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List of Poisonous Mushrooms With Pictures

Updated on September 22, 2016
kittythedreamer profile image

Kitty the Dreamer has adored and studied herbs and their uses for the past five years. She is always learning and sharing with her readers.

Agaric
Agaric | Source
Toadstool
Toadstool
Destroying Angel
Destroying Angel
Death Cap
Death Cap
Deadly Parasol
Deadly Parasol
Deadly Dapperling
Deadly Dapperling
Woolly Milkcap
Woolly Milkcap
Deadly Parasol
Deadly Parasol

Mushrooms are a type of fungus and can be incredibly delicious in many types of cuisine—Italian, Greek, Mexican, and all-American. But as much as we love eating a dozen sauteed mushrooms on our Philly cheesteak sandwich, there are some mushrooms in the same family of fungi that are extremely poisonous. This is why it's not a good idea to go hunting for your own mushrooms if you don't know how to identify which are poisonous.

A full list of poisonous mushrooms including the most poisonous mushroom will be provided to you in this article. Some basics on identifying and avoiding these poisonous mushrooms will also be provided, along with pictures.

Disclaimer: Keep in mind that poisonous mushrooms differ by region and continent, and so if you plan to go mushroom-hunting there is some definitive risk in this activity. There isn't always a solid way to identify poisonous mushrooms from edible mushrooms, and this has been shown in that professional, experienced mushroom gatherers will still sometimes confuse a poisonous mushroom for an edible mushroom and thereby suffer an illness and sometimes death. This particular list of poisonous mushrooms covers mostly the European and North American poisonous mushrooms and excludes many of the poisonous mushrooms found in Asia and other continents.

  • Agaric - is a part of the Amanita family and is virulently poisonous so should never be ingested. Agaric is a poisonous mushroom with a brightly colored cap, usually red with white spots. Never ingest a mushroom with a brightly colored cap. However, folk magic has used this poisonous mushroom, placed on an altar in the bedroom to increase fertility.
  • Autumn Skullcap - these poisonous mushrooms are small and brown mushrooms, with generally tall stems/stalks. These poisonous mushrooms seem to be particularly dangerous to mushroom-hunters, as they appear very similar to the hallucinogenic psilocybe mushroom species. They've made our list of poisonous mushrooms because they are also very close in appearance to some edible mushrooms, as well. They are usually found in dampened moss beds and also grow on wood.
  • Dapperling - the dapperling is toxic, as well. It many times has a freckled appearance and can be found in Europe in coniferous forests. This poisonous mushroom has white gills and spores and when consumed can be potentially fatal. One poisoning in Spain was due to the deadly dapperling mushroom.
  • Deadly Parasol - the deadly parasol is on our list as it is extremely deadly and has killed a few people. It is part of the Lepiota family and looks just like a parasol, hence the name. It can be white, brown, or speckled. They can be found all over the world, and will grow only on the ground in rich soils. Beware!
  • Death Cap - the death cap is perhaps the most poisonous mushroom and is usually found in Europe. This mushroom is usually found growing in summer and fall seasons and usually has a green top with white bottoms. Most of the deaths by poisonous mushrooms are attributed to the death cap. Even some famous deaths are attributed to this poisonous mushroom. Only one ounce of this poisonous mushroom can kill a human after consumption.
  • Destroying Angel - the destroying angel is a brother to the death cap and extremely toxic. Another name for this mushroom is the fool's mushroom. They contain the exact ingredient as their brother the death cap. Usually they are pure white but can sometimes have pink, tan, and yellow tints in the center of their caps. The young destroying angels are sometimes confused with "puff-balls," a type of edible mushroom.
  • False Champignon - this mushroom can be found in both Europe and North America. It is usually funnel-shaped and is found in grassy areas like yards, fields, etc. While this mushroom is poisonous, it is not usually deadly but will make you very sick if consumed.
  • False Morel - this mushroom is quite ugly looking. Check out the picture below. Some people claim that they can eat them with no apparent harm, while others find them to be toxic and will make you sick.
  • Ivory Funnel - the ivory funnel is another poisonous mushroom that can be found in meadows and yards in Europe and North America. It is usually white and funnel-shaped and is toxic. Death is rarely caused by this poisonous mushroom but muscarine poisoning will occur and make you sick.
  • Sulfur Tuft - this species usually grows in clustered groups and can usually be found when no other mushrooms are found. They are brown and grow on wood including dead roots and trunks. If ingested, they can be toxic and have once been fatal.
  • Toadstool - toadstools look very friendly in comparison with the agaric and other brightly-colored poisonous mushrooms; however, they can be toxic too and should not be ingested. In folklore, the toadstool will sometimes grow in circles that are called "fairy rings," as it is believed that the fairies dance within the toadstool circles. Toadstool is also a term used for many different poisonous mushrooms.
  • Woolly Milk-cap - the woolly milk-cap has a fuzzy top. As another rule of mushroom hunting, never pick mushrooms that have hairy tops, they could be poisonous and could even be a woolly milk-cap.
  • Yellow Knight - the yellow knight has been an edible mushroom in Europe but can also cause sickness therefore making it on our list. It is usually yellow in color and has a layer of skin on the cap that can be peeled off.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Leucocoprinus birnbaumii (Australian poisonous mushroom - yellow flower pot mushrooms)Sulfur TuftAmanita bisporigeraGalerina marginata (batsch)Fly AgaricFalse ChampignonYellow KnightWoolly MilkcapFalse MorelFalse Morel
Leucocoprinus birnbaumii (Australian poisonous mushroom - yellow flower pot mushrooms)
Leucocoprinus birnbaumii (Australian poisonous mushroom - yellow flower pot mushrooms)
Sulfur Tuft
Sulfur Tuft
Amanita bisporigera
Amanita bisporigera
Galerina marginata (batsch)
Galerina marginata (batsch)
Fly Agaric
Fly Agaric
False Champignon
False Champignon
Yellow Knight
Yellow Knight
Woolly Milkcap
Woolly Milkcap
False Morel
False Morel
False Morel
False Morel

