The number of different types of mushrooms is vast and diverse, with many types to explore. Each species of mushroom has a set of classifications and characteristics.
Mushrooms can be found on land, while others prefer water. They all have unique properties and uses - some edible ones you might know, like oyster mushrooms, portabella, or shiitake.
Explore the most common types from A to Z with photos.
⬇️ Table of Contents
- Types of Mushrooms
- 1. Aborted Entoloma Abortivum | Shrimp of the Woods
- 2. Artist’s Conk
- 3. Beech Mushrooms
- 4. Beefsteak
- 5. Black Trumpet Mushrooms
- 6. Burnt Matches Mushrooms
- 7. Button
- 8. Cauliflower Mushrooms
- 9. Chanterelle
- 10. Corn Smut
- 11. Cremini
- 12. Enoki
- 13. ⚠️ Destroying Angel Mushrooms
- 14. Gamba
- 15. Giant Puffball Mushrooms
- 16. Green-Spored Lepiota
- 17. Hawk Wings
- 18. Hedgehog Mushrooms
- 19. Horn of Plenty Mushrooms
- 20. Jack-O-Lantern Mushrooms
- 21. King Oyster Mushrooms
- 22. Lactarius Deliciosus Mushrooms
- 23. Lion's Mane
- 24. Lobster Mushrooms
- 25. Maitake Mushrooms
- 26. Matsutake
- 27. Meadow Mushrooms
- 28. Morels
- 29. Oyster Mushrooms
- 30. Pig’s Ear Mushrooms
- 31. Porcini
- 32. Portobello
- 33. Reishi Mushrooms
- 34. Shaggy Mane
- 35. Shiitake
- 36. Slippery Jack Mushrooms
- 37. Smooth White Lepiota Mushrooms
- 38. Snow Fungus Mushroom
- 39. Straw Mushrooms
- 40. Chicken Of The Woods
- 41. Sweet Coral Clubs
- 42. Truffles
- 43. Turkey Trail
- 44. Wine Cap Mushrooms
- 45. Wood Ear Mushrooms
- Posts To Visit
Types of Mushrooms
Mushrooms are a type of fungus that can be found growing in many different environments. There are a wide variety of types of mushrooms, and each has its unique characteristics. Mushrooms differ from each other in terms of whether or not they are edible. Some species are poisonous, while others are safe to eat. Knowing which mushrooms are safe to eat and which should be avoided.
Mushrooms are classified into four categories: edible, conditionally edible, inedible, and poisonous.
- Edible mushrooms can be eaten raw or cooked.
- Conditionally edible mushrooms must be cooked before they can be eaten.
- Inedible mushrooms are not poisonous, but they are not considered safe to eat due to their physical properties.
- Poisonous mushrooms contain toxins that can be harmful to humans.
When collecting mushrooms, it is important to be sure that you have correctly identified the type of mushroom. If you are unsure, it is best to err on the side of caution and avoid eating the mushroom. Some poisonous mushrooms can cause serious illness or death if consumed.
1. Aborted Entoloma Abortivum | Shrimp of the Woods
Originally, Aborted Entoloma Mushrooms were simply called Aborted Puffballs. The Aborted Entoloma is considered a subtype of Aborted Puffball because they are very similar in appearance and have many similar characteristics.
It is important to be cautious when eating these mushrooms because they contain poisonous species, such as Entoloma Sinuatum. ⚠️
There are two types of Aborted Entoloma mushrooms based on color.
- Brown Aborted Entoloma, which is caused by an infection with Hypomyces hyalinus.
- White Aborted Entoloma, which is caused by an infection with Hypomyces chrysospermus.
Both types have the same growth cycle. Histologically speaking, there is only one type of Aborted Entoloma mushroom; however, these two fungi cause different-colored Aborteds due to the chemical makeup of the Aborted Entoloma.
- Aborted Entoloma are basidiomycetes that have gills rather than pores or teeth on their undersides. It is thought that Aborted Entoloma used to mushroom similar to the genus Lepiota, but about halfway through its life cycle, it was attacked by one of two forms of parasitic fungi, reducing it to a ball shape.
- These mushrooms are not considered edible due to their past as parasitized Lepiotas. Aborted Entoloma does not harm any other organisms in nature because once they become Abortedolomas, they stop being Aborted Entoloma and die.
