From Micahel Kuo’s website

By Michael Kuo (1)

I suppose now is not the best time to tell you that this identification process is going to fail a lot–even, perhaps, most of the time. There are several reasons for this, but suffice it to say that mushroom identification is difficult, often technical, and sometimes impossible. This is a hard nugget to swallow for those who have used field guides to identify trees or birds, for example, and expect the mushroom world to be equally easy to penetrate. One doesn’t need a microscope to identify a North American tree, and plenty of field guides can be found that include more or less all the tree species native to the continent. With mushrooms, one does need a microscope, much of the time–and no one even knows how many thousands of mushroom species there are on the continent.

However, with patience you will be able to identify some mushrooms, even if you are just starting out. And as your experience develops, you will be able to identify more and more mushrooms. If you become frustrated along the way, remember this: I have watched many of the continent’s most prominent living mycologists study mushrooms and throw up their hands in despair without an identification–and the ones I have not seen fail like this are the ones I have never met.

via Identifying Mushrooms (MushroomExpert.Com).


Kuo, M. (2006, November). Identifying mushrooms. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site:

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