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Posted by on Aug 15, 2018 in Tell Me Why Numerous Questions and Answers |

When Should You Call a Mushroom a Toadstool?

When Should You Call a Mushroom a Toadstool?

It’s up to you. If it looks like a good spot for a toad to sit, then go ahead and call it a toadstool. No one will mind! When you think of a mushroom, you may think of a simple white mushroom that grows above the ground with a stem and a cap with pores or gills. There are actually many different types of mushrooms, though. Some have stems and caps and some don’t.

Some mushrooms are called toadstools. This nickname probably came from the fact that they looked just like a perfect spot for a toad to sit! Some people believe that the term “toadstool” means a mushroom that is poisonous. This belief may have come from the fact that many toads were considered highly poisonous.

However, there are actually many misconceptions out there about toadstools. For example, not all toadstools are toxic. Moreover, many mushrooms are deadly. While some mushrooms are tasty treats, several types of mushrooms are poisonous and can be deadly to human beings. As a general rule, never eat wild mushrooms. Stick to what you find in grocery stores.

amanita muscaria

Others believe toadstools are all mushrooms that have the typical stem and cap. One mushroom often considered a toadstool is Amanita muscaria, a red-capped, stemmed mushroom often seen in fairy tales.

To get to the bottom of the confusion, here are some simple facts to remember about mushrooms and toadstools: Mushrooms and toadstools are the same. There’s no scientific difference between them. Mushrooms and toadstools cannot be defined by or distinguished from one another by shape, color, or appearance. Not all toadstools are poisonous and not all mushrooms are safe to eat.

Content for this question contributed by Tom Lacey, resident of McKees Rocks, Allegheny County, western Pennsylvania, USA