act on the central nervous system causing loss of coordination, alternating agitation and sleep, nausea and in some cases hallucinations. The effects kick in after around one hour but are rarely fatal. One of the biggest risks is due to the crazy behaviour exhibited when intoxicated. Something that didn’t escape the ancients who used these in rituals.

9. Angel Wing (Pleurocybella porrigens)

Found throughout the Northern Hemisphere angel wing gets its name firstly from how it looks and secondly because eating it gives a good chance of sending you heaven-bound.

The angel wing was at one time considered edible and it seems that for many years there were no reported poisonings from eating it. That changed in 2004 when nearly 60 people became ill after eating them across Japan. Out of these 17 died during the following six weeks.
In a further case in 2009 a 65-year-old man died of encephalopathy (brain disease) after eating angel wings. It is worth pointing out that many of those who died had pre-existing kidney or liver problems.

The mode of toxicity isn’t well understood in this fungus but a unique amino acid has been identified that kills the brain cells of lab animals. It is also possible that the fungus contains elevated levels of cyanide.

8. Deadly Dapperling (Lepiota sp. )

The name is a bit of a give away with this one. This small, tasty looking mushroom and many of the Lepiota family, contain the deadly amatoxin which is capable of destroying the liver. It is this toxin that is responsible for 80-90% of all mushroom poisoning deaths. The fatality rate from ingesting amatoxins is around 50% if untreated and still 10% with treatment. The initial symptoms are gastrointestinal-intestinal distress but death may take some time and result from liver failure.

It is found in conifer forests throughout Europe and North America and has been responsible for several deaths over the years.
Other members of the family include the equally delicious sounding deadly parasol.

7. Podostroma Cornu-damae

Photo: Kouchan / License

These funky looking Japanese fungi shout “Don’t eat me”! Well to me anyway. Obviously not to the folk of Japan though. I suppose they are already slightly fatalistic about their food, expecting to die every time they have a bit of puffer fish. Apparently this fungus looks like young Ganoderma lucidum and is only eaten in error though.

The main toxins in these fungi are trichothecene mycotoxins which have particularly unpleasant effects and may cause death within a matter of days. The symptoms are system wide and can affect all organs, primarily liver, kidneys and brain. There is also a depletion of blood cells, peeling of skin off the face and hair loss making it look like the victim is suffering from radiation poisoning (or leukemia).

6. Conocybe Filaris

Photo: 414n / License

This mushroom is commonly found on lawns and is native to the Pacific Northwest region of the US. Whilst it doesn’t look immediately inviting as a snack its appearance in gardens brings it into closer proximity with people than many other mushrooms.

The other factor in accidental poisoning with this mushroom is the alleged similar appearance to the Psilocybes mushroom, also known as magic mushrooms. However, taking one of these could lead to the mother of all bad trips.

This fungus is known to contain the particularly deadly amatoxin which if ingested can cause irreparable liver damage.

5. Deadly Webcap (Cortinarius rubellus)

Photo: Danny Steven S. / License

Another deadly mushroom with a deadly name. The webcap is a particularly innocuous looking mushroom similar in appearance to many edible species. In fact it is incredibly poisonous and eating it will possibly kill you; if not within weeks at a later date when your kidneys pack in.

This is what happened in the case of The Horse Whisperer author Nicholas Evans. Along with his wife and two other guests they ate deadly webcaps that they had collected mistaking them for something edible. Whilst they all survived Evans was put on kidney dialysis and all were told they would need kidney transplants in the future.

They were lucky. The toxin orellanine is very potent, up there with arsenic and with no known antidote. It is said that one can be poisoned just by tasting and spitting out a small piece of this mushroom.

Besides kidney failure other symptoms of the poisoning are reportedly flu-like. They don’t appear for several days and can go on for weeks.

4. Autumn Skullcap (Galerina marginata)

Photo: Lebrac / License

The autumn skullcap, now there is a name that shouts “Eat me!”. They grow on dead wood and are found throughout the world; as far north as the Arctic and as far south as Australia.

As with many other poisonous mushrooms the skullcaps look similar to other, edible species. In this case they may be confused with honey fungus, sheathed woodtuft and velvet foot amongst others. So the message here is if you do not know exactly what you are doing, there is a good chance you will die!

