Poisonous mushrooms – how to recognize? Which species are the easiest to confuse? [ZDJĘCIA]

There are more and more poisonous mushrooms, I suspect that this is the result of climate change – warns Wiesław Kamiński, mushroom expert, author of the NaGrzyby.pl blog. Poisonous mushrooms are found all over the country and these are not just toadstools – there are as many as 200 poisonous species in Poland. And many of them are difficult to distinguish from edible species.

Hospital of T. Marciniak in Wrocław informed in mid-September that as many as seven people were admitted to his toxicology department in just four days, poisoned by mushrooms. Two of them ate mushrooms with a potentially lethal poison. When they were admitted to the clinic, their condition was serious.

There are more and more poisonous mushrooms

Although mushroom picking is far from an extreme hobby, the effects of careless mushroom picking can be dire. There are as many as 200 species of poisonous mushrooms in Polish forests. For comparison, there are over a thousand edible species.

The mushroom expert points out that poisonous mushrooms are present throughout the country, it is difficult to indicate particularly dangerous regions. – I am now at the seaside, I saw a venomous toadstool in the local forests. I know you can also find him in the mountains. Until recently, this species was found in a few places. There are more and more poisonous mushrooms, I suspect that this is the result of climate change – explains the author of the blog NaGrzyby.pl.

– About 15 species belong to the group of the most poisonous mushrooms found in Poland. Many are different varieties of toadstool, such as greenish, poisonous and spotted. But other mushrooms are deadly too. One should be careful, among others, for the chestnut leaf or the rolled krowiak called alder, explains Wiesław Kamiński.

Chestnut chyme (Gyromitra esculenta)Shutterstock

How much poisonous fungus can kill a person? – It is assumed that for an adult it is about 50 grams. Even smaller amounts can be fatal in children – warns Kamiński.

Edible poisonous mushrooms

The first species that comes to mind when talking about poisonous mushrooms is the red toadstool. The white dots on the red hat, as well as the white dots on the brown hat, characteristic of the toadstool, are a warning sign that even inexperienced mushroom pickers will pay attention to.

But identifying dangerous mushrooms is not always that simple. Kamiński emphasizes that it is difficult to distinguish many poisonous species from the edible ones. – The fungus should only be assessed after it has been completely removed from the litter. An exemplary “pair” is a dangerous greenish toadstool (stinkhorn) and a kite’s topper. They differ mainly in the sheath, visible only after being removed from the litter, which is not present in the litter, there is simply a thickening in its place. Another difference is in the ring on the stem: the toadstool has a fixed ring and the tip is movable. But an inexperienced mushroom picker may not notice it – says Kamiński.

There are definitely more such “pairs”. – The greenish fly agaric (stinkhorn) visually resembles a green goose and a greenish dove. To a mushroom picker, poisonous orange fox may seem identical to a chanterelle, although these mushrooms can be distinguished by their stems. In the case of the fox it is soft and flexible, and in the case of chanterelles, it is hard – explains the blogger.

Other species that are often confused with each other are: brick shredder and apex, shadowy ore and shaggy, chestnut frog and pristine morel, or fringed helmice and variable archer. The first of the species mentioned in “pairs” are the poisonous ones.

Most often confused mushroomsPAP

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Mushroom poisoning – symptoms, treatment

In order not to poison with mushrooms, it is important not only to skillfully distinguish between species, but also to store them correctly. Kamiński warns against storing the harvested mushrooms in plastic bags. – First of all, the risk that the mushrooms will be damaged in such a bag is higher than in a basket, and without the entire fruiting body it may not be possible to evaluate a specific species. Secondly, even theoretically edible mushrooms, stored for a long time in plastic bags, can produce poisonous substances – explains the expert.

He adds that beginner mushroom pickers should go on their trips to the forest in the company of more experienced people. And after returning home, verify your achievements again with the help of the mushroom atlas or the Internet.

Suspicion of poisoning should be consulted with a doctor. The most common symptoms are nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, headaches, diarrhea and elevated temperature, and even hallucinations. In the event of their occurrence, the Department of Healthcare recommends inducing vomiting (for example, by drinking a glass of warm, salt water or irritation of the back wall of the throat). It is a good idea to protect vomit and mushroom residues or food that has been prepared from them. This will help identify the toxin.

Poisonous mushrooms – examples

Greenish fly agaric (stinkhorn) – a deadly poisonous mushroom, often found in Poland. It grows in deciduous and mixed forests from July to October. It has a shiny hat of green or white color. There is a ring on the shank of the toadstool. It has a sweetish smell.

Green toadstool (Amanita phalloides)Shutterstock

Venomous fly agaric – this deadly poisonous mushroom resembles an edible meadow mushroom before it is fully mature. It grows most often in coniferous or mixed forests, under spruce, pine, oak, birch and beech trees. He is seen from July to October. It has a radish smell.

Satan’s boletus (satan’s boletus) – colloquially, it is also mistakenly called satanic boletus and satan. It is a highly poisonous mushroom that gives off the unpleasant smell of rotten onions and decaying meat.

Boletus edulis (Rubroboletus satanas)Shutterstock

Beam buttermilk – a very common poisonous mushroom that grows in clusters from May to December. It can be found everywhere, not only in forests, but also in gardens, meadows, roads, parks, and even on stored wood. When you encounter mushrooms on your lawn, you can assume that they are poisonous buttermilk.

Bundle buttermilk (Hypholoma fasciculare)Shutterstock

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State Forests warn

To minimize the risk of making a mistake while picking mushrooms, it is worth sticking to the rules developed by the State Forests:

– poisonous mushrooms are not recognized by their bitter taste. Deadly poisonous mushrooms often have a pleasant sweetish taste,

– mushrooms that are not yet fully ripe should not be picked up. Young mushrooms do not have all the individual characteristics that help in the correct identification of the species,

– you should not pick lamellar mushrooms unless you are 100% sure that they are edible. It is among them that the most poisonous mushrooms are found.

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encyklopedialesna.pl, lasy.gov.pl, tvn24.pl

Main photo source: facts