Field Guide

Mushrooms

Showing 1 - 10 of 25 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
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 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
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.
Media
Photo of several violet toothed polypores, violet-gray bracket fungi
Species Types
Scientific Name
Trichaptum biforme
Description
The violet toothed polypore is a bracket fungus with tough, hairy caps with violet margins and zones of white, brown, and black; beneath, the whitish violet pores break into teeth. It grows on stumps and logs of deciduous wood.
Media
Photo of multicolor gill polypore, a colorfully zoned bracket fungus on a log
Species Types
Scientific Name
Lenzites betulina
Description
Multicolor gill polypore is a bracket fungus with a semicircular, tough, hairy, multicolored, zoned cap; beneath, it's white, with leathery, gill-like tubes. It grows on dead deciduous wood.
Media
Photo of common split gills, white bracket mushrooms growing on branch
Species Types
Scientific Name
Schizophyllum commune
Description
Split gills grow in clusters with small, white, hairy, fan-shaped caps. Beneath, they have whitish or pinkish gill-like folds that split toward the edge. They grow on dead branches of deciduous 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 wood ear mushroom, which looks like a brownish human ear stuck to a log
Species Types
Scientific Name
Auricularia auricula (formerly A. auricula-judae)
Description
The wood ear is a reddish brown to grayish black, rubbery, earlike or cup-shaped mushroom. It usually grows in groups on rotting wood.
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.
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..