The active ingredient here is yet again the infamous amatoxin. So if you value your liver function steer clear of the autumn skullcap.

3. False Morel (Gyromitra esculenta)

With all the ridiculous names given to mushrooms and fungus here is one that absolutely screams out for one – “The human brain fungus“! But no, for some reason they named it false morel, which it doesn’t really look like.

Obviously something as delicious looking as a human brain is not going to go uneaten. And it doesn’t. The false morel is a popular delicacy in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.
But isn’t it deadly poisonous? Well yes, but no. If eaten raw there is a good chance you will die horribly. If not cooked properly there is also a chance you will die. However, cook it right and I’m sure it tastes great.

The toxin here is gyromitrin which becomes monomethylhydrazine (MMH) after you eat it. This toxin will primarily affect the liver but also the nervous system and sometimes the kidneys. Symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting will appear within hours and are followed by dizziness, lethargy and headache. In the worst case this will end in a coma and death within the week.

The false morel can be found in conifer woodlands throughout Europe and North America.

2. The Destroying Angels

Photo: Stefan Holm

If this mushroom had its name written on it absolutely no one in their right mind would f**k with it! The Destroying Angel, that just screams “Eat me and you will die!”. And this pretty much sums up these members of the genus Amanita.

They contain lethal doses of amatoxins and are responsible for a large proportion of all mushroom related deaths. The initial symptoms of cramps, delirium, convulsions, vomiting and diarrhea appear with a day of ingestion. Unfortunately, by this time the toxins may have been absorbed causing irreversible destruction of the kidney and, particularly, liver tissue. At this point a liver transplant may be the only option if the patient is to survive.

1. Death Cap (Amanita phalloides)

Related to the Destroying Angels is the similarly appealing sounding death cap. It is this mushroom that has been responsible the majority of human deaths both accidental and on purpose. The death cap has a long history and is associated with the deaths of a number of notable victims including the Roman Emperor Claudius, a pope and a Russian tsar.

The deathcap is native to Europe where it is found in forests, commonly under oak trees. It is similar to several edible mushrooms, most notably the paddy straw mushroom which is eaten throughout Asia. For this reason it has caught out several unwary immigrants from Asian countries where it does not grow.

The primary toxic agent is α-amanitin (amatoxin). As mentioned this causes irreversible damage to the liver and kidneys.
It is estimated that 30 grams (1oz) or approx. half a mushroom is enough to kill an adult. It seems that many of the reported poisoning incidents involve whole families; in 2006 a Polish family of three ate death caps. One died and the two survivors required liver transplants. In such cases it seems that victims have a 50% chance of survival as was the case with four people celebrating New Years in Australia and a more recent case involving a couple in the UK.

Unlike some of the other fungus on this list the toxicity of the death cap remains unchanged if they are cooked, dried or frozen.

Bon appetite!

Fly agaric mushrooms

They may look like the nice toadstools in Enid Blyton novels, but fly agaric mushrooms are actually pretty nasty and potentially lethal.

Tasty

What are fly agaric mushrooms?

Fly agaric mushrooms, or Amanita muscaria, are known for their distinctive appearance, being bright red with white spots, and for their hallucinogenic properties. They are usually dried and eaten, although they’re not that common because of their unpleasant side effects. The strength of the mushroom varies intensely depending on where and when it is picked.

Fly agarics are quite different from the psychedelic or magic mushrooms which contain psilocybin and psilocin. But being legal doesn’t mean they aren’t potentially dangerous.

What are the effects of fly agaric mushrooms?

The effects of fly agarics vary hugely between individuals so we can only explain some of the common effects. Typical experiences include:

  • A dream-like state common to lucid dreaming, which can involve out-of-body experiences and enhanced clarity of the mind.
  • Synaesthesia, where users experience a blurring of their senses, like smelling words or tasting colours.
  • A strong internal dialogue with the feeling of being able to talk yourself through personal issues
  • Blurred vision, with dilated pupils and watery eyes, as well as a runny nose.
  • Involuntarily muscle twitching and trembling.
  • Increased sweating and saliva production.
  • Effects usually last between six and eight hours.

What the risks of taking fly agaric mushrooms?

