Field Guide

Mushrooms

Showing 1 - 10 of 13 results
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 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
Photograph of a black morel mushroom
Species Types
Scientific Name
Morchella angusticeps (formerly M. elata)
Description
The black morel is a prized edible mushroom. It has a honeycombed cap with black to brownish black ridges and yellowish brown pits. It is completely hollow and grows in the spring.
Media
Photo of two gigantic red false morels, cut and laying on a ground
Species Types
Scientific Name
Gyromitra caroliniana
Description
The big red false morel belongs to a group of poisonous mushrooms. It has a reddish brown, convoluted, brainlike cap and a whitish stalk that is chambered inside. It grows singly or in groups in mixed woods.
Media
Photo of gabled false morel, a floppy, orange club fungus
Species Types
Scientific Name
Gyromitra brunnea
Description
The gabled false morel has a reddish brown, lobed, wrinkled cap and a whitish stalk that is chambered inside, not hollow. It grows singly or in groups in mixed woods.
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 common morels growing on forest floor
Species Types
Scientific Name
Morchella esculentoides (formerly M. esculenta)
Description
The yellow morel is a choice edible mushroom. It has a honeycombed cap with yellow to grayish to tan ridges and pits. It is completely hollow and grows in the spring.
Media
Photo of mica cap cluster, bell-shaped, brown, capped mushrooms
Species Types
Scientific Name
Coprinellus micaceus (formerly Coprinus micaceus)
Description
The mica cap has a bell-shaped, tawny brown, radially lined cap and inky gills. It grows in clusters around stumps or on wood debris.
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 an alcohol inky mushroom cut in half lengthwise.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Coprinopsis atramentaria (formerly Coprinus atramentarius)
Description
The alcohol inky has a gray-brown, bell-shaped, radially lined cap and inky gills. It grows in clusters on the ground, usually near rotting or buried 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..