Field Guide

Mushrooms

Showing 1 - 10 of 39 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 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 two gigantic red false morels, cut and laying on a ground
Species Types
Scientific Name
Gyromitra caroliniana
Description
The big red false morel belongs to a group of poisonous mushrooms. It has a reddish brown, convoluted, brainlike cap and a whitish stalk that is chambered inside. It grows singly or in groups in mixed woods.
Media
Photo of gabled false morel, a floppy, orange club fungus
Species Types
Scientific Name
Gyromitra brunnea
Description
The gabled false morel has a reddish brown, lobed, wrinkled cap and a whitish stalk that is chambered inside, not hollow. It grows singly or in groups in mixed woods.
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 a cinnabar chanterelle, vase-shaped red-orange mushroom
Species Types
Scientific Name
Cantharellus cinnabarinus
Description
The cinnabar chanterelle is a small, reddish orange, vase-shaped mushroom with forked ridges on the underside that descend the stalk. It grows in the soil.
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.
Media
Photo of smooth chanterelles, vase-shaped yellow and white mushrooms
Species Types
Scientific Name
Cantharellus lateritius
Description
The smooth chanterelle has a bright orange to yellow cap, wavy margins, and is smooth on the underside. It grows singly or in large groups in the soil.
Media
Photo of an aging Ravenel's stinkhorn, a column-shaped fungus with dark spores
Species Types
Scientific Name
Phallus ravenelii
Description
Ravenel's stinkhorn is a long, whitish column with a greenish, smelly slime covering the top, and a whitish or pinkish cup around the base. It grows on wood debris, mulch, rotted stumps, and sawdust, and in deciduous 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..