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Home > Science & Nature > Science > Biology > Mushrooms and Toadstools Compared

Difference Between Mushrooms and Toadstools

Mushrooms vs Toadstools

Mushrooms are eaten ion all parts of the world because of their taste and health benefits. They are fruiting bodies of fungi that are commonly seen in lawns and gardens, though they are being produced commercially to meet the growing demands of people worldwide. There is another word toadstool that is common in many parts of the world, and is erroneously used as a synonym for mushrooms by some people. Let us find out if there are any differences between mushrooms and toadstools in this article.

Mushrooms are not plants, and are really funguses that are popular all over the world as fleshy umbrella like body with a stem beneath. White button mushroom is the most popular type of mushroom, and eaten in many cultures for its taste as well as power to help in curing many ailments. Mushroom is a word that has come from the French mousseron that refers to moss. Some mushrooms came to be called toadstools may be because of its association with toads that are poisonous. Toadstool is used to refer to mushrooms that are toxic or poisonous.

Mushrooms are low calorie food that is eaten both as raw and cooked. They are good sources of vitamins B and D. They are a treasure house of many minerals such as selenium, copper, and potassium. Mushrooms are referred to as meat of the vegetarians all over the world. Nearly half of the world’s produce comes from China where on an average, every person consumes nearly 6 pounds of mushroom every year.

Coming back to differences, there is no scientific basis of this dichotomy and differences, if any, lie only in popular culture that says that mushrooms are edible and delicious, while toadstools are poisonous and toxic. The evolution of the word toadstool perhaps has more to do with German word tod that means death than toad which is what the popular misconception is. To be frank, toadstool is not used at all in North America and all varieties are referred to as mushrooms only. Scientists brush aside differences between toadstool and mushrooms saying they are both agarics, which implies both are fungi with gills beneath the cap. Both grow in damp areas and dark woods requiring no sunlight as they are not dependent upon photosynthesis.

There are magic mushrooms that are known to contain psychedelic substances that are found in LSD. Though not addictive themselves, these shrooms or magic mushrooms become deadly when taken along with marijuana or alcoholic drinks. In Ireland and Scotland, there is a fairy ring of mushrooms that takes place naturally though many do not allow children to come near such rings fearing their kids may turn into fairies and be taken away.

What is the difference between Mushrooms and Toadstools?

· Mushrooms and toadstool are different names for the same fungi that grows naturally in gardens and lawns.

· Scientists say that mushrooms and toadstools are same, and there is no scientific basis for their differentiation.

· Toadstool is used to refer to toxic or poisonous mushrooms, and probably evolved from tod, which is a German word for death rather than from poisonous toads.


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