Field Guide

Mushrooms

Showing 1 - 10 of 40 results
Media
Photo of earthstars, ball mushrooms with starlike rays, on forest floor
Species Types
Scientific Name
Geastrum species
Description
An earthstar is a roundish ball in the center of starlike rays. It grows on the ground in open woods.
Media
Photograph of cluster of mature gem-studded puffball mushrooms
Species Types
Scientific Name
Lycoperdon perlatum
Description
The gem-studded puffball is a white, rounded to turban-shaped ball, densely covered with spiny warts, developing a pore at the top. It grows on the ground in open woods, along roads, in waste areas.
Media
Photo of an aging Ravenel's stinkhorn, a column-shaped fungus with dark spores
Species Types
Scientific Name
Phallus ravenelii
Description
Ravenel's stinkhorn is a long, whitish column with a greenish, smelly slime covering the top, and a whitish or pinkish cup around the base. It grows on wood debris, mulch, rotted stumps, and sawdust, and in deciduous woods.
Media
Photo of an elegant stinkhorn mushroom, a pink column covered with brown slime
Species Types
Scientific Name
Mutinus elegans
Description
The elegant stinkhorn is a long, tapered, pinkish orange column with a greenish brown, smelly slime covering the top and a white cup around the base. It grows on leafy debris, mulch piles, and rotting wood.
Media
Photo of a thin-maze flat polypore, a bracket fungus, showing concentric rings
Species Types
Scientific Name
Daedaleopsis confragosa (Daedalea confragosa)
Description
The thin-maze flat polypore is a grayish brown bracket fungus with a zoned top and a furrowed, mazelike underside. It grows singly or in small, layered clusters on dead wood or in wounds of living trees.
Media
Photo of beefsteak polypore, a rust-colored bracket fungus growing on tree base
Species Types
Scientific Name
Fistulina hepatica
Description
The beefsteak polypore is a thick, semicircular, reddish or rusty, gelatinous bracket with a pinkish yellow underside. It grows at the base of living oaks and on stumps.
Media
Photo of resinous polypore, a bracket fungus with rust-colored top
Species Types
Scientific Name
Ischnoderma resinosum
Description
The resinous polypore is a large, thick, velvety, brownish bracket fungus with a thick margin and whitish pores. It grows on logs and stumps of deciduous trees.
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
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 false turkey tail bracket fungus closeup, one showing smooth underside
Species Types
Scientific Name
Stereum ostrea
Description
False turkey tail grows in large, layered groups of leathery, parchmentlike brackets with multicolored zones and a smooth underside. Look for it on stumps and logs of deciduous trees, especially oaks.
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..