© 2012 Nicole Canfield

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  • Greensleeves Hubs profile image

    Greensleeves Hubs 14 months ago from Essex, UK

    Interesting page to read Nicole. I don't know if you've adjusted it at all to take account of points made by 'Singularity' because certainly some of what he says doesn't apply to the article as currently presented, and overstates the case. The basic message though is clear, and is included in your text:

    ' if you plan to go mushroom-hunting there is some definitive risk in this activity. There isn't always a solid way to identify poisonous mushrooms from edible mushrooms'

    Certainly I wouldn't ever risk it, but I know many who know what they're doing, enjoy mushroom picking.

    I've always loved the name 'destroying angel' ever since I first heard it as a child - really frightening sounding, and not one that anyone should touch :)

  • kittythedreamer profile image
    Author

    Nicole Canfield 4 years ago from the Ether

    Thank you.

  • Chicks With Ticks profile image

    Jacqueline Levine 4 years ago from Lakeland, FL

    Kitty - when approaching a subject such as a plant's toxicity, and any other thing that might harm someone, it is critical that great care be taken to do proper research HOWEVER, I highly encourage individuals to gather their own information before eating anything wild. As an adventurer and author of Chicks with Ticks, we have had mixed experiences with even the most harmless of plants! Also, plants are regional and their toxicity can be linked to multiple factors sometimes seasonality, stage, etc.....this is a beautiful article!

  • kittythedreamer profile image
    Author

    Nicole Canfield 4 years ago from the Ether

    LOL...that's what I was thinking.

  • phoenix2327 profile image

    Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

    Thank you, Ms. Kitty. That really is too much first thing in the morning.

  • kittythedreamer profile image
    Author

    Nicole Canfield 4 years ago from the Ether

    The information you've provided is wonderful, though the yelling is somewhat unprofessional.

  • profile image

    Singularity 4 years ago

    YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING! ONE BITE OF A DEATHCAP CAN KILL A HEALTHY ADULT! YOU SAID IT TOOK ONE OUNCE! DEATHCAPS ARE NOT CONFINED TO EUROPE! THEY GROW IN NORTH AMERICA AS WELL!

    FALSE MORELS ARE DEADLY! They will not just make you sick! People do eat these, foolishly. The toxins sometimes can be removed through a special cooking procedure, but there is no guarantee this will work. Eating false morels is like playing Russian Roulette. Even the fumes from cooking can be dangerous.

    THE ENTIRE AMANITA GENUS SHOULD BE AVOIDED! NOT JUST THE ONES YOU SHOW HERE! There are multiple types which contain deadly amatoxins, a number which contain dangerous nerve toxins, and some which contain other dangerous toxins. The Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaira) --- which you call "Agaric" --- contains nerve toxins. It should not be eaten, but there are others which are much more dangerous. Amanita muscaira sometimes is red, but is not always. The term "Agaric" does NOT only refer to Amanita mucaira.