- Can be found in soil and will grow to their mature state anywhere from the beginning of fall and winter and even early spring. Aborted Entoloma are typically very small, often not even reaching 1 cm in diameter before they are Aborted.
- Starts out as a tan or brown spherical mushroom that is less than 1 cm in diameter. The top of the Aborted's is covered with fine dark brown hair-like strands called "setae" which later break off, leaving scars on the cap surface below them. On Aborted Entoloma mushrooms, one can clearly see concentric rings on the undersides of young specimens similar to rings on a tree but are actually where prior Aborted Entoloma caps have fallen off.
- Aborted Entolomas typically become Aborted within 24 hours of releasing their spores which is why many people believe Aborteds to be a type of puffball mushroom.
2. Artist’s Conk
Artist's Conk Mushrooms or Artist's Bracket is a perennial polypore mushroom that grows on both living and dead trees throughout temperate parts of North America, Europe, Asia, and northern Africa.
They can survive in almost any climate since they grow on many different species of deciduous hardwood trees with broad spreading crowns. The artist's conk mushrooms (Ganoderma Applanatum) are also varnished conks, hoof fungus, and Lingzhi in Chinese and Reishi in Japanese.
- Artist's Conks are usually found on dead or dying trees, stumps, and logs. However, if they grow on a healthy tree, the Artist’s mushroom may cause the tree to rot at that location.
- They are not edible but very tough and can be used as tinder for starting fires. Some people make necklaces out of Artist's conk mushrooms, while others use it as an incense ingredient because Artist's conk smells like incense when burned.
- Fungi belong to the group Basidiomycota under the division fungi kingdom. They are made up of different spore-containing cells called basidiospores.
- Growth Habitat Artist’s conk mushrooms usually grow on the trunks and stumps of dying or dead broadleaf trees, particularly oaks, beech, chestnuts, birches, maples, and willows. However, they have also been seen growing on eucalyptus trees in Hawaii. They are most common in summer but can still be found in winter since they require no light to grow.
- Physical appearance Artist’s conk mushrooms are bracket fungi with a leathery, woody texture. Artist's Conks are usually 3 to 10 inches wide; however, they can grow much larger when there are enough nutrients on the forest floor.
- The cap is 2 to 6 inches in diameter and ¾ to 1-½ inches thick, dark reddish-brown in color when fresh, but when they dry up, Artist's conks become hard and black or dark brown in color.
- These mushrooms have white flesh with an earthy smell. When broken, they ooze a yellowish to orange-colored juice, an orange basidiospore mass responsible for reproducing the Artist’s' conk spores.
3. Beech Mushrooms
Beech Mushrooms, known as Shimeji mushrooms, are edible and grow on beech trees. Beech trees can be found in areas such as New England, Europe, and Asia. Beech mushrooms may also be referred to as Beech Truffles or Birch oyster mushrooms. Beech mushrooms resemble oyster mushrooms and have a lovely fruity fragrance when cooked.
Brown beech mushrooms are similar to ones such as the truffle mushroom, chanterelle, and morel. They can be eaten raw or cooked in a variety of recipes and can also be frozen for future use.
- Be sure to remove them from the ground gently because Beech mushrooms are shallow-rooted and may break off if large amounts of pressure are applied during removal. Be gentle but thorough when removing them.
- Be careful not to include any roots with your Beech mushroom harvest (if accidentally included) because Beech tree roots are not digestible due to their high tannin content. For this reason, most mycologists suggest avoiding harvesting Beech mushrooms from Beech trees that have been recently cut.
- They can be cultivated by a method called "Sawdust Spawn." For best results, beech mushrooms should be kept in a bin of sawdust and added to a Beech tree's root system for best results. They are also commonly found growing on Beehive Chips, small slabs of Beep tree bark that have been inoculated with the mycelium of fungi.
- It pairs well with beef, lamb, and venison.
Beefsteak Mushrooms, tongue mushrooms, or Fistulina Hepatica grow out of old Tree stumps. Beefsteaks mushrooms look like they have been cut from the side of a tree. These unique mushrooms grow big and flat on their host trees, best described as old stumps from dead oak trees.
