This is a key to the edible agarics included in the book. It is simply an interactive question and answer session which narrows down to the identity of the mushroom in question.

For more details see below.

 

This is a beta version in that I have tested it rigourously but no-one else has to my knowledge. Please let me know how you get on with it!

Make a spore print by laying the cap, right way up, on a sheet of white paper. Read the instructions below to use this key.

 

This is a simple, partially illustrated, key to the edible and poisonous gilled fungi that are mentioned within the book. It does not cover the Boletes, bracket fungi or puffballs.

You will need to take a spore print first, though looking at the colour of mature gills will usually give an indication of spore colour, but not always .

Start by clicking on one of the four choices for spore colour. This will take you to a further set of choices and so on until you get an answer. Or, if none of the choices fit your specimen, then your specimen is not in the book. This key is a 'failsafe' key in that you:

a. find out that you can eat your specimen.

b. find out you can't.

c. do not find out either way, in which case you can't eat it!

Still, it is essential that, before you eat anything, you check any answer the key provides by comparing your specimen with the photo and description in the book and any other book you may have.

Notes:

Spore colour can be tricky as it can depend on how much spore is deposited, the lighting conditions under which it is viewed and individual perception. Pink is notoriously difficult as it is sometimes very faint and frequently just a pinky/buff. However, if it has the slightest hint of pink, then click the pink link. Browns are hugely variable, rust, chocolate, snuff, sienna etc.. Also, a dark chocolate brown may pass as black in some lights, so try both pathways.

'Decurrent' means that the gills run down the stem, at least a little.

'Volva' is the bag at the base of several species of mushroom.