Field Guide

Mushrooms

Showing 1 - 10 of 29 results
Media
Photo of jellied false coral mushroom, a rounded mass of white branches
Species Types
Scientific Name
Tremellodendron pallidum
Description
The jellied false coral is a branching, whitish, leathery, coral-like jelly fungus. It grows on the ground in deciduous or mixed woods.
Media
Photo of mature dead man's fingers mushrooms, lumpy grayish black masses
Species Types
Scientific Name
Xylaria polymorpha
Description
Dead man’s fingers is a black, distorted, clublike or finger-shaped fungus with a wrinkled, charcoal-like surface. It grows in clusters at the base of rotting deciduous trees and stumps.
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
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
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
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
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 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
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.
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..