Field Guide

Mushrooms

Showing 1 - 10 of 64 results
Media
Photograph of a black morel mushroom
Species Types
Scientific Name
Morchella angusticeps (formerly M. elata)
Description
The black morel is a prized edible mushroom. It has a honeycombed cap with black to brownish black ridges and yellowish brown pits. It is completely hollow and grows in the spring.
Media
Photo of common morels growing on forest floor
Species Types
Scientific Name
Morchella species
Description
Favorites among Missouri wild edibles, true morels only appear in the spring. They're very hard to see, but that's part of the fun of hunting them. Learn to identify them, and you can enjoy the hunt, too.
Media
Photo of common morels growing on forest floor
Species Types
Scientific Name
Morchella esculentoides (formerly M. esculenta)
Description
The yellow morel is a choice edible mushroom. It has a honeycombed cap with yellow to grayish to tan ridges and pits. It is completely hollow and grows in the spring.
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!
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 coral-pink merulius, pink bracket mushrooms growing on wood
Species Types
Scientific Name
Phlebia incarnata (formerly Merulius incarnatus)
Description
The coral-pink merulius is a small, semicircular bracket fungus that is pinkish to coral to cream-colored, wrinkled, and veined beneath. It grows on dead logs and stumps of deciduous trees.
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
Photo of orange mycena cluster, small, orange, gilled mushrooms
Species Types
Scientific Name
Mycena leaiana
Description
The orange mycena is a small, sticky, bell-shaped, orange mushroom. It grows in dense clusters on deciduous wood.
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.
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..