  • Are you sure that mushroom you’re about to eat is a fly agaric? Are you willing to bet your life on it? The Amanita mushroom family contains some of the deadliest mushrooms out there, so if you pick and scoff the wrong variety, quite simply, you could die.
  • It’s very common to experience intense nausea and stomach cramps in the hours following ingestion.
  • There is no way of predicting what your trip will be like, and whether you will find it enjoyable or extremely upsetting.
  • Body perception and motor skills are changed, making you clumsy, dizzy, and more likely to injure yourself.

Fly agaric mushrooms and the law:

The law surrounding fly agaric is complicated. The Misuse of Drugs Act reclassified both fresh and prepared mushrooms containing psilocybin or psilocin as Class A drugs, but fly agarics do not contain these chemicals, so aren’t considered Class As. However, it is still illegal to sell fly agaric for human consumption. Head shops or legal drugs suppliers overcome this by writing “not for human consumption” on the label and selling them for botanical research purposes. It is not illegal to possess them.

Fly agaric mushrooms are also known as:

Amanita muscaria, panther mushroom, berserker mushrooms.

If you are planning on taking fly agaric mushrooms:

  • Do not try and gather the mushrooms yourself as it is easy to confuse them with deadly varieties. Make sure you take them with someone who really knows what they are doing.
  • Take them in an environment where you feel safe to reduce the risk (LINK) of a frightening trip.
  • Have a sitter, someone sober, who can look after you if your trip is unpleasant or you try to harm yourself.
  • If you start to feel ill after taking any mushroom, go straight to the hospital with a sample of what you have taken.

Photo of a fly agaric mushroom by .

Page 1. What are fungi?

Fungi – a separate kingdom

Fungi are a very common and diverse group of organisms that includes mushrooms and puffballs, yeasts and moulds. They are found everywhere – in all habitats on land, and also in fresh water and the ocean. They were once grouped in the plant kingdom, but unlike plants they cannot make their own food through photosynthesis, and they digest their food externally before absorbing nutrients

Mushroom or toadstool?

There is no clear distinction between mushrooms and toadstools. Toadstool is a common but vague term for some kinds of mushroom, usually a poisonous or inedible one. Toads were once thought to be very poisonous, but ‘toadstool’ is said to come from the German tod-stuhl, meaning death-chair – referring to the the fatal effects of mushroom poisoning, and to the shape of the fruiting body.

Fungi are more closely related to animals than to plants – for example, they are mainly composed of chitin, which forms the exoskeleton (covering) of insects and other arthropods. However, they are now considered distinct enough to warrant their own major grouping – the fungi kingdom.

Structure and size

When asked to name some fungi, people usually think of mushrooms, toadstools and puffballs. But these are just the reproductive parts of certain types of fungi. Most fungi lie underground or in wood or leaves as a spreading network of fine tube-like filaments called hyphae. As the fungus grows, these branch and interweave, seeking nutrients for growth. Eventually they form a cobwebby mat known as a mycelium. This is the body of the fungus.

Some fungi are microscopic and single-celled (for example, yeasts). At the other extreme, a North American relative of New Zealand’s bootlace mushroom Armillaria novaezelandiae is reported to be among the largest and perhaps most ancient organisms in the world, with an underground mycelium spreading over hundreds of hectares.

How do fungi live?

Fungi do not have chlorophyll and so cannot make their own food by photosynthesis. Instead, they gain nutrients from living or dead material around them, including soil and wood. There are five fungal groups, each with a specific survival strategy:

  • Saprobic fungi are decomposers – the most common group of fungi. They feed on dead organic matter, digesting it externally and breaking down complex chemicals into simple molecules. They play a vital role in all ecosystems, because nutrients are released and recycled for other organisms.
  • Mycorrhizal fungi live underground in a give-and-take relationship with the roots of most plants. The fungus gets food produced by the plant’s leaves, while the spreading threads of the fungus help the plant roots gain water and nutrients from the soil.
  • Parasitic fungi feed on living organisms. This can cause serious damage to plants and animals, including humans (athlete’s foot and ringworm are fungal diseases).
  • Some fungi co-exist with algae, forming the organisms we call lichens. The fungus receives sugar, which the alga makes through photosynthesis. In turn, the alga is protected from the outside, and receives water and minerals from the fungus.
  • Beneficial fungi known as endophytes live within healthy plants, giving the plant advantages such as being less palatable to insects, or more drought-resistant.

