Asked May 17, 2017, 12:31 PM EDT

I need to Identify these mushrooms and if they are poisonous

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response


Without seeing a sample or specimen of the mushrooms you show in your picture, I cannot really tell exactly what they are. They have been promoted by the wet weather this spring. Characteristics for identification include type of gills or pores on the undersides of the cap, attachment of the gills, rings on the stalk, bruising color, spore color, and microscopic characteristics. The first grey one looks like an inky cap, Coprinus, the middle one looks like an Ascomycete, and the last one may be a Paneolus or parasol mushroom. I cannot speak to toxicity.

However, mushrooms are natural decomposers in our landscapes and ecosystems. They are common in mulch, as their threadlike mycelium grows through mulch or soil, and then fruiting bodies such as mushrooms come up in times when there is plentiful water. You can pick them, or rake lightly to break up the mushrooms, as they are over 95% water. They may be poisonous when eaten, but wash your hands well, and you should be fine to grow vegetables nearby.

Thank you for contacting Cooperative Extension,