The ISU Plant & Insect Diagnostic Clinic provides mushroom identification as part of our diagnostic service. To identify mushrooms, we need a fresh physical sample accompanied by digital pictures. See full instructions on our Mushroom identification page.
We do not identify mushroom solely from digital photos. When it comes to identifying mushrooms, we need a physical specimen to look for specific characteristics. We used books, different microscopes, and reagents.
We like digital photos to accompany a sample as the photos can include important parts of information, and because some specimens may suffer in transit and we may miss important pieces of the puzzle, see our article Mushroom Identification, What to Know Before Collecting Them
Please also be aware, we do not make recommendations on edibility see article ISU Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic Identifies Mushrooms, Not Safety
To learn more about the process of identifying mushrooms in the clinic see our article and video Mycology for Kids- Part 1
If you are interested in learning about mushrooms, we encourage you to join a mycological society, or mushroom group like the prairie states mushroom club, check their site at http://www.iowamushroom.org/
We recommend seeking learning opportunities and from experienced mushroom enthusiasts and finding a mentor when you are just starting. There is also plenty of great books, pocket field guides, US forest service publications, DNR articles and some very good websites. The prairie states mushroom club has a great list of links, see http://www.iowamushroom.org/links.php
Links to this article are strongly encouraged, and this article may be republished without further permission if published as written and if credit is given to the author, Horticulture and Home Pest News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. If this article is to be used in any other manner, permission from the author is required. This article was originally published on May 23, 2018. The information contained within may not be the most current and accurate depending on when it is accessed.