Difference Between Mushroom and Toadstool (With Table)

Mushrooms and Toadstool appear to be the same. They belong to the fungi family and have an umbrella-shaped fruiting body. They both grow beneath the cap and have gills. Both are grown in dark areas as they do not need sunlight. Having similar structures, it becomes difficult to distinguish them from each other. But it is important to differentiate between these two classes of fungi.

Mushroom vs Toadstool

The difference between mushroom and toadstool lies in their nature and composition. Mushrooms are edible, whereas toadstools are inedible. One species of fungi offers numerous health benefits, and the other poses a threat to health because of its poisonous nature. 

Mushrooms are non-poisonous edible fungus. It comes in more than 500 varying compositions and nutritional benefits. They contain antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and proteins. Rich in nutritional content, they offer many health benefits. Many mushroom species appeared to be sprouting in a shorter time frame. Though, not all mushrooms expand overnight. They grow slowly and vibrantly.

Toadstool belongs to the kingdom fungi. They are called an inedible fungus. They are not eaten due to their poisonous nature. They vary in color and can be differentiated from mushrooms. They are more appealing in color and are grown beneath the trees and woods.

Comparison Table Between Mushroom and Toadstool

Parameters of ComparisonMushroomToadstool
GrowthMushrooms are grown in lawns, fields, and forests. With modern technology, they are also made to grow indoors.Toadstools generally grew under trees, wood, or shrubs.
EdibilityThey are generally edible and non-poisonous.They are inedible as well as poisonous.
ColorTheir stem or cap may be brown or white.Their stem or cap may be blue, yellow, red, or green
Health benefitsThey are rich in nutrients and offer several health benefits.They are poisonous and hence cannot be eaten.
ProductionMushrooms are commercially produced as they are safe to eat.Toadstools are not commercially produced as their intake may cause illness.

What is Mushroom? 

The word mushroom is connected with fungi having a stem, a cap, and gills. The fungal development of mushrooms may be defined as generally taking the appearance of a dome cap on a tree with gills at the base of the Cap. It is an umbrella-shaped fungus. Mushrooms are edible sporophores.

Mushrooms have many health benefits. Some categories of mushrooms are used in making herbal medicines that help in boosting the immune system. Blood pressure, cholesterol, and life-threatening diseases like cancer may be prevented from harnessing the medical benefits of mushrooms.

There are several types of mushrooms, some of which are: 

  • Button mushrooms: They are called white mushrooms or baby mushrooms. They are the most readily available mushrooms in the market. They are used in seasoning, toppings, and sauces.
  • Oyster mushrooms: Oyster mushrooms are known for their magical health benefits. There are 40 different types of oyster mushrooms available all around the globe. These mushrooms are rich in nutrients, boost the immune system, control blood pressure, etc.
  • Hedgehog mushrooms: Delicious and rich in flavor, these mushrooms are also known as sweet tooth mushrooms. They are of an irregular shape. 

Other types of varieties of mushrooms include cremini mushrooms, portobello mushrooms, king oyster mushrooms, chanterelle mushrooms, porcini mushrooms, etc.

What is Toadstool?

Toadstool refers to the sporous fruit body of a fungus, usually in the shape of a spherical cap on a stalk. It constitutes a category of mushrooms, but not all mushrooms are toadstool. Toadstools are poisonous fungi. Its poisonous nature can vary from mild to deadly poisonous. They are inedible and thus cannot be eaten. 

Scientifically, there are no major differences in the appearance of mushroom and toadstool. 

Toadstools are uniquely beautiful. The poisonous mushrooms are given the name toadstools. Some of the deadliest toadstools are:

  • Amanita ocreata: It is also called the angel of death. This category of a toadstool is found in California floristic provinces and the pacific northwest. Its symptoms appear in stages.

Stage 1: Consumption of it will not lead to any symptoms for 6-12 hours, and the person would feel healthy in this time frame. 

Stage 2: In stage 2, Vomiting, stomach ache, and diarrhea is experienced.

Stage 3: Liver damage, kidney failure happens in this stage. 

The chance of surviving from the intake of this death angel is extremely rare.

  • Amanita virosa: Found in Europe, this toadstool is known as destroying angel. They usually appear from July to September. It contains amatoxins, a poisonous substance that may lead to the death of a person.

There are many other poisonous toadstools found all around the globe.

Main Differences Between Mushroom and Toadstool

  1. Mushrooms grow on wood and can be peeled easily, whereas toadstools have red pigments, having white grills with a ring on the stem.
  2. Mushrooms are fungal growth that takes the appearance of a cap with a stalk on the base of the cap with gills. On the other hand, toadstools refer to fungus spores in the shape of a rounded cap in a stalk.
  3. Mushrooms have medical benefits, while toadstool deteriorates health.
  4. Some mushrooms may be poisonous, and some may be edible, whereas all toadstools are poisonous, varying from mildly to deadly poisonous.
  5. Examples of mushrooms are porcini mushrooms, chanterelle mushrooms, button mushrooms, mycorrhizal mushrooms, etc., while examples of toadstool are Lactarius deliciosus, Amanita muscaria, etc.

Conclusion

Mushrooms and toadstools belong to an umbrella-shaped fruiting body. They are associated with the kingdom of fungi. Toadstool is used to describe mushrooms that are inedible and poisonous. Mushrooms and toadstools have different places of origin. They can be differentiated by professional mushroom hunters through their stems, gills, and caps. 

Usually, mushrooms with white gills are poisonous, and the ones with brown gills are safer to eat. Though it is a broader identification. Proper identification between a mushroom and toadstool is necessary before putting them in the mouth. They can be hazardous to health if they are not tested before eating.

Every mushroom should be considered as a toadstool, i.e., poisonous mushroom, unless tested. Eating toadstool may lead to serious illness or even death.  

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1386142501005844
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0031942295007733
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