The key difference between mushrooms and toadstools is that the mushrooms are edible and delicious while toadstools are poisonous and not edible.
Mushrooms serve as a nutritious food since they are rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals and also they possess a very good taste and many health benefits. They are fruiting bodies of certain fungi that are commonly seen in lawns and gardens, though they are being produced commercially to meet the growing demands of people worldwide. However, not all mushrooms are edible. Some mushrooms are poisonous and toxic. Hence, they are inedible. Toadstool is a nonscientific name that uses to refer these poisonous mushrooms which are not suitable to eat.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What are Mushrooms
3. What are Toadstools
4. Similarities Between Mushrooms and Toadstools
5. Side by Side Comparison – Mushrooms vs Toadstools in Tabular Form
What are Mushrooms?
Mushrooms are fleshy umbrella-shaped fruiting bodies of certain fungi. These structures develop above ground while their mycelia grow underground. They are macroscopic structures having a cap and a stem. Many mushrooms are edible. White button mushroom is the most popular type of mushroom consumed by many cultures for its taste as well as the power to help in curing many ailments.
Mushrooms are famous as low-calorie food. Moreover, we can consume them in both ways as raw or cooked. They are good sources of vitamins B and D. Likewise; they are a treasure house of many minerals such as selenium, copper, and potassium. Vegetarians all over the world often add mushrooms into their diet to compensate their nutritional requirements coming from the meat. Nearly half of the world’s mushroom products come from China where on an average, every person consumes nearly 6 pounds of mushroom every year.
What are Toadstools?
Toadstool is a common or nonscientific term that refers to mushrooms which are poisonous or non-edible. Actually, they are fruiting bodies of certain fungi. In fact, they are mushrooms that have the typical mushroom structure comprised of a cap and a stem.
However, the term toadstool does not include any edible or any commercially cultivating mushroom. It is a common belief that toadstools refer to poisonous mushrooms since both these mushrooms and toads are poisonous. Amanita muscaria or fly agaric is the most iconic toadstool species that possess a red cap with white spots as shown in figure 2 above.
What are the Similarities Between Mushrooms and Toadstools?
- Mushrooms and toadstools are fungi of Kingdom Fungi.
- Scientifically, they are the same.
- Also, they belong to order Agaricales and phylum Basidiomycota.
- In addition, they are multicellular filamentous eukaryotes.
- Furthermore, they are heterotrophs.
- Moreover, they are agarics, which imply both are fungi with gills beneath the cap.
- Besides, both grow in damp areas and dark woods requiring no sunlight as they are not dependent upon photosynthesis.
- Both include umbrella-shaped fruiting bodies.
What is the Difference Between Mushrooms and Toadstools?
Mushrooms and toadstools are macroscopic fruiting bodies of certain fungi. They have a similar structure composed of a cap and a stem. But, mushrooms are mostly edible while toadstools are mostly poisonous. In simple words, mushrooms refer to edible fruiting bodies of fungi while toadstools refer to non-edible fruiting bodies of fungi. Therefore, this is the key difference between mushrooms and toadstools. Also, mushrooms are commercially produced, but toadstools are not.
Furthermore, most toadstools produce colourful caps while most mushrooms have white caps. Thus, this is another difference between mushrooms and toadstools.
Summary – Mushrooms vs Toadstools
Mushrooms and toadstools are two nonscientific names that refer fruiting bodies of certain fungi. Technically, though there is no difference between mushrooms and toadstools, the use of these two names is different. Hence, in summarizing the difference between mushrooms and toadstools, we can say that the mushrooms refer to edible fruiting bodies of fungi while toadstools refer to inedible poisonous fruiting bodies of fungi. Mushrooms are commercially valuable, and hence, they are commercially cultivated. They supply many kinds of nutrients such as proteins, vitamins, minerals, etc. On the other hand, toadstools are not safe to eat. If consumed, they can cause illness. However, not all toadstools are highly poisonous. Similarly, not all mushrooms are edible.
1.”Edible fungi in basket 2009 G1″By George Chernilevsky – Own work, (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
2.”2006-10-25 Amanita muscaria crop”By Amanita muscaria 3 vliegenzwammen op rij.jpg, Onderwijsgekderivative work (CC BY-SA 3.0 nl) via Commons Wikimedia