Reproduction

Most fungi reproduce by spores. These are simple structures, usually a single cell with a protective coating. Each spore is microscopic, and as a mass they look like dust or powder.

A fungus produces vast numbers of spores, which are spread in various ways – for instance by wind, raindrops or animals. When a spore falls in a suitable site it germinates into a hypha – the first of the threads that make up the body of a fungus.

The fungi are a division of the plant kingdom, and mushrooms and toadstools are the reproductive or fruiting bodies that some of them (but by no means all) produce.

The plant body of a fungus consists of a tangled mass of threads called hyphae, the whole mass being called a mycelium. In the case of the mushroom this is underground in the soil.

Fungi differ markedly from almost all other plants in being devoid of chlorophyll, the green compound that enables plants to build up their food from simple chemical substances. They therefore feed on plant or animal matter, alive or dead. If they feed on living organisms they are said to be parasitic; if on dead matter they are called saprophytic. Most fungi that produce mushrooms and toadstools are saprophytic, getting their nourishment from leaf-mold and similar substances.

Most of us can recognise one or two kinds of mushroom and regard all ‘toadstools’ as poisonous. In fact, some toadstools are perfectly good and safe to eat. Mushrooms grow in fields; you will find toadstools most numerous in damp woods in the late summer and autumn. As we have said, a number of the fungi that we call toadstools are edible, in addition to the two common species of mushroom, the Field Mushroom (Psalliota campestris) and the larger Horse Mushroom (Psalliota arvensis).

Those illustrated here are: Cep (Boletus edulis). Not a very attractive fungus to look at but one that is excellent to eat. It is found in woods, especially beech-woods (Figure 5).

Amanita caesarea. A European species, highly thought of on the Continent but not found in Britain (Figure 3).

Russula (Russula cyanoxantha). The color of the cap varies from purple to greenish (Figure 3).

Field Mushroom (Psalliota campestris). This and its larger relative the Horse Mushroom grow in fields. The gills change with age from pale pink to a blackish color. Be careful if you eat any fungus other than mushrooms. Some toadstools are so poisonous that the doctor may not be able to save your life if you eat them. Such time-honoured tests at that of a silver spoon turning black, if put in the juice while the toadstool is cooking, is quite useless Figure 5).

Death Cap (Amanita phalloides). This is a common fungus and one of the most dangerous; numerous deaths have been caused by it. It grows in woods, has a greenish cap, white gills, and a cup-like volva at the base of the stem. Its great danger is that a careless person can mistake it for a mushroom. The symptoms of poisoning (severe abdominal pain) are not felt until ten to twelve hours after eating (Figure 4).

Fool’s Mushroom (Amanita verna). Just as poisonous as the Death Cap and even more like a mushroom because the cap (as well as the gills) is white. Fortunately it is rare (Figure 2).

Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria). This beautiful and unmistakable toadstool seldom causes death, but eating it results in intoxication and mental disturbance. Some primitive tribes deliberately eat it for this reason. Broken up in milk, it can be used as a bait to kill flies (Figure 2).

Devil’s Boletus (Boletus satanas). This strangely colored fungus belongs to the same genus as the Cep and, like it, grows in woods. It is very unwholesome but is not regarded as dangerously poisonous (Figure 2).

Sickener (Russula emetica). A Russula not unlike the one illustrated, but the cap is red. It has an acrid taste and causes nausea and sickness if eaten (Figure 3).

Other kinds of fungus

We have mentioned that only some of the fungi produce mushrooms and toadstools. Other kinds include such varied forms as moulds and mildews, yeasts, and parasitic types which produce disease in plants and animals. The most famous of the moulds is Penicillium, from which the wonderful antibiotic drug penicillin is produced. Yeast is the valuable fungus which we use to promote fermentation in making beer and wine and in making bread rise. Examples of fungi that cause disease in plants are wheat rust, which can seriously damage cereal crops, and potato blight, the cause of the Irish famine of 1846–47. Ringworm, a skin disease of animals and humans, is caused by a fungus.

