Mushrooms and Edible Fungi

What is a spore print?

A spore print is an important tool in the identification of mushrooms. To make a spore print, the stalk is removed and the cap placed gill side down on a piece of paper. The mushroom cap is covered with a glass and left undisturbed for several hours or overnight. The spores that are present in the mushroom will drop, and based on the color of the spore print, the sizes and shapes of the spores, and the overall pattern of the mushroom’s gills, it can usually be identified. It is more difficult to get a spore print from a younger mushroom—the process works best with mature mushrooms.


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