Field Guide

Mushrooms

Showing 1 - 8 of 8 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
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 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
Photo of emetic russula mushroom with red cap and whitish stalk
Species Types
Scientific Name
Russula emetica
Description
The emetic russula has a uniformly red cap with off-white gills and stalk; its flesh and stalk are brittle. It grows singly or in groups, on moss and in mixed woods.
Media
jack-o-lantern mushroom
Species Types
Scientific Name
Omphalotus illudens (formerly O. olearius)
Description
Jack-o’-lanterns are bright orange to yellowish orange, with sharp-edged gills that descend the stalk. They grow in clusters, at the base of stumps, and from buried roots of oak and other deciduous wood.
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 a pigskin puffball.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Scleroderma citrinum (Scleroderma aurantium)
Description
The pigskin puffball is a rounded, warted, yellowish brown ball with blackish purple flesh. It grows on the ground, on wood debris, and near trees in 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..