Development and anatomy of a toadstool

The greater part of the toadstool is made up of the cap and the stem (Figure 1).

The stem supports the cap and may be long and slender or thick and rounded, according to the species. The surface of the cap may be moist and sticky or covered by a dry skin. The young toadstool has a membrane stretched from the edge of the cap to the stem, covering the gills. As growth proceeds, this is torn and remains as a ring round the stem. Some kinds have a second membrane, the volva, which encloses the whole of the young toadstool; this is also torn when growth is complete.

How toadstools reproduce themselves

The reproduction of fungi is quite different from that of the flowering plants, in which the ovules are fertilized by pollen grain and seeds are produced (Figure 6). On the underside of the cap of the toadstool tiny spores develop. They are like fine grains of dust, much smaller than any seeds, and a single toadstool produces millions of them.

If they fall on suitable ground the spores germinate.

They grow into a filament called the primary mycelium, consisting of a chain of cells set end to end.

The filaments send out branches and also join and fuse together and the secondary mycelium is formed.

The mycelium forms a network under the ground and later grows up to form a new toadstool (the thickness of the threads is exaggerated in the picture).

Helpful Fungus Among Us

Without fungi like this turkey tail fungus, the world would be full of dead plant and animal bodies.

By Christine Engelbrecht
​Plant Pathologist
Iowa State University Extension

Say the word “fungus” and most people think of negative things—moldy bread, deadly toadstools, plant diseases in the garden or nasty skin infections. Although many fungi can be harmful to people, animals and plants, the vast majority are actually essential to the functioning of the ecosystem. These helpful fungi are the overlooked, “unsung heroes” of the natural world.

About 100,000 species of fungi are known, and it is estimated that there may be as many as 1.5 million species of fungi in the world. Of these, the vast majority live as “saprophytes.” All fungi are unable to make their own food, and must consume other live or dead organisms in order to survive. Saprophytes are organisms that get their nutrition from dead organic matter, including fallen wood, dead leaves or dead animal bodies. Saprophytes do not usually hurt living organisms.

The reason saprophytes are so beneficial to the environment is that they are the primary recyclers of nutrients. They break down organic matter so that the nitrogen, carbon and minerals it contains can be put back into a form that other living organisms can take up and use. Without saprophytes, the world would be full of dead plant and animal bodies, with no recycling of nutrients to sustain life.

Although many bacteria and small animals such as insects also live as saprophytes, it is the fungal saprophytes that decompose most plant debris throughout the world. Fungal saprophytes do most of their work invisibly to us, living in soil or debris as fine microscopic threads, but occasionally they make themselves visible by creating a mushroom, bracket or other fungal body as their way of reproducing.

Another large group of helpful fungi function with plant roots as “mycorrhizae” (singular mycorrhiza). “Mycorrhiza” means “fungus-root,” and mycorrhizae are intimate associations between plant roots and special fungi. The fungi in mycorrhizae are attached to the plant roots and form a thread-like network, extending beyond the roots. This extra network takes up additional water and mineral nutrients and supplies them to the plant, in essence acting as an extension of the plant’s root system. In return, the plant gives some of its sugars as food to the fungus. It is a mutually beneficial relationship.

Plants with mycorrhizal fungi survive much better than those without, especially during drought. It has been estimated that about 90 percent of all plants have mycorrhizal fungi. Many of the mushrooms that appear below trees in our yards are the reproductive structures of mycorrhizal fungi whose threadlike networks are intertwined with the roots below ground. Plants with mycorrhizae are also less likely to be infected by disease-causing fungi or bacteria.

Additionally, mycorrhizal fungi may stretch long distances, connecting the roots of two or more individual trees. In doing so, they promote the sharing of nutrients among the trees, ensuring even distribution of essential nutrients.

Fungi that serve as decomposers and in mycorrhizae are a vital, though often unseen, component of the ecosystem. Life as we know it on this planet would not be possible without the helpful fungus among us.

