My Blog

All about Spore Prints

So over the next few weeks i will be making a small pictorial on How to make a Spore Print from a parent Mushroom. You are more than welcome to join in the fun.

All about Spore Syringes

Ill then be showing you how to turn your Spore Print into a Spore Syringe so its ready to inoculate some substrate.

All About Agar and Liquid Culture

Together we can explore the wonders of Agar and Liquid Cultures. Including recipes, Methods and Pitfalls

Why Make your own Spore Print



Why should you learn How To Take a Spore Print. For a lot of you the answer is to preserve the genetic material from a Mushroom that you already know the species of so that you can learn How To Grow Mushrooms and be able to grow the same species again and again. Simple.....For the rest of us  making spore prints is also an invaluable tool in the Identification of Wild Captured Mushrooms.

Making a spore print is really easy and i very much recommend that it is a skill you should learn and practice if you want to be self efficient. 

On a mature AGARICUS CAMPESTRIS mushroom, many millions of spores can be contained within the cap of the Mushroom. The spores are housed in the gills of the Mushroom until the Mushroom Sporulates (releases spores).  A spore is a walled, single- to many-celled, reproductive body of an organism, capable of giving rise to a new individual either directly or indirectly. Mushroom spores are very small and can only be seen individually with a microscope. 

You may have noticed that your mushrooms have dropped spores before or if your hunting wild Mushrooms, have ever noticed coloured dust covering a leaf or the ground beneath a mushroom's gills or pores. Clustered mushrooms, in fact, frequently leave spore prints on each other, since caps overlap. Mushroom spore colours can range from white to many other shades including purple for the species of Psilocybe cubensis . For the mushroom hunter, obtaining a mushroom's "spore print" is an essential step in the identification process. 

The colour of the spore print is what you will compare with descriptions from field guides and keys. Interpreting colour can be very subjective. Mycologists have tried several times to "standardise" the interpretations, without much success. But while subtle differences (like, between "white" and "creamy") may be perplexing, distinguishing a white spore print from a brown one or a pink one is easy enough, and it will help you enormously in identifying a mushroom. 

In order to make a spore print at home, you will need to have a relatively mature mushroom. Buttons, young mushrooms, and mushrooms with their veils still attached will not drop spores. You should remove the Mushroom stem from the caps and place the cap, gills or pores downward, on a piece of paper or glass, or a microscope slide if you're going to be observing them under a microscope. For larger mushrooms, you can slice off a section of the cap and use only the section. After all, what you're looking for in terms of identifying a mushroom is the spore colour and if you are preserving Genetics a square inch of spore print is way more than you need. Be sure to place a cup or glass upside-down on top of your mushroom, to keep any air contaminants away.

If you're careful not to move the mushroom while the print develops, you may find that the spore print reflects the pattern of the mushroom's gills or pores, since the spores fall directly downward. Some people save the prints to use as "spore print art".


How to grow Mushrooms Agaricus campestris (Common Field Mushroom)

Selecting a Parent Mushroom

All through the ages humans beings  have chosen to selectively breed the plants and animals around us. We do this to promote change in each generation. Each generation becoming closer to the goal originally set by the breeder. 

So what characteristics can we select in this first stage to have in our final product. Well the top 3 for me are:

  • Size
  • Colour
  • Resistance to bugs and Contaminations

SIZE This is usually the first and easiest trait to select. Simply put, keep your eye on the Biggest 5 mushrooms you have. These will be the selector group. Once chosen, this group of five will be whittled down.  Size to the grower is important. The size of the individual Mushrooms that you grow will play a large part in how much you can harvest from a certain space and lets be honest we all want lots of heavy  fruits for all the effort we put in.

COLOUR The colour of the mushroom will not change the weight of the harvest but a pretty Mushroom is a pretty Mushroom none the less. Good Healthy Mushrooms look so and choosing a dull mushroom is shore to be a bad start.

If you are taking your Mushrooms to Market. Your Customers will very much enjoy a mushroom with good vibrant colour and possibly choose your Mushrooms rather than the next seller. If you are to be consuming your Mushrooms your self. A Mushroom with a good deep colour will always have a good deep flavour and be packed with all the beneficial goodness we search for.

Resistance to Bugs and Contamination's The Parent Mushroom must be selected with a natural resistance to bugs and other contamination in mind. There is no point choose genetics that are week when it come to self defence. You control the environment and will try and keep the prevalence of contaminants to the lowest level possible but it is the Mushroom that Must fight the final fight when it comes to fending off nature. 

Agaricus campestris (Common Field Mushroom)

Wow i found one. This beauties are not as common as you would like when capture one in the wild. Click on the button below for info on the Safe Identification of Agaricus campestris (Common Field Mushroom)

If in doubt Chuck it out, STAY SAFE and dont be SILLY

Taking a Spore Print

Find it


Agaricus campestris can be found anywhere from grasslands and public parks to gardens and cemeteries. This mushroom does not grow from trees or wood based substrates 

Capture it


When you have found the mushroom that you would like. Please grasp the base of the stem firmly and gently twist as you pull the mushroom free from its site.

Identify it


So the habitat was correct, The Gills are a really nice pink colour. The mushroom has an enjoyable inviting aniseed aroma and the cap skin is also easy to peal back

What will you need


Mature Mushroom, Gloves, Alcohol swabs, Scissors, Knife, Protective Container, Needle. You will Need about 15 Minutes. 

Keep it Clean


Ok don your gloves and use the alcohol swaps to wipe down all your cutting tools. expecialy the knife you will cut the stem with.

Cutting the stem


Support the Mushroom upside down in your hand. Take the sharp clean knife and cut the stem as close to the cap as you can.

Prepare your Foil.


Cut pieces of tin foil that are double the size of the Mushroom, This will give space to fold the foil up to protect the print.

Just like the cutting tools


Wipe the foil and the inside of the container well with the alcohol swaps and allow to dry. when dry place the Mushroom onto the foil.

Helpful Tips


Take the cap of the needle and insert the needle into the fleshy cap. We will you this as a handle to remove the Mushroom later.

Into the Protective Container


Pick up the foil and the Mushroom and move the whole lot into the protective container and add the lid. All safe and sound.

Wait 24hrs


Place the container some where cool, dark and out of the way for 24hrs. Any longer and the Mushroom may rot and spoil the print.

Have a look


You can now remove the Mushroom easily with the needle we added. Please now fold up the foil and Mark up with species and date. 

Print Sorage

Once you have folded the Spore Print up in the foil, please store in a location that is both dry and cool. i place my tinfoil folds into a small sealy bag for when i need them in the future. 

If you get stuck, drop me a message Mark@SporeBuddies.com