Garden Myths Gardening Mushrooms

Garden Myth: White Mushrooms Are Always Edible (Not!)

White mushrooms might be edible… or they might be poisonous. You can’t tell by color alone. Source:

Most garden myths are harmless. They may not be totally true and they may be a waste of time and money, but they won’t kill you. Here’s one that can.

I recently received a letter from a reader (name changed to protect the innocent) asking whether it was true that white mushrooms were always edible. She had some growing in her lawn and was thinking of harvesting them, having heard that white mushrooms were safe to eat.

Mushroom color has nothing to do with whether they are poisonous or not. They can be white, brown, even green or purple, and still be edible. Or they could be poisonous. Never consume a wild mushroom unless you know what you’re doing.

Check out its identity on-line or in a guide to mushrooms or take a sample to a knowledgeable mycologist. Never, ever improvise with mushrooms, no matter what their color!

Garden writer and blogger, author of 65 gardening books, lecturer and communicator, the Laidback Gardener, Larry Hodgson, passed away in October 2022. Known for his great generosity, his thoroughness and his sense of humor, he reached several generations of amateur and professional gardeners over his 40-year career. Thanks to his son, Mathieu Hodgson, and a team of contributors, will continue its mission of demystifying gardening and making it more accessible to all.

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