There are two photos for this week’s column. If you use these photos, please give the following credit; Photo courtesy of Paula Flynn, Iowa State University Extension.
TurkeyTail12706.jpg Turkey Tail Fungus
mycorrhiza012706.jpg Mycorrhizae Fungi on Plant Roots

Wooden Toadstools Ornaments

These are a selection of gifts I make especially for any occasion. All handmade by myself and Richie we can personalised Toadstools with engraving for that unique Wedding Gift.
Wooden Magical Toadstools make great garden ornaments, made from Recycled wood given to me by The Environment Agency, tree surgeons & local business wood waste to make into Art. These Mushrooms are sanded to a smooth finish and with soft shapes and Mushroom Gills hand carved underneath this will give that real mushroom look in your garden. All Mushrooms have been treated and come with a fixing bar to secure them for safety and maintenance care instructions. Each one is unique and signed and dated with my logo, and each mushroom is finished by hand.
We are always delighted to take on commissions and work with you and your budget to develop unique products for your school, garden or outdoor space.

Whatever kind of wooden Mushroom or garden decoration you require (if it’s possible for me to make) I will give you a no obligation quote.

Please come and visit our Nursery Show Garden – Now open to see what we have been creating for you.

Red Cap Toadstool Stock Photos and Images

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  • Amanita muscaria. Fly agaric fungus on the edge of a woodland
  • A Toadstool isolated on a white background.
  • Close-up of a poisonous Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria) toadstool fungus with red cap and white gills growing in grass. UK
  • Amanita muscaria. Fly agaric fungus on the edge of a woodland
  • Fly agaric, Amanita muscaria. Poisonous fungus. UK
  • Amanita Mushroom In The Thuringian Forest, Germany
  • Red Cap Toadstool
  • Amanita muscaria, Fly agaric mushroom growing amongst fallen golden leaves in a woodland.
  • Fly Agaric toadstool
  • Pattern Detail of White Spots on Red Cap of Fly Agaric Mushroom, Amanita muscaria, aka Fly amanita Toadstool
  • Amanita muscaria, Fly agaric mushroom growing amongst fallen golden leaves in a woodland.
  • Fly agaric (Amanita muscaria) red and white cap among autumn leaves
  • Fungi on the forest floor
  • Amanita muscaria, Fly agaric mushroom growing amongst fallen golden leaves in a woodland.
  • Horizontal photo of nice russula toadstool. Young mushroom grows from moss and grass with few dry twigs and needles around. The cap is bright red and
  • Large red flyagaric with broken cap in forest in autumn
  • Amanita muscaria, Fly agaric mushroom growing amongst fallen golden leaves in a woodland.
  • Fly agaric mushroom / toadstool with red spotted cap growing in grass in woods in Hampshire. Known also as amanita muscaria. Mushroom is poisonous
  • red toxic toadstool standing on a riverbank
  • Amanita muscaria, Fly agaric mushroom growing amongst fallen golden leaves in a woodland.
  • red poison mushroom close up studio shoot
  • Amanita muscaria, Fly agaric mushroom growing amongst fallen golden leaves in a woodland.
  • toadstool mushroom on the forest floor Red Russula sanguinea
  • Fly Agaric (Amanita Muscaria) red toadstool growing in autumn leaves, New Forest, Hampshire, UK.
  • Amanita muscaria, Fly agaric mushroom growing amongst fallen golden leaves in a woodland.
  • A fly agaric toadstool UK
  • Fly Agaric toadstool
  • Amanita muscaria, Fly agaric mushroom growing amongst fallen golden leaves in a woodland.
  • Pattern Detail of White Spots on Red Cap of Fly Agaric Mushroom, Amanita muscaria, aka Fly amanita Toadstool
  • Fly agaric (Amanita muscaria) open cap on heathland
  • Amanita muscaria, Fly agaric mushroom growing amongst fallen golden leaves in a woodland.
  • Fly Agaric red speckled mushroom
  • poisonous toadstool with red cap
  • Amanita muscaria, Fly agaric mushroom growing amongst fallen golden leaves in a woodland.
  • Large red flyagaric with broken cap in forest in autumn
  • Amanita muscaria, Fly agaric mushroom growing in an english woodland.
