Field Guide

Mushrooms

Showing 1 - 10 of 11 results
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 two gigantic red false morels, cut and laying on a ground
Species Types
Scientific Name
Gyromitra caroliniana
Description
The big red false morel belongs to a group of poisonous mushrooms. It has a reddish brown, convoluted, brainlike cap and a whitish stalk that is chambered inside. It grows singly or in groups in mixed woods.
Media
Several cedar-apple rust galls, with inflated telial horns, hanging from a cedar tree
Species Types
Scientific Name
Gymnosporangium juniperi-virginianae
Description
With their gelatinous orange tentacles, cedar-apple rust galls are one of Missouri’s freakiest sights in spring. Cedar-apple rust is a fungus with a two-part life cycle. Its two unrelated host plants are a juniper, such as eastern red cedar, and a tree in the rose family, especially apple and crabapple.
Media
Photo of a cinnabar polypore, which is a reddish orange bracket fungus
Species Types
Scientific Name
Pycnoporus cinnabarinus
Description
The cinnabar polypore is a bracket fungus that is tough, fan-shaped, and bright red-orange above and below. It grows on dead deciduous branches, twigs, and wood, mainly oak.
Media
Photo of gabled false morel, a floppy, orange club fungus
Species Types
Scientific Name
Gyromitra brunnea
Description
The gabled false morel has a reddish brown, lobed, wrinkled cap and a whitish stalk that is chambered inside, not hollow. It grows singly or in groups in mixed woods.
Media
Photograph of several hexagonal-pored polypores, tan bracket fungi
Species Types
Scientific Name
Polyporus alveolaris (formerly Favolus alveolaris)
Description
This polypore is an orange to tan, fan-shaped bracket that is scaly on top; the underside has rows of white, six-sided, radially arranged pores. It grows singly or in groups on dead branches of deciduous trees.
Media
Photo of ling chih, a shiny, hard, rust-colored bracket fungus, growing on tree
Species Types
Scientific Name
Ganoderma sessile (formerly G. lucidum)
Description
The ling chih is a hard, usually flat, zoned bracket fungus with a reddish brown, shiny top. It grows at the base of living and dead deciduous trees, and also around stumps.
Media
Photo of a scarlet cup mushroom growing on fallen sticks
Species Types
Scientific Name
Sarcoscypha dudleyi
Description
The scarlet cup is small, red, and usually stalkless, with a white outer surface. It grows on fallen wet sticks and branches in damp deciduous woods.
Media
Photo of stalked scarlet cup cluster of red cup mushrooms with white stalks
Species Types
Scientific Name
Sarcoscypha occidentalis
Description
The stalked scarlet cup is, indeed, a tiny red cup on a tiny white stalk. It grows scattered on fallen wet sticks and branches in damp deciduous woods.
Media
Chicken of the Woods
Species Types
Scientific Name
Laetiporus sulphureus
Description
Sulfur-colored chicken of the woods is an edible fungus with layered, fan-shaped, fleshy caps that are orange on top and sulfur yellow below. It grows in overlapping clusters on stumps, trunks, and logs of dead or dying deciduous trees, and on living trees and buried roots.
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..