Unfortunately poisonous mushrooms in one geographical region often have a similar appearance to edible mushrooms in other areas. Whenever you move to a new region you need to learn which mushrooms are edible or poisonous in that area before eating any of them. Depending on the geographical region, consuming the wrong wild mushrooms can cause your liver or kidneys to fail, muscles to break down, and ultimately lead to death. In general, it is best not to forage for wild mushrooms.
Chlorophyllum molybdites, or the “Green Spored Lepiota”, grows in Arizona and much of the United States, especially on grassy lawns. It looks like some edible Lepiota species, but when eaten this mushroom causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal discomfort in about 1 to 3 hours. It can be distinguished from some other mushrooms by the green spore print it leaves when dried.
Also known as “magic mushrooms”, this group of mushrooms contain psilocybin and other hallucinogen-causing substances. People eat the dried mushroom or a powder made from the mushroom in an attempt to hallucinate. Other than hallucinations and other sensory perception disturbances, these mushrooms may also cause nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness, and anxiety.
Amanita muscaria, also known as Fly Agaric, is another mushroom which is often ingested for its sensory perception and sedating characteristics. These mushrooms classically have a bright red or yellow cap with white spots. The toxins in them include ibotenic acid and muscimol, and eating the mushrooms can also lead to sweating, increased salivation, nausea, vomiting, abdominal discomfort, and delirium.
Call the Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) as soon as you develop any symptoms, or as soon as you believe you ate a poisonous mushroom. If you have severe discomfort, go directly to an emergency room. If you still have a sample of the mushroom, hold onto it, because it may help in determining if it was poisonous or not.Top of Page