  • Fly agaric mushroom / toadstool with red spotted cap growing in grass in woods in Hampshire. Known also as amanita muscaria. Mushroom is poisonous
  • Horizontal photo of red toadstool with several white spots on cap and white leg. Mushroom is growing in the grass in forest. Mushroom is toxic and not
  • Amanita muscaria, Fly agaric mushroom growing in an english woodland.
  • red poison mushroom close up studio shoot
  • Amanita muscaria, Fly agaric mushroom growing in an english woodland.
  • Red-cracked Boletus, Boletus chrysenteron (Syn. Xerocomus chrysenteron), Boletaceae
  • Single fly agaric (Amanita muscaria), beautiful red cap white dotted poisonous mushroom in autumn forest, the most iconic toadstool
  • Amanita muscaria, Fly agaric mushroom growing in an english woodland.
  • toadstool,red mushroom ,
  • A red capped toadstool in darkened woodland.
  • Amanita muscaria, Fly agaric mushroom growing in an english woodland.
  • Fly agaric (Amanita muscaria) toadstool against a black background and autumn leaves
  • red toadstool in the forest
  • Amanita muscaria, Fly agaric mushroom growing in an english woodland.
  • Red Toadstool in the forest
  • Iconic toadstool, red and white cap in woodland, September,
  • Amanita muscaria, Fly agaric mushroom growing in an english woodland.
  • Red toadstool mushroom in autumn forest
  • Fly agaric mushroom / toadstool with red spotted cap growing in grass in woods in Hampshire. Known also as amanita muscaria. Mushroom is poisonous
  • Amanita muscaria, Fly agaric mushroom growing in an english woodland.
  • Toadstool on the forest floor surrounded by leaves. Red Fly agaric
  • Amanita muscaria, Fly agaric mushroom growing in an english woodland.
  • red poison mushroom close up studio shoot
  • Amanita muscaria, Fly agaric mushroom growing in an english woodland.
  • Group of fly agaric (Amanita muscaria), beautiful red cap white dotted poisonous mushrooms in autumn forest, the most iconic toadstool
  • Amanita muscaria, Fly agaric mushroom growing in an english woodland.
  • toadstool,red mushroom ,
  • Amanita muscaria, Fly agaric mushrooms beside a woodland path.
  • Close-up of red toadstool on the grass
  • Fly agaric toadstool cap. Berkshire, UK September 2011
  • Amanita muscaria, Fly agaric mushrooms beside a woodland path.
  • Red cap mushroom
  • Red Toadstool in the forest
  • Amanita muscaria, Fly agaric mushrooms beside a woodland path.
  • Fly agaric, Amanita muscara, in cap stage
  • Red toadstool in a bed of soil, moss and Autumn leaves
  • Amanita muscaria, Fly agaric mushrooms beside a woodland path.
  • Red-edge Brittlestem, Psathyrella corrugis, Psathyrellaceae. Syn. Psathyrella gracilis. Composite Showing Cap and Underside.
  • Amanita muscaria, Fly agaric mushroom in an english woodland.
  • Fly Agaric – Amanita muscaria Newly emerged cap
  • Amanita muscaria, Fly agaric mushroom in an english woodland.
  • red poison mushroom close up studio shoot
  • Amanita muscaria, Fly agaric mushroom in an english woodland.
  • Toadstool Satan’s pipe or even satanic mushroom in the forest
  • toadstool,red mushroom ,
  • Amanita muscaria, Fly agaric mushroom in an english woodland.
  • Close up of a toadstool with a chunk bitten out of it
  • Fly agaric wild mushroom bright red against the forest floor
  • Amanita muscaria, Fly agaric mushroom in an english woodland.
  • Close-up macro photo of a very young red-capped mushroom on a putrid stump.
  • Amanita muscaria, Fly agaric mushroom in an english woodland.
  • Red Toadstool in the forest
  • Amanita muscaria, Fly agaric mushroom in an english woodland.
  • Large red fly agaric toadstool growing on coniferous woodland floor
  • Large red flyagaric with broken cap in forest in autumn
  • Amanita muscaria, Fly agaric mushroom in an english woodland.
  • Red-cracked Boletus, Boletus chrysenteron (Syn. Xerocomus chrysenteron), Boletaceae. Old specimen showing cracked cap.
  • Brown shinning needles in moss on the fallen tree. Leaves forest in fall season in background.
  • Fly Agaric red speckled mushroom amongst the grass
  • Fly Agaric mushroom toadstool, with the famous red cap with white spots. These are commonly portrayed in traditional pictures of fairies

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