Types of false mushrooms: photo, description, difference from edible mushrooms

Fruit bodies are found both in the wild and in the household. And honey mushrooms are no exception - their mycelium multiplies quickly enough and continues to live for several years. Therefore, it is so convenient to collect them in the forest or artificially breed. And besides, "hunting" for honey mushrooms is a sheer pleasure, because it is a "collective" mushroom that does not tolerate loneliness and grows in groups in one small area. However, along with edible mushrooms, there are also false representatives that can harm health and even threaten life.

In the mushroom business, the main thing is not to rush, and also to pay attention to the appearance and smell of fruit bodies. Every lover of "quiet hunting" should take an important rule as a basis: "If you doubt, don't take it!" If you ignore it, then the risk of putting false money in your basket immediately increases. Experiments in this case can play a cruel joke on you. You need to collect only those mushrooms in which you are completely confident. To do this, you need to familiarize yourself with how to identify false and normal mushrooms.

In nature, there are several types of false mushrooms that can be confused with edible ones. Among them, the most common are sulfur-yellow and brick-red honey. Their caps are painted in a brighter color, while the real representatives have noticeable soft and nondescript shades of the fruiting body. The following photos and descriptions of false agarics will tell you in more detail about these features.

What is the difference between a sulfur-yellow false honey fungus from edible species

This type of fruiting body is a dangerous "guest" in your basket. If the mushroom that you want to put in your basket even remotely resembles a sulfur-yellow honey fungus, it is better to refuse it. Since this mushroom is considered poisonous, you must definitely know how false mushrooms differ from edible ones.

Latin name:Hypholoma fasciculare.



Hat: with a diameter of 3-7 cm, in young ones - bell-shaped. With age, it changes and becomes prostrate, acquiring a shape resembling an open umbrella. The color corresponds to the name: gray-yellow, yellow-brown. The center of the cap is darker (sometimes reddish-brown), the edges are lighter.

Leg: smooth, cylindrical, up to 10 cm high and up to 0.5 cm thick. Hollow, fibrous, light yellow in color.

Pulp: light yellow or whitish, with a pronounced unpleasant odor and bitter taste.

Plates: thin, densely spaced, often adherent to the peduncle. At a young age, the plates are sulfur-yellow, then they acquire a greenish tint, and at the end they become olive-black.

Pay attention to the photo, where you can see what false sulfur-yellow mushrooms look like:

Edibility: poisonous mushroom. When eaten, it causes poisoning, up to fainting.

Spreading: practically throughout the territory of the Russian Federation, except for permafrost zones. It grows in whole groups from mid-June to early October. Occurs on decaying deciduous and coniferous tree species. Also grows on tree stumps and soil near tree roots.

What does a false brick-red mushroom look like (with photo)

Another representative of false species of honey agaric, about the edibility of which it is impossible to come to a consensus. In our territory, it is considered poisonous, while in Canada, Italy and Germany, brick-red honey fungus is freely eaten. His description will help to see how false mushrooms differ from edible mushrooms.

Latin name:Hypholoma sublateritium.



Hat: rounded-convex, spherical, prostrate with age. From 4 to 8 cm in diameter (sometimes up to 12 cm), thick, fleshy, red-brown, less often yellow-brown.The center of the cap is darker, and white flakes can often be seen around the edges - the remnants of a private bedspread.

Leg: flat, dense and fibrous, becoming hollow and curved as it grows. Up to 10 cm in length and 1-1.5 cm in thickness. The upper part is bright yellow, the lower one is red-brown.

Pulp: dense, whitish or dirty yellow, bitter in taste and unpleasant in smell.

This type of fruit body can be clearly seen in the photo showing false and normal mushrooms:

Plates: frequent, narrowly accrete, light gray or yellow-gray. With age, the color changes to gray-olive, sometimes with a purple tint.

Edibility: popularly considered a poisonous mushroom, although in most sources, brick-red honey mushrooms are classified as conditionally edible mushrooms.

Spreading: Eurasia and North America. It grows on decaying stumps, branches and trunks of deciduous trees.

How to distinguish false mushrooms from normal edible mushrooms (with photo and video)

First of all, you need to thoroughly prepare in order to know which mushrooms you met in the forest - false or not, and how to recognize them among the edible representatives of fruit bodies? The main trick of all false mushrooms lies in the following: they grow in the same places and in the same seasons as edible ones. Sometimes they even intertwine with each other on stumps, branches and trunks of fallen trees.


In fact, a poisonous mushroom is not so difficult to distinguish from a real one. To do this, you should carefully consider its appearance. As already mentioned, edible mushrooms have a more "modest" color, as opposed to false ones. Often, the latter are immediately striking, because their hats are painted in brick red, honey brown and orange. However, these are not all signs of false agarics.


The first and most important difference that you need to pay attention to is the presence of a ring-skirt on the stem of the fruiting body. All types of edible honey agarics necessarily have such a ring, but false representatives do not have such a characteristic feature. Pay attention to the photo, where you can see how to distinguish false mushrooms from real ones by the presence of a skirt-ring:

However, it should be noted that adults and overgrown specimens may lose this trait. Therefore, in this case, it is worth paying attention to other known differences.


The next important difference between false and edible mushrooms is the smell. Just cut off the mushroom or slightly break the cap: real honeydew has a pleasant aroma, which cannot be said about false species. The latter give off the smell of mold, soil and rotten grass.

We also offer you to watch a video about false and edible mushrooms:

How else how to recognize whether false mushrooms or not: distinctive signs


The caps of real mushrooms are completely or partially covered with scales, while false mushrooms have completely smooth caps. The exception is winter honey agaric, however, during the season of its fruiting (winter) it is impossible to find other types of fruit bodies. However, you should also not forget that as they grow older, such scales disappear from real honey agarics.


Look under the caps of the collected honey agarics: in edible species, the plates have a delicate cream or white-yellow color, while the plates of the false representatives are colored dirty yellow or yellow. With age, the plates of inedible mushrooms become greenish or dirty brown.

Look at a few more photos of false and edible mushrooms to determine how to distinguish them by their appearance:


The pulp of false honey agarics for the most part has a bitter taste. However, it is highly discouraged to try them, and even more so to bite off a piece to determine whether you can take them to your basket! The signs described above should be enough in order to understand exactly how to behave with one or another type of fruiting body.

An experienced mushroom picker can immediately determine the edibility of the mushroom, however, beginner lovers of "quiet hunting" should be very careful to apply the knowledge gained!

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