Will this fungus harm my children / pets FAQ?

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Will this fungus harm my children / pets FAQ?

Post by adampembs » Sat Jul 13, 2019 7:39 am

Do we need a standard FAQ reply on this subject? Many garden plants are very poisonous, so why do fungi get singled out for these type of question? Perhaps Im being unfair, and gardeners forums get asked the same question? Laburnums, daffodils, ivy, yew,

According to this article, the author does get asked about Laburnum so maybe I've answered my own question. I was making a bee hotel out of plant stems, and hogweed was the most abundant. I'd forgotten about the reaction with sunlight. I had a mild rash that only lasted a day, but I know other people are more badly affected.
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/g ... lants.html
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Re: Will this fungus harm my children / pets FAQ?

Post by Lancashire Lad » Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:29 pm

I think the root of the problem might lie in the fact that people are much more familiar with plants than they are with fungi.
They will have grown up with plants, day in – day out, and in great abundance. They will have been “educated” at an early age as to which plants are “food items”, and that all other plants mustn’t be eaten.

To most people however, fungi are not commonplace. Their knowledge of them extends only to buying food mushrooms from the grocers, or, at the opposite end of the spectrum, lurid tales of mushroom poisonings from the media. They tend to appear suddenly – “from nowhere”, and often disappear just as quickly, so people don’t see them with anywhere near the frequency they see plants, and in consequence, they have something of a mysterious aura about them.

I freely admit that before my chance encounter with Amethyst Deceivers, back in 2008 – which triggered my keen interest in fungi, I would have fallen into that stereotypical category too! – I had no idea whatsoever as to which mushrooms might be dangerous and which might not, and, like many others, was under the impression that most fungi were poisonous.

So I can readily appreciate that many folk will be concerned when they are suddenly confronted by mushrooms growing in their gardens where children might be playing or pets might be loose.

I don’t understand the logic of the folk who immediately pull them up – before trying to find out whether they need be concerned or not. (They presumably don’t go around pulling up every unfamiliar plant for fear that it might be poisonous!). – But can only surmise that it’s the irrational fear of “unknown wild mushroom, therefore must be poisonous”.

The problem as I see it with a standard FAQ reply, is that each such query needs to be looked at on its own merit. In the majority of cases, the mushrooms encountered would likely be innocuous, but every now and then, someone might actually have a poisonous species. It is then a matter of advising them of the facts, and hopefully educating them that poisonous mushrooms just like anything else which might grow in the garden, can be left alone and enjoyed for the species diversity they bring, and for what they are, rather than something that must be summarily eradicated.

Common sense is not so common.

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Re: Will this fungus harm my children / pets FAQ?

Post by Sain » Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:15 am

I couldn't agree more with your post, Mike. Especially with the last paragraph. Education is key. People should learn to recognize dangerous species and they should learn to leave them be, not destroy them.

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