Once you have learned Basic Mushrooming skills, and have learned to “know when you don’t know,” you’re ready to start sampling some of the best wild food Missouri has to offer.
Learn key identifying features so you don’t make an unpleasant (even fatal) mistake.
Always use caution!
- Never eat a wild mushroom unless you're absolutely certain of its species. Read Basic Mushrooming to learn how to identify Missouri's wild mushrooms.
- Never eat wild mushrooms raw. They can be hard to digest or have irritants that are deactivated by cooking.
- If you’re trying one for the first time, eat only a few (cooked) bites, and save a raw specimen in the fridge for 48 hours. This will be helpful if it turns out you’re allergic or sensitive to it — or if you’ve made a mistake.
- Don’t mix more than one kind of mushroom if you’re trying them for the first time.
If you are new to mushroom hunting, focus on the easiest and most fool-proof types
- Chanterelles (including the Black trumpet)
- Sulphur-colored chicken of the woods
- Hen of the woods
- Lobster mushroom
- Giant puffballs
- Oyster mushroom.
The following list includes species that are deemed safe to eat, and it includes several that are considered choice and excellent edible mushrooms. Click on each to go to its field guide entry, for a brief description of the mushroom, including where and when it can be found — very important for accurate identification. If there are reasons for caution, they are noted.
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MDC protects and manages Missouri's fish, forest, and wildlife resources.
We also facilitate your participation in resource-management activities, and we provide opportunities for you to use, enjoy and learn about nature.