- The Beefsteak mushroom is named for its resemblance to a slab of raw meat, particularly in coloration when it is young; this fades as the mushroom matures. They tend to vary in color depending on the color of the surrounding bark (normally grey or brown) but often become pinkish-red with maturity. Like other boletes, Beefsteaks typically have a spongy, porous underside. Beefsteak mushrooms belong to the Boletaceae family.
- It is rich in vitamin D and provides some B6, thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, and pantothenic acid. They are also particularly high in potassium (1720 mg per 100 grams) - almost as much as bananas.
- Beefsteaks are one of the few vegan sources of natural ergocalciferol (vitamin D). Beefsteak mushrooms also have a good supply of antioxidant carotenoids, including alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, along with zeaxanthin, lutein, and cryptoxanthin.
- Like most boletes, Beefsteaks tend to be bitter or peppery when older. The Beefsteak mushroom should be cut in half lengthways and cross-sectioned before cooking as it contains a spongy layer of pores.
- The beefsteak mushrooms are a highly prized species among mushroom hunters because of their large size and unusual shape. Beefsteaks have been known for centuries throughout Europe and North America, where it is one of the largest mushrooms found.
Beefsteak mushrooms have been used as an alternative medicine for centuries due to claims that they help cure heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and more.
5. Black Trumpet Mushrooms
Black Trumpet Mushrooms, the species Craterellus Cornucopioides, are considered a delicacy in France and are becoming more popular as a gourmet fungus in North America.
- Black trumpets have many different names; they are most commonly referred to as Black trumpets, Black Morels, Yellowlegs, Cèpes noirs, Black chanterelles, Cornucopioides.
- Grows wild on the west coast of North America and also on the East Coast. Black Trumpet mushrooms are used for making mushroom dyes and colorings due to their high concentrations of melanin.
- There are around 25 species of Black Trumpets worldwide. Black Trumpets are considered saprotrophs, which means they obtain nutrients by breaking down decaying organic matter. Black Trumpets are mycorrhizal fungi and form symbiotic relationships with the roots of trees in which they exchange certain chemical compounds for food.
- They grow within the soil in ecosystems where deciduous wood is present; in North America, this includes hardwood forests in eastern Canada and the southeastern United States. Black Trumpets tend to grow under oak, birch, maple, or beech trees but can also sometimes be found growing under conifers.
- The fungus has a fruiting body that grows out of the ground. It is considered a fungus but does not possess typical mushroom characteristics such as a stem and gills. Black Trumpets instead grow with spore-releasing folds that look like ridges or veins on the fruiting body. Black Trumpets can range in size from 3 inches to 20 inches tall, and they have an elongated trumpet shape with deep ridges and crevices. This is why they were originally named Craterellus cornucopioides for their resemblance to a Cornucopia, the mythical horn of plenty.
- Do not typically form large colonies; they usually appear singularly or in small groups that rarely exceed five mushrooms together. They are most commonly found in late summer through early winter (October to December).
- Black trumpet mushrooms vary in color depending on the substrate they are growing on or found near birch trees and tend to be lighter in color than Black Trumpets growing under maple or oak. They can range from a light grayish brown to nearly black.
- Black trumpet fungi have a fruity odor that has been described as anise-like with sweet overtones, but it is not typically strong enough for people to detect unless they are harvested and allowed to dry out, which enhances their aroma.
- Black trumpet fungi are edible, but, like any mushroom you find growing wild, they should first be properly identified using a field guide before consumption.
6. Burnt Matches Mushrooms
Burnt Match Mushroom is a saprobic fungus that means it feeds on dead organic material like wood and plant debris in order to survive.
- Burnt Matches mushrooms originate from Europe and North America where they grow abundantly in forests during the summer and autumn months. They start appearing after the first downpours of the season.
- Burnt Matches mushrooms are an excellent example of how fungi can be shaped in many different ways while still being able to carry out the same biological functions.
- These mushrooms have a dark brownish or black upper side with irregular shapes and densely packed tiny pores underneath which make for an orange flesh color.
- Vary in size; their caps can be anywhere between 1-6 centimeters (0.4-2.3 inches) wide, while Burnt Match stems are usually 0,5 - 2 centimeters (0.2-0.8 inches) long only! Burnt Matches mushroom's Stem Burnt Matches mushrooms' stem is very thin (1-2mm) and brittle.
White Button Mushrooms, also known as Agaricus Bisporus Mushrooms. The white button mushroom is also known by several other names, such as champignon mushroom and Paris mushroom.
