21 May 2019 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Leaders: Brett Stevens, Joan Heyding, Ian Gough

Meet: The Fletcher Wildlife Garden Resource Centre

Have you found a fungus and been curious about what it is and how to identify it? Let’s have some fun trying to identify new-to-us fungi. Collect your mystery fungus and bring it in to the Resource Centre for a team-based approach to identification. Bring your ID books, if you have any. We will also have ID books for you to look through. This event is open to everyone, regardless of age.

When you collect the fungus record notes about:


  1. Type of spore-bearing surface – gills, pores, teeth, etc.
  2. Type of gill or pore attachment. Draw what you see if you don’t know the term to use.
  3. Colour of the overall specimen and of individual parts. Be sure to note any color changes due to bruising, age, insects, moisture, etc.
  4. Ornamentation or structural features. These may include warts, scales, gluten, striations, powder, texture of surfaces, annulus, volva, or any other feature that is obvious.
  5. Odour: Check odor when first picked and again when you open the wrapping, as it might be stronger after having been enclosed.
  6. Taste: Work a small piece between front teeth and tip of tongue, and do not swallow it.
  7. Colour of spores taken from a spore print on white paper. Amyloid reaction, if any, should be noted here also. The amyloid reaction is a darkening (to gray or bluish-black) when the spores are in Melzer’s Reagent. The test should be done on a small pile of spore powder on a glass or ceramic surface. Don’t do it on the spore print or scrape the spores from the paper, because the paper fibers will give a great, positive amyloid reaction. Sandwiching the spores and a drop of Melzer’s Reagent between two glass cover slips is the best way to see if there is a color change. If you see a brown to red-brown reaction, it is called dextrinoid.
  8. Size: Measurements of the cap, stem, whole mushroom and any other parts that would help in identification of the species.

Where you collected the fungus: Give the location of the park, garden, forest or area in general terms and then be specific as to the exact spot so you can find it again. Include information as to the type of soil, whether it was mossy, with duff, grass, manure, or other characteristics. List the kinds of trees, bushes, and low growing plants. Other important facts to include are the elevation, amount of exposure to sunlight, the direction and degree of slope, if on a hillside. Collections sent to mycologists in other parts of the country will always be more valuable if a nearby locality and county are included.

When you collected the fungus

How to Collect the Fungus:

Use the paper bags or waxed paper for your specimens. When collecting for identification, try to get specimens of the same species in various stages of development. Disregard old/rotting specimens. Use a knife to dig up the entire specimen, including those parts below the surface of the substrate. Do not mix different species in the same bag (paper or waxed paper). If you put a piece of paper under the gills or pores you may be able to get a spore print which helps with identification.