As far as I'm aware there are no concrete names for mushrooms, except… well, mushrooms.

How do you then, for example, warn children that they cannot pick this and that type of mushroom? Do you just describe it to them? In Poland, all mushrooms have very specific names (and I do not mean the Latin ones) so when we go to a forest we can easily communicate which mushrooms we have found.

Speaking of a gourmet in a restaurant — how do you differentiate between mushrooms listed on the menu?

  • 1
    The various well-known types have names. What do you mean by "concrete names"?
    – TimR
    May 12, 2017 at 11:35
  • What is your language-related question?
    – user3169
    May 12, 2017 at 17:32

2 Answers 2


Along with with the latin names for mushrooms, there are more common names for them (parasol, slippery jack, horn of plenty). When talking about wild mushrooms (using your example of warning children) there are many guides available to help you identify these. Here is a good resource:


When it comes to restaurants, the type of mushroom is often stated (shittake, oyster, portobello). If not it is likely to be the button mushroom. You can always ask your server this to double check though.



There are two commonly used terms "mushroom" and "toadstool". For most people "mushrooms" are the white things in the supermarket, and toadstools are evil and poison that can probably kill you if you touch.

(this is exaggeration, but many British people have no experience of collecting any food from the wild, and seem to think all fungi, except the mushrooms in the supermarket, are toxic).

The word fungus (plural fungi) is also used, with a wider sense, including moulds.

There are many common names for wild fungi. Naturalists and gourmets will know these, you can see them in any guide book. This is no different to Poland, except mushroom collecting is less common in the UK than in the Poland, and so the words for specific fungi are less common.

And just as in Poland, you would say "On this foray, we're going to pick only Cep, and Chanterelle. Don't touch the Fly Agaric under the birch trees, and certainly don't pick anything with a green-brown cap, white gills and a sacklike vulva.

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