Common Poisonous Mushrooms in Hong Kong, Herbarium Leaflet F3, Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department
漁農自然護理署 香港植物標本室單張 F3《香港常見的有毒菇類》
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People in Hong Kong have recently showed increasing interest in searching for mushrooms in the wild or by the roadside. Most nature lovers are curious about the myriad shapes, sizes, colors and forms of mushrooms, while others are interested in edibility of mushrooms. Because mushrooms are pretty difficult to tell apart and the edibility of many mushrooms is still unknown, people should never try tasting any wild mushrooms collected themselves. This leaflet will illustrate the nine most common poisonous mushrooms and aim to help readers identify those morphological features, associated toxins and onset of mushroom poisoning symptoms.
Things to remember for appreciating mushrooms:
- Do not eat mushrooms picked from country parks or natural environments. Mushroom species are extremely diverse, and their morphology is always ambiguous and the edibility is largely unknown.
- Do not eat mushrooms from roadside planting areas or urban parks since planting soil may be contaminated with heavy metals, poisonous pollutants or pesticides.
- Do not trust any folklore, such as simple tests or colors, for edibility. The deadly poisonous mushrooms are unremarkably white, yellow-brown or brown.
- Do not eat raw mushrooms picked from the wild and in supermarket. Some chemical compounds in raw mushrooms, such as hydrazines, may make you sick.
- Many mushrooms that have combined features of a membranous ring or large volva on the stalk, scales or warts on the surface of the cap are poisonous.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after touching any mushrooms in the wild.
- If you experience symptoms of poisoning, consult a doctor or go to a hospital immediately. Take the uncooked mushrooms with you and give them to your doctor.