In Chiangrai Thailand, wild mushrooms are common only in the rainy season from June to October. All of the wild mushroom species are collected from community forests where they form symbiotic associations (ectomycorrhizae) and fruiting bodies with indigenous tree families, Dipterocarpaceae, Fagaceae, Pinaceae and Ulmaceae, in the region.
They are collected by local people in hillside forests and sold on the roadside and at city markets. Although edible wild mushrooms were sold at higher prices than cultivated ones, Thai people prefer to consume them due to their flavour and texture
Some poisonous wild mushrooms are almost indistinguishable from edible species, so that the rate of illness and death from consuming the poisonous wild mushrooms increase every year (Bureau of Epidemiology, Department of Disease Control) There are numerous well-known monographs on edible and poisonous species from Europe, North America and tropical Africa, but they provided little information for Thailand. So, most of the local people know very little about poisonous wild mushrooms.
The local mushroom collectors avoided from collecting the poisonous species. They learnt these poisonous ones from their parents or from experienced senior neighbours. However, there are some reports in each year that people get sick or die by consuming the poisonous species. These people mistakenly collected the poisonous mushrooms since they look similar to the edible ones.
In Chiang Rai Province there have been 67 reported deaths, 4 in May alone, so before you buy wild mushrooms in the local Market make sure you know what your about to eat.