Field Guide

Mushrooms

Showing 1 - 10 of 36 results
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
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.
Media
Photo of an aging Ravenel's stinkhorn, a column-shaped fungus with dark spores
Species Types
Scientific Name
Phallus ravenelii
Description
Ravenel's stinkhorn is a long, whitish column with a greenish, smelly slime covering the top, and a whitish or pinkish cup around the base. It grows on wood debris, mulch, rotted stumps, and sawdust, and in deciduous woods.
Media
Photo of jelly baby single yellowish gelatinous mushroom
Species Types
Scientific Name
Leotia lubrica
Description
The jelly baby is a small mushroom with a gelatinous, orangish yellow stalk and head. It grows in groups on soil in mixed woods.
Media
Photo of an elegant stinkhorn mushroom, a pink column covered with brown slime
Species Types
Scientific Name
Mutinus elegans
Description
The elegant stinkhorn is a long, tapered, pinkish orange column with a greenish brown, smelly slime covering the top and a white cup around the base. It grows on leafy debris, mulch piles, and rotting wood.
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 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.
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 a scarlet cup mushroom growing on fallen sticks
Species Types
Scientific Name
Sarcoscypha dudleyi
Description
The scarlet cup is small, red, and usually stalkless, with a white outer surface. It grows on fallen wet sticks and branches in damp deciduous woods.
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..