Field Guide

Mushrooms

Showing 1 - 8 of 8 results
Media
Photo of an alcohol inky mushroom cut in half lengthwise.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Coprinopsis atramentaria (formerly Coprinus atramentarius)
Description
The alcohol inky has a gray-brown, bell-shaped, radially lined cap and inky gills. It grows in clusters on the ground, usually near rotting or buried wood.
Media
Photo of a blusher, a tan gilled mushroom, showing injured spot turning rust red
Species Types
Scientific Name
Amanita spp. (about 600 species, worldwide)
Description
This large group of mushrooms accounts for 90 percent of mushroom-related deaths, so every mushroom hunter should be familiar with amanitas. They contain one of the deadliest poisons found in nature!
Media
Photo of Berkeley's polypore, fresh, young specimen.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Bondarzewia berkeleyi
Description
Berkeley’s polypore grows in rosettes or clusters of fleshy, cream-colored caps, with whitish pores that descend the stalk. Look for them on the ground near the bases of trees.
Media
Photo of black-staining polypore, a mushroom with tan, wavy, fan-shaped caps
Species Types
Scientific Name
Meripilus sumstinei (formerly M. giganteus)
Description
The black-staining polypore grows in large, circular clusters of many fleshy, grayish yellow, fan-shaped caps, which bruise black when cut or touched. It grows on the ground around deciduous trees, especially oaks.
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
Photo of hen of the woods, large round mass of grayish mushrooms
Species Types
Scientific Name
Grifola frondosa
Description
Looking like a ruffled chicken, the edible hen of the woods mushroom grows like large circular bouquet of spoon-shaped caps, each grayish brown on top and white beneath, emerging from a branching, whitish base. It grows on the ground at the base of oak trees.
Media
a row of little brown, umbrella-shaped mushrooms along a decaying log
Species Types
Scientific Name
Various species of confusingly similar mushrooms
Description
Like the LGBs (“little gray birds”) of the birdwatchers, this is a catchall category. It includes all the small to medium-sized, hard-to-identify brownish mushroom with spores of all colors. There are many hundreds of species that fit this description!
Media
Photo of rooted collybia, tan, thin-stalked gilled mushroom
Species Types
Scientific Name
Xerula furfuracea (Collybia radicata var. furfuracea)
Description
The rooted collybia has a moist, wrinkled, grayish brown flat cap and a long, slender stalk that continues underground. It grows singly or scattered on and around deciduous trees and stumps.
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..