Field Guide

Mushrooms

Showing 1 - 6 of 6 results
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 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.
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 lobster mushroom, which is orange-yellow and finely bumpy
Species Types
Scientific Name
Hypomyces lactifluorum
Description
In a lobster mushroom, the cap, gills, and stalk of a host mushroom are covered by a finely bumpy, vivid orange to orange-red layer of mold. The gills of the host mushroom can be entirely obscured by the parasite.
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.
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..