I live in Phoenix, AZ and had some grass (sod) laid in the yard 3 weeks ago. Now, each day, clumps of mushrooms are now popping up all over the lawn.

How did the mushrooms get in there?

How can I find out if these mushrooms are poisonous? I have small children who might eat them -- I don't want to try them.

[Thanks to everyone for your awesome answers, I wish I could mark them all as correct.]

  • The fungi came in with the sod. You can pretty much expect there to be mycelium/mushrooms in all soil. But when you put down sod, you need to water often - thus providing the perfect conditions to fruit that fungus. See: homeguides.sfgate.com/mushrooms-growing-new-sod-66088.html
    – That Idiot
    Commented Mar 1, 2019 at 21:25
  • Can you provide a picture? We had large mushroom-like things in our yard (growing even in drought conditions in full sun in bear dirt), this year; it was weird. Our neighbors had them, too (in their lawn). They had been there for months, but it looks like someone just pulled them up, today. Commented May 19, 2019 at 2:42

4 Answers 4


Are you sure that they are mushroom? How is their form and colour? Cold you give any photo?

Mushrooms are thousands of types and form, shapes, colour and so on are fondamental to identificate them. The most visible fungi are symbiont with a tree, of which absorbs nutrients through the roots, providing in exchange nutrients and immune help. Sure you put some grass coming from the base of a tree, the hyphae of fungi were already inside the ground or tangled with the roots of grass.

The only real way to recognize the good mushrooms from poisonous mushrooms is to know them. Can not do otherwise. Therefore, you should call your Mycological Office of Health and show them your mushrooms and ask for identification. Do not trust the friend who says he knows everything, ask the experts.

Before remove it, try to identify it.

  • If the mushrooms are small and white, with thin stems, do not run the risk of eating them.

  • Langermania gigantea If they are round and white likes small balls, are "vescie" (typical of meadows), very good in the pan. Choose those perfectly white, inside and out. They are called mushrooms deer. vescie

  • Coprinus disseminatus If they are small, with thin stems, and are made as semi-closed umbrella, of medium brown color, arranged in a scattered way, are "coprini", often highly poisonous. coprinus
    (source: mushroomexpert.com)

  • agaricus campestris If they are of medium size, plump, white with pink strips under the hat, they are "champignons" (mushrooms of Paris), very good to eat.


I leave here because I'm making assumptions, in groups of fungi that grow in the meadow, in layers of grass that we do not know where they come from.

I could put a series of photos, but there are thousands of species, would take too much space throughout the site. It's definitely better get you a picture (well, many photos from many points of view, depending on the size and stage of development, and also opening up the land and showing hyphae).

There are very poisonous fungi and wonderful mushrooms and fine. First of harvesting all, you'll want to see if you have valuable mushrooms in your garden. Or a danger.

If we prove they are poisonous (meanwhile keep away dogs and children) you can sprinkle the lawn with an antifungal, maybe periodically until final disinfection.


  • Amanita Caesaera, the Fungus of the Gods, which can cost up to 100 € up to the plate, are fungi of the meadows

amac http://ricetteleggere.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Amanita_caesarea.jpg

  • Amanita crocea, are fungi of the meadows
  • Amanitoide vaginata same
  • Paris mushrooms same

And so many other.

Really you wouldn't wait a bit, and seeing if you have something of valuable? Then, why you plant fruit trees in your garden?

You NEVER can be poisoned by touching, and how taste it without touching? (But you NEVER TASTE what you don't know !!)

But yes, mistakens identifications are dangerous. That's why here in Italy, when we aren't sure, we have Mycological Centers in the Offices of Health that can help.

I know mushrooms perfectly. But always I ask a conferme to them, just for more surety.

But I do not ever deny the casual pleasure to find something good. Or just nice. Or just new. And, as an amateur herbalist, to make new discoveries for the sheer pleasure of discovering.

And I would never tell anyone to throw it all away, without even trying to understand. Our mind needs to discoveries, and understand, and learn. Not to become merely passive players in the rules that we receive. I don't want be rude, just that is what I think. =)

  • Thanks for the images. The mushrooms that you've labelled as Coprinus disseminatus are the ones that are in my lawn.
    – Guy
    Commented Apr 21, 2013 at 4:28
  • pay attention - they are called "coprinus" because they grow on excrement of animals. Then they are (not letal) but very often toxic. If you want to test, ask an identification Mycological Office nearest you. Commented Apr 22, 2013 at 14:35
  • I contacted the poison control center and they said that there is only one type that grows in Phoenix, AZ and that they are poisonous and will cause vomiting in children if eaten.
    – Guy
    Commented Apr 23, 2013 at 3:09
  • Yes that means they are toxic, as many fungi, and not Letal. But vomit is not agreeable neither. And dangerous for complications, for very little children. Did they say what species of fungi? Commented Apr 23, 2013 at 10:49

A common cause of mushrooms appearing is cutting down a tree. The roots start to decay and provide an invisible underground food for the hyphae. Sod growers might also incorporate peat moss or other woody material in the soil for sod which can provide a home for mushrooms. Mushroom spores are wind borne and cannot be controlled.

