Field Guide

Mushrooms

Showing 1 - 10 of 66 results
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.
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 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
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 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
Photo of a parasol mushroom.
Species Types
Scientific Name
Macrolepiota procera (Lepiota procera)
Description
The parasol is very tall, with a cap that is buff to brown, broad, scaly, with a knob in center; there is a moveable ring on stalk. It grows scattered on the ground, along trails, in open woods, and in old pastures.
Media
Photo of rooted collybia, tan, thin-stalked gilled mushroom
Species Types
Scientific Name
Xerula furfuracea (Collybia radicata var. furfuracea)
Description
The rooted collybia has a moist, wrinkled, grayish brown flat cap and a long, slender stalk that continues underground. It grows singly or scattered on and around deciduous trees and stumps.
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..