Discover Nature NotesMore posts

Show-Me Mushrooms

Sep 12, 2016

As the fall air creeps up, mushrooms begin to make their way to the surface. Although spring is the most popular time for mushroom hunting, other edible mushrooms start to appear in late September. Puffballs, usually found in lawns and open woods, appear rounded with no stalk. The size of the white or brown fungi ranges from 1 inch up to a foot in diameter! If squished, a powder of thousands of tiny spores is emitted, earning the name “puffball.” Bearded tooth, also known as lion’s mane, makes a fall appearance too. Its bearlike white spines hang off of tree trunks and fallen logs. After a good rain and mild weather, oyster mushrooms can also be found.

With fall just around the corner, consider hunting for these common Missouri mushrooms.

For a guide to hunting, identifying and cooking the Show-Me State’s most common mushrooms, purchase the book “Missouri’s Wild Mushrooms” from our online store.

How Do I Know a Mushroom Is Edible?

If you’re collecting mushrooms to eat, some of them could be deadly poisonous. The only way to tell if a mushroom is edible is by positive identification. If you’re interested in eating wild mushrooms, learn how to identify them. Field guides will have pictures and descriptions of mushroom anatomy, cap shapes, surface textures, gill spacing — just a few of the features used to determine what species it is. Take your time, and use common sense: If you’re not 100 percent positive of the ID, don’t eat it!

While it may take a little time to build your knowledge, we recommend you do all of the following:

  • Go to workshops and forays. Join a mushroom club. You’ll see lots of mushrooms and learn what the identifying features are. Experts will help with your questions and recommend field guides and other resources.
  • Collect and identify what you think is the same species repeatedly. Some mushrooms change appearance dramatically as they mature or even in different seasons.
  • Show your finds to experts.
  • Use multiple field guides. One picture is not enough! Read the descriptions carefully.

honey_mushroom_05-01-13.jpg

Photo of three ringless honey mushroom clusters on exposed tree root.
Ringless Honey Mushroom

Morel Mushrooms in Missouri

Go on a hunt of a different kind. Morels are a springtime favorite.
Go on a hunt of a different kind. Morels are a springtime favorite.

Recent Posts

Longear Sunfish

The Color of Fish

May 26, 2020

Fish use color for blending into their surroundings, selecting mates, and self-defense. They can also change their colors and patterns by mood. Learn more about the how fish use color in this week's Discover Nature Note.
 

Gray Tree Frog Calling

Amphibian Noisemakers

May 17, 2020

Discover the sounds and skills of Acris crepitans and Hyla versicolor, more commonly known as cricket frogs and gray tree frogs. They perform an outdoor suite while munching on pesky insects that are not so sweet. Learn more in this week's Discover Nature Note.
 

Backyard naturescape

Landscaping for Wildlilfe

May 11, 2020

Liven up your backyard for some wild company. You can create a mix that invites birds, butterflies, turtles, and other animals to your outdoor space. Learn some landscaping tips to add song and life to your outdoor space in this week's Discover Nature Note.

Field Guide

Discovering nature from A-Z is one click away

Recipes

You had fun hunting, catching or gathering your quarry—now have more fun cooking and eating it.
Check out the recipes