    THE ENTIRE LEPIOTA GENUS SHOULD BE AVOIDED! You mentioned a couple of Lepiotas which are deadly. I know there are deadly Lepiotas, but I think there might be ones in addition to those you mentioned. In any case, I read that all Lepiotas should be avoided. I read one reference which said that ALL PARASOL MUSHROOMS SHOULD BE AVOIDED.

    IT IS A MYTH THAT MUSHROOMS WHICH STAIN A COIN ARE POISONOUS, AND THOSE WHICH DO NOT ARE SAFE! STOP PROPAGATING THIS NONSENSE!

    FEEDING MUSHROOMS TO SOMEONE ELSE FIRST TO TEST EDIBILITY IS SICK! IT ALSO DOES NOT WORK! POISONING SYMPTOMS FOR DEADLY MUSHROOMS ARE DELAYED!

    YOU DID NOT MENTION THE CORTINARIUS GENUS! THIS CONTAINS SOME DEADLY SPECIES!

    COLOR DOES NOT INDICATE THE TOXICITY OF A MUSHROOM! Some brightly colored mushrooms are poisonous. Others are not. SOME MUSHROOMS WHICH ARE NOT BRIGHTLY COLORED ARE POISONOUS! There is no correlation between color and toxicity. ONLY PROPER IDENTIFICATION CAN DETERMINE WHETHER WHETHER A MUSHROOM IS SAFE. Even after proper identification, a mushroom which is edible for most people CAN CAUSE PROBLEMS FOR SOME PEOPLE!

  • kittythedreamer profile image
    Author

    Nicole Canfield 5 years ago from the Ether

    Lipnancy - Thanks, I thought they were gorgeous too!

  • Lipnancy profile image

    Nancy Yager 5 years ago from Hamburg, New York

    Your pictures are truly awesome. Thank you for the useful information. When I was a kid, we visited and bought mushrooms from a local farm.

  • kittythedreamer profile image
    Author

    Nicole Canfield 5 years ago from the Ether

    It is a great book. Wow, you must be proud of him. Thanks again for the laugh!

  • peoplepower73 profile image

    Mike Russo 5 years ago from Placentia California

    My son and I read the book when he was a teenager. I love the way the author personified seagulls. I think it was one of the things that caused my son to become a pilot. He now flys 747s all over the world for an air cargo company. I'm glad I made you laugh!

  • kittythedreamer profile image
    Author

    Nicole Canfield 5 years ago from the Ether

    LOL! She fed them to her husband to make sure he didn't die first? Hilarious! I love the story about the 50 cent piece though...amazing. I'd never heard of that, thank you for sharing!

    By the way, the opening line of my profile is from Jonathon Livingston Seagull...love that book! Blessings.

  • peoplepower73 profile image

    Mike Russo 5 years ago from Placentia California

    I'm Italian when I was a kid we used to pick mushrooms that grew on the sides of walnut trees. They were huge. My mother would put them in the spaghetti sauce. She would always put a 50 cent piece in with them. If the coin turned green would not eat them. If it didn't that meant they were O.K. My mother in-law on the other hand would feed them to my father-in-law first, if he didn't die, then it was O.K. to eat them. Very interesting hub. Voting up, interesting and Sharing.

  • kittythedreamer profile image
    Author

    Nicole Canfield 5 years ago from the Ether

    Daughter of Maat - I actually LOVE mushrooms...not sure what it is but I love the taste of them! Love them in salads, on sandwiches, in red sauce, etc. Yes, identifying poisonous mushrooms by pictures is probably the easiest way...but that's not always a fail-safe means of identifying these toxic things. Thanks!

  • Daughter Of Maat profile image

    Melissa Flagg 5 years ago from Rural Central Florida

    I used to be allergic to mushrooms. My hubby loves them though. Recently I found I'm no longer allergic and of course hubby was all happy about that! lol These things just gross me out a bit, why would you want to eat a fungus?? lol

    This was an awesome hub though kitty, Like phoenix said, they are pretty! I'm glad you added in such awesome photos; it makes identification so much easier. Two of the shrooms I had in my pepper plants yesterday and I didn't know they were poisonous!!

    Voted up, useful, interesting, and shared!! Good stuff!

  • kittythedreamer profile image
    Author

    Nicole Canfield 5 years ago from the Ether

    phoenix - I know, I especially am a fun of the agaric...it's my favorite poisonous mushroom! :)

  • phoenix2327 profile image

    Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 5 years ago from United Kingdom

    Poisonous they maybe, but some of them are really pretty.

    Voted up, useful and interesting. Socially shared.