Mushroom Buddies spores are tiny reproductive cells that are deposited in patterns on the surface of a substrate when mushrooms grow. This gives the mushroom its characteristic colour, shape and other distinctive features that can be used in identification.
Spore prints are an excellent tool for identifying mushrooms but should not be used as the only method of identification. It is best to use a spore print in combination with field guides and online research, as mushroom species are continually being reclassified and shifted around.
Psilocybin Mushrooms in the UK: Understanding the Spore Aspect
A spore print is easy to make by placing the cap of a mushroom gill side down on a piece of paper. The paper should be neutral coloured (not white or black). Place the mushroom over a glass to raise the humidity and prevent air currents disturbing the spore pattern. Allow the spore print to develop for a few hours, or overnight, and then check the colour of the spores to see what species the mushroom is.
Spore print colours are very useful for comparing with descriptions in field guides and keys. Interpreting the colour can be tricky, especially when a spore print is not very clear and there are many similar colours, but with practice, it is quite straightforward.
It is important to note that most fungal spores contain allergens that can cause a range of respiratory symptoms in those susceptible, including sneezing, runny nose, cough, sinusitis, nasal congestion, asthma and more. The types of spores released during certain periods of the year are also associated with certain seasonal diseases and can contribute to bronchial conditions.