Field Guide

Mushrooms

Showing 1 - 6 of 6 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
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 many crowded pear-shaped puffballs growing on a stump.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Lycoperdon pyriforme (Morganella pyriformis)
Description
This is a pear-shaped, yellowish brownish puffball with a pore at the top. Pear-shaped puffballs typically grow in large clusters on decaying wood, logs, and stumps.
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.
Media
Photo of wolf's-milk slime, a small pinkish rounded slime mold
Species Types
Scientific Name
Lycogala epidendrum
Description
Wolf's-milk slime looks like little, round, reddish pink balls that exude a pinkish gray paste when popped. It grows in groups on dead wood, especially large logs. It's not really a mushroom!
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..