These beautiful, fascinating and quick growing shapes have always been like magic shows in the natural world. Go to bed one evening and the ground is flat. Wake up in the morning and a fungus has pushed its way through the cloth at our feet. Some we cherish as delightful things to eat whilst others bring vomit and quick death. Knowing the difference between the two is essential if you choose to pick your own and if you are ever in doubt then give this pastime a definite miss.
There appears to be no actual conclusion where the name mushroom originated but there are many theories. Toadstool offers a more practical solution as some believe that it came to be by the marriage of two separate German words. This is as follows: there are two words that may be put together to form toadstool. These two German words have the meaning ‘death’ and ‘chair’ or ‘death’ and ‘stool.’ ‘Tod’ meaning death in German and ‘Stuhl’ meaning chair or stool so ‘todstuhl’ and we now say ‘toadstool.’ Nevertheless, these works of art are all beautiful to look at and enchanting the way that they shoot up at an alarming speed from what appeared to be a dormant bed of soil beneath our feet. So remember to look down and see if you can see a ‘todstuhl’ or toadstool and remember where they got their name and why you should always be wary when picking them or their cousins the mushrooms. Never play Russian Roulette and risk your health or life if you are not absolutely certain that was grows at your feet is safe to eat!
Toadstool, remember what it stands for ‘death chair’ or ‘death stool’