Field Guide

Mushrooms

Showing 1 - 10 of 14 results
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
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 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 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
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 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
a row of little brown, umbrella-shaped mushrooms along a decaying log
Species Types
Scientific Name
Various species of confusingly similar mushrooms
Description
Like the LGBs (“little gray birds”) of the birdwatchers, this is a catchall category. It includes all the small to medium-sized, hard-to-identify brownish mushroom with spores of all colors. There are many hundreds of species that fit this description!
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 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.
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..