Field Guide

Mushrooms

Showing 1 - 10 of 34 results
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
Photo of earthstars, ball mushrooms with starlike rays, on forest floor
Species Types
Scientific Name
Geastrum species
Description
An earthstar is a roundish ball in the center of starlike rays. It grows on the ground in open woods.
Media
Photo of a parasol mushroom.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Macrolepiota procera (Lepiota procera)
Description
The parasol is very tall, with a cap that is buff to brown, broad, scaly, with a knob in center; there is a moveable ring on stalk. It grows scattered on the ground, along trails, in open woods, and in old pastures.
Media
Photo of several purple-gilled laccarias, tan-lavender mushrooms
Species Types
Scientific Name
Laccaria ochropurpurea
Description
The purple-gilled laccaria has a large, tannish lavender cap with thick, purplish gills and a stout stalk. It grows scattered or in groups in grassy areas and under hardwoods and conifers.
Media
Photo of rooted collybia, tan, thin-stalked gilled mushroom
Species Types
Scientific Name
Xerula furfuracea (Collybia radicata var. furfuracea)
Description
The rooted collybia has a moist, wrinkled, grayish brown flat cap and a long, slender stalk that continues underground. It grows singly or scattered on and around deciduous trees and stumps.
Media
Photo of scarlet waxy cap, a small mushroom with reddish conical cap
Species Types
Scientific Name
Hygrocybe coccinea (Hygrophorous coccineus)
Description
The scarlet waxy cap has a scarlet, moist cap, with a stem colored like the cap (or a little more orange). It grows on the ground in mixed woods.
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 splash cup mushrooms, tiny cup fungi that look like bird nests
Species Types
Scientific Name
Crucibulum laeve
Description
Splash cups have small brown cups holding tiny “eggs” that are each attached to the “nest” by a cord. They grow in clusters on dead wood, debris, wood chips, and mulch.
Media
Photo of shaggy mane cluster, rounded cylindrical mushrooms growing in grass
Species Types
Scientific Name
Coprinus comatus
Description
The shaggy mane has a white, shaggy, cylindrical cap that turns black and inky. It often grows in large numbers along roadsides and in lawns and disturbed areas.
Media
Photograph of cluster of mature gem-studded puffball mushrooms
Species Types
Scientific Name
Lycoperdon perlatum
Description
The gem-studded puffball is a white, rounded to turban-shaped ball, densely covered with spiny warts, developing a pore at the top. It grows on the ground in open woods, along roads, in waste areas.
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..