Non Edible Mushrooms

Please remember that I am not an expert on mushrooms and that you should always find additional sources of identification before eating any mushroom that you harvest.

A message from Bud

Agarikon Fungus

Laricifomes Officinalis (Agarikon Fungus) is a fungus in the order Polyporales. It causes heart rot in conifers and is found in the Pacific Northwest. The conks were once collected as a source of medicinal quinine, which they were thought to contain, because of the bitter taste of the powdered conk. They were thought to work in curing Malaria. However, it was found that they do not contain quinine, and therefore, have no anti-malarial properties. Read More….


Amanita Augusta

Amanita Augusta, Vancouver Island, BCThe Amanita Augusta, like most amanita species, is mycorrhizal. Meaning it forms symbiotic relationships with tree hosts, it has been associated with both conifers and hardwoods and can be found in mixed woodlands. It can be found at any time during the fall mushroom season. Amanita Augusta is a species of agaric fungus in the family Amanitaceae. Read More….


Amanita Muscaria

Amanita Muscaria, Vancouver Island, BCThe Amanita Muscaria Mushroom is very abundant in Pacific Northwest and can be seen almost everywhere in the fall. The Amanita Muscaria Mushroom is a brightly colored mushroom that’s familiar to everyone from the illustrations found in fairy storybooks. Amanita Muscaria is commonly found in autumn in alder woods or under pines. Read More….


Amanita Pantherinoides

Amanita Pantherinoides, Vancouver Island, BCThe Panther Mushroom (Amanita Pantherinoides) grows on the ground near conifers trees. They are uncommon on Vancouver Island but can be found if you look. They are medium-sized Amanitas with a slender form. The stem is usually longer than the cap is wide.  This mushroom is usually found with conifer trees in natural areas but has adapted to grow in urban parks on the south island. Read More….


Birds Nest Fungi

Birds Nest Fungi, Vancouver Island, BCBirds Nest Fungi are a small group of saprophytic fungi that have a unique way of reproducing. As their common name suggests they look like small bird nests complete with eggs. In fact, the nest is a splash cup that is light to dark brown, green or white on the outside, and white, grey or brown on the inside, depending on the species. Read More….


Black Urn Fungi

Black Urn Fungi, Vancouver Island, BCBlack Urn Fungi is found at higher elevations in the Pacific Northwest. It is native to western North America and Asia. It is a non-edible mushroom species but not fatal if eaten. The black urn fungus was first described in 1928 as a unique fungus growing on conifer wood debris. It begins development under snow and reaches maturity as the snow melts. Read More….


Bleeding Tooth Mushroom

Bleeding Tooth Mushroom, Vancouver Island, BCThe Bleeding Tooth Mushroom can be found in the Pacific Northwest, it resides mostly in coniferous forests. The Bleeding Tooth can also be found in Europe and a few other areas in the far east. When you first see the bleeding tooth, you will be amazed at the red color, looks so much like blood, but look more closely and it becomes obvious that the fungus is producing the red fluids through its own small pores. Read More….


Bluing Psilocybe Mushroom

Bluing Psilocybe Mushroom, Vancouver Island, BCThe Bluing Psilocybe Mushroom grows all over the Pacific Northwest. The cap is wide and slightly convex but as the mushroom matures, the cap becomes nearly flat with a wavy edge. The cap is also sticky, moist, and smooth with a dark chestnut brown color fading to an almost tan color. The cap, along with the stem bruise blue when touched. The bluing is very intense and sudden. Read More….


Carbon Antler Fungi

Carbon Antler Fungi, Vancouver Island, BCThe Carbon Antler Fungi is a commonly seen fungus in the Pacific Northwest. This slender, erect, gray to black fungi often branches near its tips but can also be just a wavy stub like a semi-melted candlestick, hence its common name, candle snuff fungus. While you can’t eat this fibrous fungus, you can still enjoy its unusual form that reminds some of an extinguished candle. Read More….


