The pages of this blog contain pictures of mushrooms that I have personally eaten.
Unfortunately, there are people who will offer idiotic advice regarding the edibility of mushrooms. Statements like “Australian native mushrooms won’t kill you – look at the statistics” have been made to me. The reason that the statistics are low is that we are a nation of mycophobes, which is a good thing in some ways.
Let there be no mistake, there are plenty of Australian native mushrooms that will kill you in a slow and horrible manner. It is not a hobby to be taken lightly. My photographs and notes provide a guide, but they are not idiot proof. I never eat a mushroom until I have researched it throughly and even then I always try a little bit first.
There are not a lot of qualified mycologists around in Australia, and their primary interests are usually not in the area of edibility of mushrooms. That said, they are the people who are uniquely qualified to do identify a mushroom. It is a worthwhile exercise to aquaint yourself with the resources that are available to you in this regard.
If you have a field mushroom about which you are in doubt, in Western Australia, there is a service provided by The Department of Agriculture’s AGWEST Plant Laboratories, 3 Baron Hay Court, South Perth which will provide an identification service for a small fee. Such as service is an extremely valuable resource. See also their guide to indentification of field mushrooms.
You should also be aware of the Biodiversity Conservation Bill 2015 in WA which specifically places native fungi in the category of plants and thus flora and imposes massive fines for picking them. In addition, species which are quite clearly introduced rather than native in the normal sense of the word have been classified as native. As a result you should only pick any mushroom from private land. WA is perhaps the only place in the world where you could potentially face financial ruin for picking a common field mushroom or even a sprig of wattle.
There are also of course many internet resources available regarding the edibility and chemistry of mushrooms. Mostly, these are not directly applicable to Australian mushrooms, although it depends on whether the particular species is native or introduced, which in itself can be hard to determine.
I shall try to list a few resources here. One I have recently come upon that has some extensive chemical data and references is:
A site with a good collection of photographs of mushrooms in Australia is provided by Bill Leithhead.