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FunKey: Key to Agarics

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About FunKey: Key to Agarics

FunKey: Key to Agarics of Australia is an interactive key to the genera and selected species of Australian agarics. The agarics, also known as mushrooms and toadstools, are not a taxonomic unit, but rather a group of convenience for macrofungi with lamellae (gills).

The key covers the 112 agaric genera that are confirmed from Australia and utilises 115 macroscopic and microscopic characters (called features in the key). About half the genera are keyed out directly, some are split into two or more groups, and in genera with one or a few closely related species, the species or species group is keyed out directly. This means that FunKey includes a total of 159 taxa (called entities in the key).

Poisonous and Edible Fungi

Among the agarics are edible fungi such as Field Mushroom Agaricus campestris and Pine mushroom Lactarius deliciosus, but also poisonous species such as Yellow-staining mushroom Agaricus xanthodermus and the Death cap Amanita phalloides (consumption of which has caused fatalities in Australia).

We do not provide any information on toxicity or edibility in relation to genera or to species in FunKey.

The only safe way to consume wild fungi is to be certain of the identification of the particular species and to seek information on edibility or otherwise from reputable sources. Be aware that many species of edible fungi have readily confusable look-a-likes, such the toxic Ghost fungus Omphalotus nidiformis for the cultivated Oyster mushroom Pleurotus ostreatus and the two species of Agaricus mentioned above. Note also that some genera contain a mix of toxic and edible species. The edibility of most native Australian fungi is unknown; indeed, many species are not yet formally named, and Australian field guides do not include all species (named or not).

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