Clitocybe Tarda Mushroom

Clitocybe Tarda Mushroom, Vancouver Island, BCThe mushroom has a brownish pink cap with a smooth surface, the flesh is thin and brittle, and the cap tastes bitter. The stalk is slender and smooth. The spore print is pinkish gray. It is unknown if the species is edible, but it does have a pleasant taste.  There has been a name change for these mushrooms, it is now called Lepesta Tarda. Read More….


Collared Earthstar

Collared Earthstar Mushroom, Vancouver Island, BCThe Collared Earthstar Mushroom that is found in the Pacific Northwest is most often found in coniferous forests, but sometimes you will see them in maple and alder groves. If you cut through a young fruit body, you will see that the interior is white, but it gradually turns into a dark brown powdery mass as the spores mature. Spores are emitted from the apical hole as the wind blows across it, much larger puffs of spores escape when raindrops hit and compress the spore sac. Read More….


Cortinarius Croceus

Cortinarius Croceus, Vancouver Island, BCThe Cortinarius group of mushrooms is a difficult group to identify with any degree of certainty. There are several of them that have an orangy brown cap that looks very similar. Best to see fruiting that has both young and old specimens. This is the Cortinarius Croceus mushroom, also known as the Saffron Webcap. Not usually a common mushroom here on Vancouver Island, although this year (2019) I have seen them in quite a few spots growing in large fruitings. Read More….


Crystal Brain Fungus

Crystal Brain Fungus, Vancouver Island, BCCrystal Brain Fungus, ((Exidia nucleata) is a translucent, white, jelly fungus that grows on hardwoods but can sometimes be found in large blobs on the ground that take on a brain-like appearance. The fruiting bodies are white and gelatinous. It is a common fungus, typically growing as irregular masses on decaying deciduous wood. It can occur in extensive patches though, like the one in the photo. When they get big, they take on a brain-like shape. Read More….


Death Cap Mushroom

Death Cap Mushroom, Vancouver Island, BCAmanita phalloides, or as it is more commonly called, the Death Cap does grow on Vancouver Island, and with People having read about the pets who have died this year from eating these mushrooms in the Victoria area and the 3-year-old child who died in 2016, they are now very worried about them. There is a lot of misinformation being presented out there, online and in news publications, that one can hardly blame them. Read More….


False Chanterelle

False Chanterelle, Vancouver Island, BCHygrophoropsis Aurantiaca, also known as the false chanterelle is a gilled boletoid fungus. It can easily be mistaken for the highly prized edible Chanterelle, and although some mycologists consider it safe to eat, there are still some concerns about this mushroom. There are reports that some people have suffered hallucinations after eating this species. The False Chanterelle should, therefore, be treated with caution, and I recommend that it should be considered as inedible. Read More….


Green Stain Fungus

Green Stain Fungus, Vancouver Island, BCGreen Stain Fungi is one of my favorite fungi s of the Chlorociboria spp. You are much more likely to see the mycelium than the fruiting bodies though.  Green Stained Fungi is also known as Blue Stain Fungus, Turquoise Elfcup, Green cup fungi, or a variation of these names. Some people will see a blue color while others see it as green. Read More….


Helvella Leucomelaena

Helvella Leucomelaena, Vancouver Island, BCIn North America, this fungus is really quite rare, but it has been seen growing in California, Alaska, British Columbia, and on Vancouver Island. It can also be found growing in South America and Europe. It prefers to grow in coniferous forests. The white foot may be hidden or obscured by leaves or it could be partially buried in the soil. Read More….


Hooded False Morel

Hooded False morel, Vancouver Island, BCThe Hooded False Morel Mushroom is poisonous. It is very poisonous. This fungi grows solitary or in small groups among the conifer forests of the Pacific Northwest. It can be found in most parts of North America. Its season is from November to April and is a winter mushroom that can grow under the snow. This mushroom is so poisonous that even the fumes from cooking it can kill you, please just look at this guy, then leave it alone. Read More….


