Field Guide

Mushrooms

Showing 1 - 10 of 18 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
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 several deadly galerina mushroom caps, viewed from above.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Galerina marginata (G. autumnalis)
Description
The deadly galerina has a brownish, sticky cap, yellowish to rusty gills, and a ring on the stalk. It grows scattered or clustered on deciduous and coniferous logs.
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
puffball mushroom
Species Types
Scientific Name
Calvatia gigantea (Langermannia gigantea)
Description
The giant puffball is a huge, white, smooth ball with a completely white interior that becomes yellowish green with age. It grows in open pastures, woods, and lawns.
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
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 common morels growing on forest floor
Species Types
Scientific Name
Morchella species
Description
Favorites among Missouri wild edibles, true morels only appear in the spring. They're very hard to see, but that's part of the fun of hunting them. Learn to identify them, and you can enjoy the hunt, too.
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..