Field Guide

Mushrooms

Showing 1 - 10 of 28 results
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.
Media
Photo of a blusher, a tan gilled mushroom, showing injured spot turning rust red
Species Types
Scientific Name
Amanita spp. (about 600 species, worldwide)
Description
This large group of mushrooms accounts for 90 percent of mushroom-related deaths, so every mushroom hunter should be familiar with amanitas. They contain one of the deadliest poisons found in nature!
Media
Photo of Berkeley's polypore, fresh, young specimen.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Bondarzewia berkeleyi
Description
Berkeley’s polypore grows in rosettes or clusters of fleshy, cream-colored caps, with whitish pores that descend the stalk. Look for them on the ground near the bases of trees.
Media
orange mushroom growing off a tree stump.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Gymnopilus junonius (formerly G. spectabilis)
Description
Big laughing gym mushrooms are large, orangish yellow, and have a ring on the stalk. They grow in clusters on stumps and trunks of deciduous trees, on the ground, or over buried wood.
Media
Photo of black-staining polypore, a mushroom with tan, wavy, fan-shaped caps
Species Types
Scientific Name
Meripilus sumstinei (formerly M. giganteus)
Description
The black-staining polypore grows in large, circular clusters of many fleshy, grayish yellow, fan-shaped caps, which bruise black when cut or touched. It grows on the ground around deciduous trees, especially oaks.
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 destroying angel showing large saclike cup around the base of stalk
Species Types
Scientific Name
Amanita bisporigera
Description
The destroying angel is all white, with a ring on the stalk and a large, saclike cup around the base of the stalk. This deadly poisonous mushroom is very common, growing on the ground in mixed woods and in grass near trees.
Media
Photograph of a cluster of devil's urn mushrooms, which are brown and gobletlike
Species Types
Scientific Name
Urnula craterium
Description
Devil's urns are goblet-shaped, leathery brown cups. They grow in clusters on small to medium-sized decaying branches of hardwoods, especially oaks. Look for them in spring.
Media
Photo of eastern cauliflower mushroom, tan and white cauliflower-like mushroom
Species Types
Scientific Name
Sparassis spathulata (S. herbstii)
Description
The eastern cauliflower mushroom is a large, stalkless, whitish yellow rosette with flattened, wavy, ribbonlike folds. It grows singly, at the bases of trees and often at the base of decayed oak stumps.
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..