Concept

Spore print

Summary
The spore print is the powdery deposit obtained by allowing spores of a fungal fruit body to fall onto a surface underneath. It is an important diagnostic character in most handbooks for identifying mushrooms. It shows the colour of the mushroom spores if viewed en masse. Method A spore print is made by placing the spore-producing surface flat on a sheet of dark and white paper or on a sheet of clear, stiff plastic, which facilitates moving the spore print to a darker or lighter surface for improved contrast; for example, it is easier to determine whether the spore print is pure white or, rather, very slightly pigmented. The mushroom is left for several hours, often overnight, in this manner. Some guides advise using a moisture-resistant enclosure, like a glass or jar, to contain the mushroom during printing. If the mushroom is to be preserved, a small hole can be made in the spore print paper rather than cutting the stipe.
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