JOPLIN, Mo. — If mushrooms pop up in your yard, or at a park, are they safe to eat?

If your lawn has more than just grass growing in it this time of year, you aren’t alone. The same conditions that cause mushrooms, a kind of fungus, to grow in the spring, are the same leading to their growth this time of year, warm soil and moisture, thanks to recent rains.

But Francis Skalicky says most of them this time of year can cause real problems.

“Some of the mushrooms people are seeing now in their yards are called Green-Spored Lepiota, that’s a no-no. You can’t eat that – those are the white kind of traditional looking mushroom, and they’re popping up in yards,” said Francis Skalicky, Missouri Department of Conservation.

So what happens if you do eat one of these species? Skalicky says it won’t take long for you to regret it.

“They can cause violent gastrointestinal upset including vomiting and diarrhea severe enough to require hospitalization, that’s a good enough reason to leave it in your yard,” said Skalicky.

So how can you tell for sure what’s safe to eat and what isn’t? A booklet available for free at conservation locations, like the one in Joplin can help take out the guess work. But he has one more piece of advice.

“Even if all the literature you’re reading says it’s edible, make that first meal a small one, go ahead and pick a bunch, just keep it to the side, make that first meal a small one, it’s time to chow down. If you do have a reaction, take that mushroom to the doctor and say ‘This is what I ate,’ and they can help you with your diagnosis,” Skalicky added.