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What mushroom is long skinny white?

What mushroom is long skinny white?

Mushrooms come in all shapes and sizes, with some varieties being long and skinny with white coloring. When trying to identify an unknown long, skinny, white mushroom, it helps to consider some of the most common species that match this description.

Oyster Mushroom

One of the most popular gourmet mushrooms that grows long and slender is the oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus). These mushrooms have caps that grow in clusters that resemble oyster shells. The caps start out whitish-gray and fade to creamy yellow as they age. The gills underneath the caps are white, as are the long, skinny stems. Oyster mushrooms have a mild, sweet flavor and crisp, tender texture.

White Button Mushroom

The common white button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) also fits the description of being long, slender, and white. When mature, white buttons have partially opened caps 3-4 inches wide on top of tall, white stems around 2-3 inches long. The gills on the underside of the caps are pinkish at first before turning chocolate brown with white spore deposits. White buttons have an earthy, mild flavor and firm, meaty texture.

White Chanterelle

White chanterelles (Cantharellus subalbidus) are another long, skinny white mushroom. Unlike other chanterelles, white chanterelles do not have a vase shape. Instead, they have tall, thin stems up to 6 inches high with funnel-shaped caps 1-3 inches wide. The gills underneath have blunt, forked ridges rather than sharp gill blades. White chanterelles have a faint apricot fragrance and mildly nutty, peppery flavor.

Snow Mushroom

Snow mushrooms (Tremella fuciformis) have very unique long, thin fruiting bodies that look like icicles dangling downward. The “caps” are actually folds and wrinkles in the organism rather than a proper cap. They grow in clusters on rotting hardwood logs and stumps. Snow mushrooms are entirely white except for tiny yellow pores near the bases. They have a jelly-like consistency and mild, slightly sweet flavor.

Enoki Mushrooms

Enoki mushrooms (Flammulina velutipes) are easily recognizable by their very long, skinny stems and tiny caps. The caps are generally under 1 inch wide, with the slender stems reaching 4-6 inches long. They grow in tightly packed clusters. Young enoki mushrooms have a smooth surface, which becomes more wrinkled in age. Enokis have a mild, lightly fruity taste and crunchy, gelatinous texture.

Comparison Table

Mushroom Scientific Name Cap Size Stem Length
Oyster Pleurotus ostreatus 2-8 inches wide 2-3 inches long
White Button Agaricus bisporus 3-4 inches wide 2-3 inches long
White Chanterelle Cantharellus subalbidus 1-3 inches wide Up to 6 inches long
Snow Mushroom Tremella fuciformis Wrinkled folds 2-8 inches long
Enoki Flammulina velutipes Under 1 inch wide 4-6 inches long

Identifying Features

When trying to identify an unknown long, skinny, white mushroom, look for the following key characteristics:

  • Shape of the cap – round, funnel-shaped, wrinkled folds, tiny cap
  • Gill arrangement – decurrent, blunt ridges, folds, or pores
  • Stem height – from 2 inches to over 6 inches tall
  • Texture – meaty, gelatinous, rubbery, brittle
  • Color – pure white, off-white, yellowish
  • Scent – earthy, faintly fruity, none
  • Habitat – growing on logs, clustered on ground
  • Appearance of stem base – presence of root-like mycelium

Paying attention to all these details will help distinguish between potential species. For example, enoki mushrooms can be identified by tiny caps on long clustered stems, while oyster mushrooms have larger caps on shorter individual stems arising from a common base.

Lookalikes to Avoid

It’s also important to watch out for poisonous mushrooms that may resemble edible long, skinny, white species. Some mushrooms to avoid include:

  • Destroying angel – Has a white cap and stem and bulbous base; causes gastrointestinal distress and organ failure.
  • Death cap – Has a greenish-yellow cap with white gills and a sack-like volva at base; causes vomiting, diarrhea, liver toxicity.
  • White Clitocybe – All white mushroom with decurrent gills; causes gastrointestinal issues.
  • Jack-O-Lantern – Grows in clusters on wood, convex orange cap with decurrent gills; toxic causing cramping and vomiting.

Lookalikes like these emphasize the importance of positive identification before consuming any mushroom. When in doubt, it’s always better to side on the safe side and avoid eating a mushroom that cannot be identified with 100% certainty.

Spore Print

Taking a spore print is one reliable technique used to identify mushrooms. To take a spore print:

  1. Carefully remove the stem from the mushroom cap.
  2. Place the cap gill-side down on a piece of white or black paper.
  3. Cover the cap with a bowl or glass and leave overnight.
  4. The next day, carefully remove the cap to reveal the spore print.
  5. The color of the powdery deposit indicates the spore color.

Compare the spore print color to reference guides to help identify the mushroom. For example, white button mushrooms will leave a dark brown spore print, while oyster mushrooms have a pale lilac-gray print. However, mushrooms within the same genus often share similar spore print colors, so this cannot be used as the sole identifying feature.

Microscopic Examination

Examining the mushroom’s microscopic features provides more definitive identification. You will need a microscope to look at characteristics like:

  • Spore morphology – size, shape, color, surface texture
  • Basidia – club-shaped cells that produce spores
  • Cystidia – sterile cells on gill surface
  • Clamp connections – extensions that allow compartmentalization

Specialized mycological guides provide the microscopic details expected for different species. Comparison against the unknown mushroom can lead to a certain identification when paired with other characteristics.

Chemical Testing

Certain chemical color-change tests can identify particular mushroom compounds. Helpful tests include:

  • Sulfovanillin – Detects presence of cysteine in milk caps and russulas
  • Alpha-naphthol – Reacts with tyrosine in boletes producing a pink color
  • Aniline – Reacts with psilocybin causing bluing in hallucinogenic species
  • FeSO4 – Reacts with alpha-amanitin in toxic amanitas producing a yellow-orange color

Chemical spot tests like these provide another tool to detect key compounds linked to certain mushroom groups. But again, utilize chemical testing alongside other identification methods for most accurate results.


It is very risky to eat any mushroom without first conclusively identifying it as an edible species. Many toxic mushrooms closely resemble choice edibles. However, a few rules of thumb can help avoid accidentally consuming poisonous species:

  • Avoid mushrooms with white gills attached to the stem, as this includes several deadly species.
  • Do not eat any mushroom with red on the cap or stem surface.
  • Avoid mushrooms growing in urban areas, which may accumulate toxins.
  • Do not consume mushrooms raw or undercooked.
  • Only eat mushrooms you are 100% able to identify.

Some of the long, skinny, white mushroom species covered here have edible varieties, such as oyster mushrooms and white buttons. But many wild specimens may still be toxic, so verify identity before eating.


Identifying an unknown mushroom is a challenging process that requires careful observation of multiple characteristics. When trying to identify a long, skinny, white mushroom, potential species to consider include oyster mushrooms, white buttons, white chanterelles, snow mushrooms, and enoki mushrooms.

Look at cap shape, gill features, stem height, texture, color, scent, and habitat. Compare against known lookalikes and utilize techniques like spore prints, microscopy, and chemical tests to reach an identification. Only eat mushrooms that can be identified with absolute certainty as edible.

Proper mushroom identification requires patience and diligence. When in doubt, remember it is better to be safe than sorry before consuming wild mushrooms. With practice, identification skills will improve allowing you to forage delicious mushrooms with confidence.