Field Guide

Mushrooms

Showing 1 - 9 of 9 results
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 two gigantic red false morels, cut and laying on a ground
Species Types
Scientific Name
Gyromitra caroliniana
Description
The big red false morel belongs to a group of poisonous mushrooms. It has a reddish brown, convoluted, brainlike cap and a whitish stalk that is chambered inside. It grows singly or in groups in mixed woods.
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 gabled false morel, a floppy, orange club fungus
Species Types
Scientific Name
Gyromitra brunnea
Description
The gabled false morel has a reddish brown, lobed, wrinkled cap and a whitish stalk that is chambered inside, not hollow. It grows singly or in groups in mixed woods.
Media
Photo of an aging grisette mushroom that is flat and tan on top and white below
Species Types
Scientific Name
Amanita vaginata
Description
The grisette has a gray cap with white patches and a radially grooved margin, and a stalk with a large, white, saclike cup around the base. It's found on the ground in open woods and in grass near 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 uprooted rooting polypore mushroom on pavement, showing cap.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Polyporus radicatus
Description
The rooting polypore has a scruffy, tough, yellowish-brown cap with whitish-yellow pores, and a stalk with a long, black, rootlike filament. It usually grows singly, on the ground near stumps or attached to buried roots.
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.
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..