- It was given its current name Agaricus bisporus in 1797. The original specimen was collected in Pennsylvania near Philadelphia and sent to the renowned Swedish naturalist and botanist Carl Linnaeus for identification. A few days later, his answer came back: Agaricus langei--a new genus, a new species, indeed a new name for an old favorite edible mushroom!
- The white button has been considered an excellent food source for over 2,000 years. Agaricus bisporus contains high levels of important nutrients and low calories.
- Agaricus bisporus has a unique flavor influenced by Agaricus bisporus post-harvest handling and caring processes.
8. Cauliflower Mushrooms
Cauliflower Mushrooms are very closely related to normal white button/candy/cultivated Agaricus bisporus mushrooms, but they're considered to be saprotrophic rather than mycorrhizal like their fellow A.bisporus cousins.
- They can grow up to 4" (10cm) across and 1" (2-3cm) tall. Cauliflower Mushrooms have a bland taste with a slight earthy tone and odor.
- Cauliflowers vary in shape, color, and size Cauliflower mushrooms grow in autumn or early winter Cauliflowers contain around 100 calories per 100g.
- Cauliflower Mushrooms are a good source of fiber.
How to Identify:
- White to pale yellow/tan thin wavy crinkled ‘blades’
- Growing from the roots/bases of Douglas fir
- Looks like a mass of egg noodles
- Uniquely fragrant
Chanterelle Mushrooms are members of the genus Cantharellus, which includes about 40 species, mostly in Europe with some species in North America. Many Chanterelle mushrooms are edible with a fruity fragrance. Chanterelle is pronounced "can-thar-el" / ˈkæn θɑr ɛl / (origin French).
- The Chanterelle mushroom can vary widely in size and color but typically has false gills on the underside of the cap that runs from yellow to white to pink to orange or even with multiple colors.
- Typically grow near mosses on deciduous trees, decaying coniferous logs, and at the edges of forests. Chanterelle mushrooms are typically found during warm summer but can fruit in the fall depending on the species and location.
- Chanterelles are often parasitized by Chlorophyllum molybdites (green gill) mushrooms, which causes them to turn green; this does not affect the edibility of Chanterelles.
- Chanterelle mushrooms might have medicinal properties useful for treating cholesterol or other conditions.
10. Corn Smut
Corn Smut Mushrooms, scientifically known as Ustilago Maydis, grow on maize and teosinte. Corn smut is a disease in which a parasitic fungus invades corn kernels, thus creating large tumors. Corn smuts are edible when they are young and look like mushrooms growing from Corn cobs, but they can become poisonous later after infecting other plants or crops nearby.
There are a few different kinds of Corn Smut, including Ustilago zeae and Ustilago maydis, but both have similar characteristics.
- Corn smuts produce kernels on the leaves and stems of maize to cause tumors. Corn smuts can grow in any area where maize is cultivated, but they are most frequent in Mexico because Corn cobs were originally from Mexico.
- Spread through wind-borne spores that travel along with infected crops. The fungus feeds off of Corn cobs for nutrients and spreads to other Corn during this process. Corn smut can also grow on other plants like kale and another plant called Datura.
- A fungus that grows on young maize. When the corn becomes infected, it produces golf-ball-sized galls and discolors them with an orange pigment called anthocyanin, which also makes up 90% of its dry weight.
- The moist early instars can be collected two or three weeks after infection when they're still fresh enough to eat raw in salads.
Cremini Mushrooms are commonly referred to as Cremini, Italian brown, baby Bella, Roman brown, Roman mushroom, table mushroom, cultivated mushroom, and chestnut mushrooms. Cremino mushrooms are one of the most popular varieties of mushrooms worldwide with production on six continents.
- The term Cremino refers to immature specimens of several agaric species whose fully grown counterparts would be large enough for harvest. Cremini/Cremino often refers specifically to Agaricus bisporus, the Cremini's closely related cousin known as The Button Mushroom.
- Identical in appearance to the Italian brown mushroom, which is an entirely different species of Agaricus that enjoys regional popularity in Italy.
- Cremino Mushrooms are one of the hundreds of varieties collectively referred to as Cremini. Cremini Mushrooms are members of the Basidiomycetes class, which includes mushrooms and puffballs.
