Spore Printing Mushrooms
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The sample spore print cards above are a few examples of patterns that one can make on a home printer. The alternating black and white areas make it quicker and easier to determine the color of the spores.
Spore printing is one of the tools that may be used to help identify certain mushrooms.
To begin, carefully remove the stipe, or stem, from the cap as shown in the photo to the right.
Place the cap, with gills or pores side down onto the spore print card. Make sure the cap overlies both black and white areas of the card as shown in the photos to the left and right.
After several hours remove the cap and examine the spore print card. Any spores that dropped from the cap will appear on the card. Note the color and compare with a mushroom guide. The tawny colored spores of this mushroom are easier to see on the black background in the photos left and below.
Mushrooms can be difficult to identify even when using a spore print guide. In certain cases it may be necessary to examine the spores under a microscope for final identification.
Placing a glass or bowl over the cap and spore print card while awaiting the spores to drop may prevent smaller spores blowing away or being disturbed.
Some mushrooms are
deadly poisonous. Do not approach the identication process casually. Be absolutely certain!