Field Guide

Mushrooms

Showing 1 - 10 of 16 results
Media
Photo of two ash tree boletes, tan pored mushrooms, one overturned showing pores
Species Types
Scientific Name
Boletinellus merulioides
Description
The ash tree bolete is a pored mushroom with a brownish, wavy cap, an off-center stalk, and clearly defined pores. It grows scattered on the ground near ash trees.
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
Photo of broken bolete mushroom cap, being held to show pores
Species Types
Scientific Name
Tylopilus felleus
Description
The bitter bolete has a large, tannish brown cap with pinkish white pores and a webbed, tannish brown stalk. It grows singly or scattered on the ground in mixed woods.
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
Photo of two Frost's boletes, red mushrooms with pores, at different angles
Species Types
Scientific Name
Boletus frostii
Description
Frost’s bolete has a blood red cap with red pores and a red, webbed stalk; all parts bruise blue. It grows scattered on the ground in oak woods.
Media
Photo of hen of the woods, large round mass of grayish mushrooms
Species Types
Scientific Name
Grifola frondosa
Description
Looking like a ruffled chicken, the edible hen of the woods mushroom grows like large circular bouquet of spoon-shaped caps, each grayish brown on top and white beneath, emerging from a branching, whitish base. It grows on the ground at the base of oak trees.
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 an old man of the woods, a grayish, pored mushroom with a shaggy cap
Species Types
Scientific Name
Strobilomyces floccopus
Description
The old man of the woods has a grayish black, shaggy cap with grayish pores and a grayish black, shaggy stalk. It usually grows singly, on the ground in mixed hardwood forests.
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..