- Has a meaty texture with a slightly earthy flavor that works well with many cuisines, including Italian, French, Chinese, and Mexican cuisine. Cremini needs to be cooked or dried for long-term storage.
- Cremini has a spongy texture that absorbs liquid during cooking.
- Cremino Mushrooms pair well with shallots, garlic, wine, oil, spices such as fennel seed and thyme, lemon juice, and parsley. Cremini can be eaten raw or cooked.
Recipes to try:
Enoki Mushrooms / Enokitake are often used in Japanese cuisine and Chinese cuisine, called "golden needle mushrooms. The Enoki mushroom comes from the Enoki Valley, where they were originally cultivated. Enokitake get their names because of their long slender stems and tiny caps, which look like enoki or 'needle' trees. Enok mushrooms have very thin stems and small caps compared to other edible fungi varieties, such as white mushrooms or shiitake.
- Enoki mushrooms are commonly available in supermarkets in either 8-ounce or 16-ounce containers. Enokitake mushrooms may be purchased fresh or dried.
- It has a very subtle flavor, and as such, Enokitake mushrooms are often enjoyed as part of a combination dish served with vegetables, meats, and/or tofu. Enokitake can be eaten plain or sauteed in soy sauce for added flavor.
- High in protein, fiber, and vitamin C.
- Be frozen before cooking for later use.
13. ⚠️ Destroying Angel Mushrooms
Destroying Angel Mushrooms, also known as the Death Cap, is widely regarded as one of the most poisonous mushrooms containing amatoxin which causes severe liver damage leading to death by a renal failure within 2—3 days if left untreated.
How are "Destroying Angel Mushrooms" Harmful?
Destroying Angel is one of the most poisonous mushrooms belonging to the Amanita family, so they contain a lot of toxic chemicals which cause severe liver damage if ingested.
- The major toxin is α-amanitin, but it also contains phallotoxins and amanullin. These poisons are found throughout the entire mushroom including cap, stem, gills and even down into the roots as well as some concentration on nearby soil around them.
- Following mushroom poisoning, the first symptom is typically nausea and abdominal pain within 1–3 hours followed by vomiting around 3-6 hours after ingestion.
- Other symptoms may include diarrhea, sleepiness and dehydration which develops over time because of the toxins disrupting the liver's ability to make proteins needed for blood clotting as well as initiating its detoxification function.
- In high doses, the amatoxin will affect cells in the bone marrow resulting in the impaired formation of white blood cells which help fight infections.
- This leads to the immune system being lowered, so poison victims become susceptible to infections and multiple organ failures.
Gamba Mushrooms are Gilled mushroom fungi that form fairy rings. Gamba is what they're called in the Basque region of Spain and parts of France. Gamba mushrooms can be found growing on well-rotted oak logs and stumps.
However, it's less common than its relative, Thelephora terrestris. Gamba is typically a parasitic fungus. It gets its food by tapping into another living thing for its nutrients.
- Gamba mushrooms grow from early spring to summer and come up in clusters or rows that look like ridges with spongy separations between them.
- Has a shiny black color and typically grows in a fairy ring. Gamba fungi don't usually grow more than 10 inches tall but can be several feet wide by several feet long.
- Considered edible when young, but it's not known for being the tastiest mushroom out there - it tastes kind of like old grass or soil.
- Gamba is told apart from Thelephora Terrestris because Gamba has ridges on the cap that come together at a point. In contrast, Terrestris does not have cap ridges meeting at a point in the middle.
- It stains blue when handled, while Terrestris doesn't.
15. Giant Puffball Mushrooms
Giant Puffball Mushrooms, or Calvatia Gigantea, are one of the best edible wild mushrooms. Giant puffballs have white outer skin that is thick and firm with white flesh inside, usually without any discoloration at all.
- The Giant Puffball mushroom has no stem with a roundish shape, but its size varies depending on where it grows. It can be as small as 6 inches (15 cm) across and up to 4 feet (1.2 m) in diameter.
- Age cannot be determined by its width alone, unlike some wild mushrooms like Slippery Jacks sometimes.
- Giant Puffballs start very young-looking, round, and pure white, but they may still be quite old for all we know since they grow very slowly.
- The largest ever recorded giant puffball was eight feet, eight inches in diameter and weighed forty-eight pounds.
