Honey Mushroom vs. Deadly Galerina

The only relatively safe way to identify a mushroom is to show it to someone experienced with it. That means showing them, in person, all your mushrooms, and while they are still fresh, not just sending a photo of one or some of them a day or two later. Find someone in your area to learn from.

Here are ten typical differences between honey mushrooms and Galerina autumnalis (a.k.a., G. marginata). Keep in mind that, like humans, mushrooms vary in appearance, especially honey mushrooms, of which there are several species. A given mushroom will rarely have all the following characteristics.

This variation is not cause for despair. Countless people have managed to identify honey mushrooms safely for thousands of years. Besides, without diversity, life would be boring.

at maturity:

height

more than 3 inches

almost always vs. almost never

width

more than 2 inches

almost always vs. almost never

cap

hairs vs. no hairs

usually dry and thick vs. often sticky and/or translucent

spore color

white vs. rusty brown

ring at maturity

white vs. brown

persistent vs. frequently evanescent

stem

thickness relative to cap

about 20% vs. about 10%

appearance

usually with vertical lines above the ring vs. rarely with lines

flesh

white vs. yellowish

frequency in Western North Carolina

very common vs. rare

You can’t learn to forage from a website.
Always learn from an expert, preferably your parents.