Unless you’re hiking around a botanical garden, it’s very unlikely that you will encounter identification labels attached to wild organisms.
No “Acer saccharum” next to the sugar maple. No “Dicentra cucullaria” next to the Dutchman’s breeches. No “Armillaria mellea” next to the honey mushroom.
What’s an amateur naturalist to do? It can all seem so overwhelming…
Before you toss your mushroom basket in the trash, however, keep reading. I have a solution.
You see, one of my goals at Learn Your Land is to deepen your connection to nature by helping you identify the wild species within your ecosystem. Specifically in this post, I’d like to help you distinguish between two common mushrooms found throughout North America.
One is the honey mushroom, a choice edible fungus that fruits in large quantities.
The second is the deadly galerina (Galerina marginata), a toxic mushroom that resembles the honey mushroom in appearance.
As you might be able to tell, this information is extremely important for individuals interested in harvesting honey mushrooms for the table. Both species grow in similar habitats and their seasons overlap. What’s more, neither species is labeled in nature…