Plants and Mushrooms

Plants add beauty to our homes, offices and gardens. Many have great smells and some even are edible. However, without proper knowledge, eating plants and wild mushrooms can be dangerous. Poisoning caused by plants often occur because people are unaware of the types of poisonous plants surrounding their homes, school or play areas. A variety of poisonous plants can be found outdoors. Be mindful that potentially harmful plants grow everywhere.

Each year people in NJ get sick and some die from eating mushrooms they pick from their yards, lawns, and while hiking or camping. There is no easy way to tell the difference between poisonous and harmless mushrooms. In addition, poisonous and non-poisonous mushrooms can grow side by side. Many kinds of edible mushrooms have toxic “look-alikes” which can only be distinguished by an expert. Often the victim of a poisonous mushroom ingestion is a traveler or immigrant who sees a mushroom that looks very similar to a mushroom that was edible in the person’s country of origin but is toxic in the U.S. There is an old saying, “There are old mushroom pickers and bold mushroom pickers, but there are no old, bold mushroom pickers.”

If you or someone you know has just ingested a mushroom that was obtained from the lawn, forest floor, etc, or just have a question about plants or mushrooms, remember help is just a phone call away. 800-222-1222.