Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Alunga Children's Centre. Alunga Children's Centre Wonders, “Which mushrooms can you eat?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Alunga Children's Centre!
While we were hiking through the Wonderopolis woods the other day, we overheard a tree talking to a flower:
Tree: Hey Flower!
Flower: Howdy Tree!
Tree: Did you see Mushroom this morning?
Flower: No. What was he doing?
Tree: He was getting ready to go to a party. He's so lucky.
Flower: I know! It's no WONDER why he gets invited to all the parties, though.
Flower: Because he's a fungi!
Get it? He's a fun…guy! OK, so that's an old joke, but we thought it was perfect for today's Wonder of the Day!
When you think of a mushroom, you may think of a simple white mushroom that grows above the ground with a stem and a cap with pores or gills. There are actually many different types of mushrooms, though. Some have stems and caps and some don't.
While some mushrooms are tasty treats, several types of mushrooms are poisonous and can be deadly to human beings. As a general rule, never eat wild mushrooms. Stick to what you find in grocery stores.
Others believe toadstools are all mushrooms that have the typical stem and cap. One mushroom often considered a toadstool is Amanita muscaria, a red-capped, stemmed mushroom often seen in fairy tales.
To get to the bottom of the confusion, here are some simple facts to remember about mushrooms and toadstools:
- Mushrooms and toadstools are the same. There's no scientific difference between them.
- Mushrooms and toadstools cannot be defined by or distinguished from one another by shape, color, or appearance.
- Not all toadstools are poisonous and not all mushrooms are safe to eat.
So when should you call a mushroom a toadstool? It's up to you. If it looks like a good spot for a toad to sit, then go ahead and call it a toadstool. No one will mind!