Identifying mushrooms requires attention to detail. Eating wild mushrooms requires an act of faith because it is so easy to confuse highly poisonous mushrooms with edible mushrooms. Extreme caution must be used before eating any mushroom not purchased in the supermarket.
The mushroom below was growing in a pot of chillies in the backyard. It has a slender stalk that broadens slightly at the base. An annulus ring was present on the stalk. The white gills were free from the stalk. I detached the mushroom cap and placed in on paper for a few hours to see what color the spores were. I didn’t have black paper, so put half the cap on white paper, and the other half on the darkest paper I could find – a dark tan color. Lifting the cap several hours later, I could see the white spore print on the paper. I don’t have a microscope so I could not measure the size or tell the shape of the spores. I used Mushrooms & Other Fungi of the Midcontinental United States by Huffman, Tiffany, and Knapphus to identify it. I believe the mushroom is a Lepiota cristata. If I am correct, it is poisonous and should not be eaten.