Would you eat these?
These beautiful specimens are growing here in our campground and I had to photograph them. Maybe Alice in Wonderland might sample a morsel but there is no way I would do anything but admire them through a camera lense.
I researched mushrooms and toadstools trying to identify these beauties but there are so many “lookalikes” out there that only a trained professional could tell the difference.
The terms “mushroom” and “toadstool” are purely unscientific labels for different varieties of fungus. There is no real scientific difference , the two terms have come to mean different things for most people. The name “toadstool” is often given to those fungi that are inedible or poisonous, while “mushrooms” are generally thought to be safe to eat.
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.”
What is important to remember about toadstools and mushrooms:
- They cannot be defined by shape, color, or appearance; there is no standard differentiation between them.
- Mushrooms aren’t fungi with caps and stems while toadstools lack caps and stems.
- Fungi are not defined by toxicity level: anything classed as either may be nontoxic, mildly toxic, hallucinogenic (magic mushroom?) or extremely poisonous.
- Never eat anything classed as toadstool or mushroom without having it examined by a professional mushroom hunter.