Field Guide

Mushrooms

Showing 1 - 10 of 12 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
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
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
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 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 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..