Wild Mushrooms in Canada
Mushrooms are the fleshy, spore-bearing fruit of various fungi. They are classed within the major groups of Basidiomycetes and Ascomycetes. Hundreds of different kinds of mushrooms grow wild in Canada, from the US border to the Arctic, and from sea level to alpine environments. Some of these are well known edible species, such as chanterelles (Cantharellus species) and pine mushrooms (Tricholoma species); others have medicinal properties or can cause hallucinations, such as “magic mushrooms” (Psilocybe species) and fly agaric (Amanita muscaria). Some others, like emetic russula (Russula emetica), are poisonous to varying degrees, and a few mushroom species, like deadly galerina (Galerina marginata), death cap (Amanita phalloides) and panther mushroom (Amanita pantherinoides), can be deadly. This article includes descriptions of some of the most widely-used wild, edible mushrooms found in Canada.