Lawn Mower Mushroom

Lawn Mower Mushroom, Vancouver Island, BCThe lawnmower mushroom is one of the most common and widely distributed lawn mushrooms in the Pacific Northwest and it often grows in large numbers. This mushroom is mildly poisonous and should not be eaten by children or adults and try to keep your pets from eating them as they can have a serious effect on cats’ livers and kidneys and can make dogs ill. Many dogs have not survived after eating these mushrooms. They will eat them by accident when they are eating grass. Read More….

Lepiota Arminea Mushroom

Lepiota Arminea Mushroom, Vancouver Island, BCThe numerous lepiota species are even more difficult than the amanita species to identify. To know whether they are poisonous or not and if poisonous, whether amanitin has been detected. Even mycologists have trouble with these mushrooms. Most lepiota have an unpleasant rubber-like smell, with a sweet component. However, most of the toxic ones often have a seductively sweetish smell. Read More….


Mitrula Elegans

Mitrula Elegans, Vancouver Island, BCMitrula Elegans or as it is commonly called, the swamp beacon, is a small but conspicuous inhabitant of moist, boggy areas in the island’s forests. Fleshy fungi are saprobic organisms and are responsible for decomposing a massive amount of wood and leaf litter in forest ecosystems.  Swamp beacons belong to a group of mushrooms known as earth tongues.  Read More….


Mycena Acicula Mushrooms

Mycena Acicula, Vancouver Island, BCThe Mycena Acicula grows all over Vancouver Island, they are also called orange bonnet or the coral spring Mycena. This mushroom is a species in the Mycenaceae Family. You can see them growing on dead twigs and woody debris in the conifer forests, look for them along streams and bogs. They have orange caps that fade towards the edge that will reach up to 1cm across, these caps are supported on thin stems that can reach up to 6cm tall. Read More….


Mycena Filopes Mushroom

Mycena Filopes Mushroom, Vancouver Island, BCThe Mycena Filopes Mushroom can be found growing in all parts of the Pacific Northwest, as well as in most parts of North America, look for it on the forest floor growing among the leaf matter. This mushroom has an abnormally long stem along with a hoary whitish gray to tan colored cap and an odor of iodine. Read More….


Mycena Leptocephala

Mycena Letocephala, Vancouver Island, BCMycena leptocephala, also known as the Nitrous Bonnet, is a species of mushroom in the Mycenaceae family. The mushrooms have conical grayish caps that can reach up to 3 cm in diameter. The cam is held up by a thin fragile stem that can reach up to 5 cm high. The gills are also gray and widely spaced. The mushroom is found in North America and Asia, where it grows singly or in groups on conifer needles, cones, and sticks on the forest floor. Read More….


Orange Jelly Fungus

Orange Jelly Fungus, Vancouver Island, BCDacrymyces palmatus, also known as Orange Jelly Fungi, is a common jelly fungus from the Dacrymycetaceae family. It is usually found on the deadwood, usually recently fallen branches and on fallen trees,  it also can be found growing on dying standing trees. The gelatinous, orange fruiting body of the fungus, which can grow up to more than 7 cm in diameter, has a lobed surface that is slimy to the touch when wet. It grows on conifer bark and is more common in the fall rainy season. Read More….


Phaeolus Schweinitzii Mushroom

Phaeolus Schweinitzii Mushroom, Vancouver Island, BCWalking in the Salmon River Estuary on Vancouver Island, l noticed a more than average amount of Phaeolus Schweinitzii Mushrooms. These are your classic butt rot fungus, they attack trees through their roots. This fungus causes the roots, butt, and about the first 3 to 6 meters of the heartwood to decay. This weakens the root system severely and quite often will cause the tree to blow over during the winter storms. Trees that stay standing are downgraded to less valuable lumber when logged. Read More….


Red Belted Polypore

Red Belted Polypore, Vancouver Island, BCProbably our most commonly encountered species, the Red Belted Polypore, can be found growing on most species of western conifers. In North America, they attack not just softwood forests but will be found in most hardwood forests as well, they grow on over 100 different types of dead trees. it will also occasionally attack living trees. The red-belted polypore plays a big role in the recycling of the forest’s dead and dying trees and returns the woody fiber back to enrich the soil. Read More….


