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 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 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 pale jelly roll fungus, showing small specimen.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Exidia alba (Ductifera pululahuana)
Description
Pale jelly roll is a small, white, gelatinous fungus with an irregular shape. It looks like a brain, or like jelly — or both! It grows in clusters on dead wood of deciduous trees.
Media
Photo of witches' butter, a yellow gelatinous bloblike fungus
Species Types
Scientific Name
Tremella mesenterica
Description
Witches' butter is a fungus that looks like small, yellow, irregularly lobed, gelatinous masses. It grows on dead deciduous wood, especially oaks.
Media
Photo of wood ear mushroom, which looks like a brownish human ear stuck to a log
Species Types
Scientific Name
Auricularia auricula (formerly A. auricula-judae)
Description
The wood ear is a reddish brown to grayish black, rubbery, earlike or cup-shaped mushroom. It usually grows in groups on rotting wood.
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..