Field Guide

Mushrooms

Showing 1 - 10 of 12 results
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.
Media
Photo of oyster mushrooms growing on a tree trunk
Species Types
Scientific Name
Pleurotus ostreatus and P. pulmonarius
Description
Oyster mushrooms are choice edibles with broad, fleshy, whitish, grayish, or tan caps and a stubby, off-center stalk. They grow clustered on stumps, logs, and trunks.
Media
Photo of pale chicken of the woods.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Laetiporus cincinnatus
Description
Pale chicken of the woods has layered, fan-shaped, fleshy caps that are orange to pinkish orange on top and white below. This edible fungus grows in overlapping clusters or rosettes on stumps, trunks, and logs of dead or dying deciduous trees, and on living trees and buried roots.
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.
Media
Photo of big cluster of turkey tails, bracket fungus with concentric color rings
Species Types
Scientific Name
Trametes versicolor
Description
Turkey tail grows in clusters of leathery, thin brackets with multicolored zones above and whitish yellow pores below. Look for it on stumps and logs of deciduous trees.
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..