Spore prints – These are made by the many microscopic spores falling from the mushroom, leaving a photographic impression.
Significance – Each mushroom forms a characteristic pattern, so useful in identification and also a source of obtaining clean and homogenous spores for mushroom cultivation.
- Pick out a mature mushroom
- Remove the stem so that only the cap remains
- Place the cap on a piece of paper with the spore side down
- Cover the mushroom with glass bowl
- Keep it undisturbed for a day or so
- Remove the bowl and view your print.
Some important points to remember for making perfect spore prints:
- Spore prints vary in size and depend on the size of the mushroom cap that drops the spores
- Spore size depends on the species of mushrooms
- Species with small caps leave small spore prints
- Use a mature mushroom as it has more spores to print.
- A freshly picked mushroom is more likely to have live spores than a store-bought one
- Avoid using mushrooms that are shriveled, bruised or appear old.
- Flat mushrooms create the best prints