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Recommend good ID book for fungi

 
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I have been adding edible mushroom slurries to my garden beds to boost them. Living in the desert I have never learned to ID fungi except at the grocery store and don't have access to any local experts. What I need is something that would help me be sure that a mushroom is one of the edibles I planted and not a poisonous look alike. For instance oyster mushrooms were in one slurry and some have popped up that I think are oysters. What I need to know for sure is are there any mushrooms that look like oysters but are poisonous. Same for portabella, ordinary white mushrooms and morels.
 
pollinator
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Edible Wild Mushrooms of North America is my favorite.  It’s easier to use than most. It ‘s on Amazon.
 
Mary Hysong
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Thank you Ken, I will look for that one
 
pollinator
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That's very wise.

I know some people will only use specific fungi for their culinary slurries because they are easily identifiable compared to local poisonous varieties. The last thing anyone wants to find is that they accidentally just made and ate a delicious amanita virosa soup, and poisoned themselves along with all their guests.

I mention this one in particular, destroying angel it's called in much of Europe, because not only do they closely resemble a few choice edible fungi when young, a single cap is enough to destroy the liver and kidneys of an adult human.

I like Ken's suggestion of book, too.

-CK
 
pollinator
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Chris Kott wrote:That's very wise.

I know some people will only use specific fungi for their culinary slurries because they are easily identifiable compared to local poisonous varieties. The last thing anyone wants to find is that they accidentally just made and ate a delicious amanita virosa soup, and poisoned themselves along with all their guests.

I mention this one in particular, destroying angel it's called in much of Europe, because not only do they closely resemble a few choice edible fungi when young, a single cap is enough to destroy the liver and kidneys of an adult human.

I like Ken's suggestion of book, too.

-CK



Personally as a mushrooming neophyte, I wouldn't bother with button mushrooms at all if I was growing outdoors. I have a few mushrooming books and one of them says essentially, there aren't many mushrooms in North America that will kill you, just a lot that might make you wish you were dead for awhile (e.g. severe gastrointestinal distress). But most of the ones that will kill you have gills on the underside of the cap.

Puffballs are very easy to identify with certainty if you slice them in half top to bottom, and in my opinion are a good replacement for white mushrooms in many recipes.
(The slicing is to check that the round mushroom you have isnt just a young capped mushroom that hasn't fully formed yet. A puffball will be solid all the way through while you can see the cap forming inside if it's something else.)
 
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