It's simple to make a spore print from a mushroom.
- Remove the stem by carefully cutting it off where it meets the cap.
- Put the cap on a clean piece of paper (fresh typing paper for instance), gills facing down.
- Cover the paper and cap with a glass, a jar or tub of some sort - to maintain the humidity around the cap.
- Leave it for a few hours (typically overnight) and then remove the jar and cap.
- Cover the print with a clean paper napkin and let it dry until the paper is not moist anymore
Over the hours, mature spores (and
only mature spores) will have been released from the gills and fallen
onto the paper. What you see in a spore print,is a mass of hundreds of
thousands or millions of spores. In this quantity the color is easy to
see. The commonest spore colours are white and various shades of brown.
If the spores are white, you obviously won't see them very well on
white paper. It might be a good idea to place the cap halfway on white
and half on dark paper.
Note that the colour of the gills need not be the same as the colour of the spores.
If your spore print is very weak (or not
there) put the cap and tub back down and leave it for longer - even
overnight. Some species take a long time to build up a good spore
It's also possible that the cap had already
started to dry out when you collected it. Put a couple of drops of
water on the cap, or a damp cotton ball next to the cap before putting
the tub over. It's hard to get spore prints from mushrooms with small,
thin caps. They dry out very quickly.