Sarcosphaera Coronaria

Sarcosphaera coronaria, Vancouver Island, BCSarcosphaera coronaria is commonly known as crown fungus or the violet-crowned cup. This solitary and beautiful fungus is common in conifer forests in the Pacific Northwest. The hollow, round ball of the fruiting body usually fruits in the spring, but on Vancouver Island, it also shows up for summer and autumn fruitings. The ball will eventually split from the top and open not unlike the earth stars, the interior is hollow and grey in color at first but the walls inside go through a gradual change till it is purplish pink. Read More….


Sulfur Tuft Mushrooms

Sulfur Tuft Mushrooms, Vancouver Island, BCLook for these mushrooms from April through to the first heavy frosts, a walk-in our island forests rarely fails to reveal Sulphur Tufts fruiting on fallen trees, decaying stumps, or hollow trunks of living trees. This wood-rotting fungus will happily feed on deciduous hardwoods as well as conifers with equal relish, although it is most effective in rotting hardwoods, which generally have a higher cellulose content and rather lower lignin content than conifers. Read More….


Trametes Versicolor

Trametes Versicolor, Vancouver Island, BCTrametes versicolor, or as it is more commonly called turkey tail fungus. It can be found all through the year, but you can see it better during the winter when deciduous trees are bare. This very variable fungus grows mainly on dead hardwood, including stumps and standing dead trees as well as fallen branches. These beautiful fungi grow in profusion here on Vancouver Island, but it does not matter how many times you see them, they still catch your eye with their beauty. Read More….


Turbinellus Floccosus

Turbinellus Floccosus, Vancouver Island, BCTurbinellus floccosus is also called the shaggy, scaly, or woolly chanterelle, although it is not related to the chanterelles at all. It is a mushroom of the family Gomphaceae that is native to North America, they are quite common on Vancouver Island. It was known as Gomphus floccosus until 2011, It was then transferred from Gomphus to Turbinellus. Read More….


White Dapperling Mushroom

White Dapperling Mushroom, Vancouver Island, BCThis is the white dapperling mushroom, sometimes it looks very much like the death cap.  It shows up in grassy areas just like the death cap mushroom, it fruits in large groups. The mushroom is considered edible with caution, both because it can be confused with the Deathcap and the Destroying Angel. Some people who have eaten the White Dapperling have become ill, a few have even been hospitalized, so my advice is to just leave this one alone. Read More….


Witches Hat Mushroom

Witches Hat Mushroom, Vancouver Island, BCThe Witches Hat Mushroom is commonly known as the witches cap, they are also called blackening waxcap mushrooms, this is one of several species whose caps turn black with age. The witch’s cap can be seen in lines along roadsides where the grass is well shaded, moist, and mossy. This mushroom is quite beautiful when seen in bright sunshine, these conical waxcap fungi can look just as good in wet weather, as they stand out brightly against the green background of their grassy habitats. Read More….


Poisonous mushrooms differ in their effects according to the chemical nature of their toxins. Medical science recognizes about 6 quite different classes of mushroom poison. The most virulent, like those from the amanita species are quite often deadly.  There are other toxins just as deadly in other mushrooms. Some cause varying degrees of illness but are not for the most part as deadly. Some mushrooms can be quite tasty and good to harvest in parts of their territories but then can be quite poisonous in other parts. This makes harvesting them a real challenge.

I suggest you developed a shortlist, say around 12 mushrooms, that you gather and then stay with them. After getting to know these, you can add one or two new ones a year and after a few years, you will have quite a decent list of mushrooms that you harvest. Always try just a small portion when trying out a new mushroom, mushrooms have a variety of effects on different people.

Non Edible Mushrooms, Vancouver Island, BC
Non Edible Mushrooms, Vancouver Island, BC, photo by Bud Logan

4 thoughts on “Non Edible Mushrooms”

  1. This is a great site, well-explained and photographed. Compared to most plant postings this posting this is in a class by itself!

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