Field Guide

Mushrooms

Showing 1 - 10 of 13 results
Media
Photo of artist conk, woody bracket fungus on tree shown from side
Species Types
Scientific Name
Ganoderma applanatum
Description
The artist conk is a woody, semicircular, brownish bracket with a white underside that bruises dark gray to black. It grows on dead wood or in wounds of living deciduous trees.
Media
Photograph of a black morel mushroom
Species Types
Scientific Name
Morchella angusticeps (formerly M. elata)
Description
The black morel is a prized edible mushroom. It has a honeycombed cap with black to brownish black ridges and yellowish brown pits. It is completely hollow and grows in the spring.
Media
Photo of mature dead man's fingers mushrooms, lumpy grayish black masses
Species Types
Scientific Name
Xylaria polymorpha
Description
Dead man’s fingers is a black, distorted, clublike or finger-shaped fungus with a wrinkled, charcoal-like surface. It grows in clusters at the base of rotting deciduous trees and stumps.
Media
Photograph of a cluster of devil's urn mushrooms, which are brown and gobletlike
Species Types
Scientific Name
Urnula craterium
Description
Devil's urns are goblet-shaped, leathery brown cups. They grow in clusters on small to medium-sized decaying branches of hardwoods, especially oaks. Look for them in spring.
Media
Photo of dog vomit slime mold, closeup, extruding red liquid.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Fuligo septica
Description
In addition to "dog vomit" and "scrambled eggs," this slime mold can also look like the foam at the top of a pint of stout beer, or a yellow or tan sponge. It grows on mulch and other decaying wood.
Media
Top-view photo of three dryad's saddles, a tan bracket fungus, growing on wood
Species Types
Scientific Name
Polyporus squamosus
Description
The dryad's saddle is a large, fleshy, scaly, yellowish tan bracket fungus with large, yellowish white pores and a short stalk; it smells like watermelon rind. It grows singly or in layers, on living or dead deciduous wood.
Media
Photo of a fawn mushroom, which is a brownish gray, gilled, capped mushroom
Species Types
Scientific Name
Pluteus atricapillus (formerly P. cervinus)
Description
The fawn mushroom has a brownish gray cap with whitish to pinkish gills and a whitish stalk. It grows singly or scattered, on dead wood or on the ground over buried wood.
Media
Photograph of a half-free morel mushroom
Species Types
Scientific Name
Morchella punctipes (formerly M. semilibera)
Description
The half-free morel is an excellent edible mushroom. It's completely hollow. It has a honeycombed cap with brownish black ridges and yellowish brown pits. The bottom half hangs free from the whitish stalk.
Media
Photo of mica cap cluster, bell-shaped, brown, capped mushrooms
Species Types
Scientific Name
Coprinellus micaceus (formerly Coprinus micaceus)
Description
The mica cap has a bell-shaped, tawny brown, radially lined cap and inky gills. It grows in clusters around stumps or on wood debris.
Media
Photo of big cluster of turkey tails, bracket fungus with concentric color rings
Species Types
Scientific Name
Trametes versicolor
Description
Turkey tail grows in clusters of leathery, thin brackets with multicolored zones above and whitish yellow pores below. Look for it on stumps and logs of deciduous trees.
See Also
Media
Photo of several pinesap plants showing multiple flowers per stalk.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Monotropa hypopitys
Description
Pinesap is a plant that puts the "wild" in wildflower! It lacks chlorophyll, so its roots connect to fungi underground and absorb nutrients from the fungi.
Media
Picture of a patch of filamentous green algae floating in a stream.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Cladophora, Pithophora, and Spirogyra spp., and others
Description
Filamentous green algae forms green, cottony masses that are free-floating or attached to rocks, debris, or other plants.
Media
Photo of several Indian pipe plants with flowers, rising out of leaf litter.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Monotropa uniflora
Description
Indian pipe lacks chlorophyll, so it is white, not green. Below ground, its roots join with fungi that connect to tree roots. This plant, then, takes nourishment indirectly from the trees.

About Mushrooms in Missouri

Mushrooms are a lot like plants, but they lack chlorophyll and have to take nutrients from other materials. Mushrooms are neither plants nor animals. They are in a different kingdom — the fungi. Fungi include the familiar mushroom-forming species, plus the yeasts, molds, smuts, and rusts.

Always be cautious when eating edible mushrooms. Be absolutely sure of the ID, and only eat a small amount the first time you try it to avoid a reaction..