Making spore prints is an easy, inexpensive and fun way to learn about mushrooms. They are also a great gift for your friends and family.
Spores are tiny little mushroom organisms that are a major part of the mushroom’s identity and germination process. There are many different species of mushrooms with spores in all shapes, sizes and colors. They can range from pure white to cinnamon and even yellow-orange, making them difficult for the average person to identify without a microscope!
When making a spore print from a mushroom with pores, it is essential to maintain a high level of humidity in the air during the printing process. This is because the spores are inside of the pores underneath the mushroom cap, which is very moist.
Keeping a high humidity during the printing process will prevent the mushroom cap from drying out, which can lead to an uneven and sloppy spore print. The best method of maintaining a high humidity is to cover the mushroom with a cup or bowl that will hold enough moisture to ensure a good spore deposit.
Drying the spore print after printing is another critical step in maintaining high humidity. Any condensation left on the spore deposit will promote bacteria and may destroy your spore print!
To make a spore print from a fresh mushroom, place the mushroom cap gill side down on foil or paper and cover it with a bowl. Leave it for about 24 hours until the spores fall onto the paper below.