You cannot get rid of them with fungicides or most control agents without also killing the beneficial parts of the lawn ecosystem.

You can rake the mushrooms out or a quick and dirty way is to set the lawnmower at a low height. Sure, this will spread mushrooms spores but they are already in the lawn anyway. If you can keep the lawn drier this will hinder mushroom growth.

This site discusses mushroom poisoning and remarks that more people die of lightning in the United States than die from mushrooms. They note that poisoning can be caused by:

  • A mistaken identification based on hasty or sloppy work, or inadequate knowledge and resources. Mistaken ID only becomes a problem if the mushrooms are eaten. Every year people mistake the toxic Jack O'lantern for an edible Chanterelle.
  • Eating mushroom that were too old and spoiled, or contaminated by pesticides or other toxins.
  • Eating a mushroom that does not agree with you or for which you have an allergic reaction. Sometimes this is called idiosyncratic. For example, some people cannot tolerate Honey mushrooms (Armillaria spp.) or the Chicken of the Woods (Laetiporus).
  • Overindulgence or inadequate cooking is sometimes responsible for sickening.

This site discusses common misconceptions. These points are not true about eating wild mushrooms.

  • There is a fool-proof test for distinguishing edible from poisonous mushrooms.... While there are some generalizations that can be made within certain groups of mushrooms, there is no fool-proof test that can be used for all mushrooms.

  • Most mushrooms are poisonous. Of the thousands of species known, perhaps 60 or so are poisonous, and of these only a handful will be fatal if consumed (these numbers will vary depending on your source).

  • There are a large number of people that die from mushroom poisoning each year. "Large" is somewhat ambiguous here. If we are talking about the number of people that go out collecting for mushrooms each year, in this country, then the number of people that die as a result of mushroom poisoning is few relative to that number.

  • Poisonous mushrooms must taste bad. As indicated above, many mushrooms that are non-poisonous may have a very bad taste. The opposite can also be true. Amanita phalloides is said to have a quite pleasant taste, but is one of the most deadly species of poisonous mushrooms.

  • You can be poisoned by touching a poisonous mushroom. As deadly as some toxins may be, touching the mushroom is harmless. The harmful toxins in mushrooms must be consumed in order to harm you.
  • Species determined to be edible are always safe to eat

Considering a pack of mushrooms from the store is a few dollars I think I'd try those first before taking my chances with an unknown mushroom.

  • 1
    Mushrooms fatal are 4 = Amanita falloides, Amanita muscaria, Amanita verna, Cortinarius orellanus - the gendre "amanita" includes the most good and expensive, Amanita cesarea - The unic true method to choose good mushrooms from bad, is to know them. No other. Commented Apr 20, 2013 at 10:38
  • 1
    @violadaprile: Depending on where you live, there are many more potentially deadly mushrooms you could encounter than just the ones you listed. And of the ones you did list, A. muscaria isn't actually nearly as deadly as the others. Still, you certainly shouldn't pick any mushrooms for eating unless you're 100% sure you can identify them correctly and know them to be safe. Commented Apr 20, 2013 at 18:01
  • that is what i said, unic method to choose is to know Commented Apr 21, 2013 at 0:51
  • A curious note - Amanita muscaria is eaten by our landscaper, after removing the red cuticle. Just a bit transforms it in a hallucinogenic mushroom. But they are expert in "how small" has to be this "bit". Since the difference is letal, I'd let go =) Commented Apr 22, 2013 at 20:59
  • The scientific classification of fungi is not dependent from the places, since it is often made ​​through the classification of microscopic spores. In any case, Cortinarius orellanus is a fungus of Eastern Europe. Having wiped out an entire village in Poland. The common name instead is local, it changes also from region to region. Commented Apr 22, 2013 at 21:06

As this is a new lawn, its likely the spores of the toadstools/mushrooms were already present in the turf when it was laid. The toadstool or mushroom is only the fruiting body of mycelium running through the soil, and you may find they're back next year at a similar time of year. Nothing you can do about it except twist them off at the base with a plastic bag over your hand to contain any spores which might escape (not all mushrooms have spores which spread in this way) so at least you're not looking at them. If the conditions aren't right in your garden, you may find they gradually disappear over the next couple of years or so. If the turf was laid by a company, you should be able to get them to come back and try to treat the turf to remove the problem, but it's not really a serious issue in terms of damage to the rest of your garden/plants unless the mushrooms are honey fungus, which, unless its autumn where you are, they won't be. Even if it is autumn where you are, honey fungus grows and survives on wood, which is probably not present in your turf.

As for eating them, I wouldn't risk it, but the other answers give you plenty of advice about that aspect.


I use the same rule I use with snakes. If you do not know if the mushroom is poisonous count it as automatically poisonous. Its better to mistake a non-poisonous mushroom for a poisonous one, than a poisonous one for a harmless one. I'd say just remove the mushrooms using gloves and wear a mask. Or teach your child not to touch any unfamiliar mushrooms. That's basically what my mom told me.

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