- The single ten-inch mushroom had 7 trillion spores, which would have made for an 800 times mass if they all grew together!
16. Green-Spored Lepiota
Green-Spored Lepiota Mushroom, or Chlorophyllum Molybdites is a large, easily recognizable agaric that grows abundantly in the southern US and is particularly common in Florida, can be found year-round but especially abundant in the summer months.
Green-spored Lepiota was first recorded as growing in New Orleans, Louisiana but has since spread to Mexico, South America, and Africa.
- Extremely abundant during the summer months Green Spored Lepiota / Chlorophyllum loves warm climates and is found mostly on lawns, pastures grassy roadsides, sidewalks, or wherever it can find a suitable spot to grow.
- They are most often green although they have been known to be white occasionally too. Green-Spored Lepiota has a large flat cap with little to no scales on it. Green gills go all the way down the stem and in small Green Spored Lepiota mushrooms, the scales are very close together making them almost appear smooth.
- Generally makes its home in mulch, grassy areas where there is excess moisture present. They usually appear in summer but can also be found throughout the fall months when hurricane season hits Florida hard.
- Edible when they are young and very small but Green Spored Lepiotas that have reached maturity have a strong ammonia smell all over which is how you can differentiate Green-Spored Lepiota from Green-spored Lepiota.
- Contains the toxin known as Chlorophyllum molybdites, which can give nausea or vomiting.
17. Hawk Wings
Hawk Wings Mushrooms, Sarcodon Imbricatus is a large and meaty belonging to the tooth fungus group. Hawk wings are dark brown with a smooth cap and have thick flesh that is also brown in color.
- Hawk wing mushrooms have an oblong shape that can grow up to 5 inches long. The stem is short and stout, which looks like beef jerky or shoe leather, but with an unpleasant smell. However, Hawk wings can be eaten after boiling them several times until they lose their intense flavor.
- These mushrooms are popular among forest hunters because they can easily be found on old or sick trees after very heavy rainfalls during the summer months. This fact is important for collectors as Hawk wings are in season for only a short time each year.
- These mushrooms contain a polysaccharide called Sarcodontin, which is beneficial in treating stomach problems and reducing cholesterol. Hawk wings also contain Vitamin B12, iron, and protein.
- Hawk Wings mushrooms can be eaten raw when young but should not be consumed when dried or old because they will cause indigestion due to their very tough flesh. Hawk Wing Mushrooms taste best after boiling several times until the water turns brownish in color, then frying them in butter with garlic before serving it on toast or pasta.
18. Hedgehog Mushrooms
Hedgehog Mushrooms are excellent edible mushrooms that can be found all over the world. Hedgehog mushrooms grow in clusters on dead wood, decaying leaves, and rotting logs during late fall and early winter.
- They are known for having a spiny texture to them which gives rise to their name Hedgehog. These mushrooms have brownish-grey caps with lighter colored gills beneath that are not connected to the stem by means of cross veins.
- The gill color often matches the same color as the surroundings so finding these mushrooms is very easy under leaf litter where they tend to grow.
- Should be fresh and firm with little or no bruising. Hedgehogs can often be mistaken for other similar-looking Hedgehog lookalikes such as the Brittlegills, which can cause serious digestive problems if consumed.
- Hedgehog Mushrooms have a somewhat mild taste which makes them perfect for use with almost any other bolder ingredients that may clash with other more flavourful mushrooms.
- These mushrooms have a firm texture that works well in any dish, especially ground. Hedgehog mushrooms will absorb the flavors around them, giving each dish its own Hedgehog-like essence that is subtle and savory like an earthy beef broth.
- Pair very well as a meat substitute as they contain plant proteins, fiber as well as omega 3 fatty acids. This makes an excellent dietary choice for vegetarians and vegans; Hedgehog mushrooms contain less than 2 grams of carbohydrates per serving.
- Are also known to lower cholesterol, blood sugar levels, and insulin resistance which makes them perfect for diabetics.
19. Horn of Plenty Mushrooms
Horn of Plenty Mushrooms or species Craterellus cornucopiodes produces fruit bodies that resemble black or purple-black "ears" or spines on the soil. The Horn of Plenty can be found in grassy fields, pastures, and lawns. It's related to the chanterelle and frequently confused for this species. As with most mushrooms, there are several look-alikes, so caution should be used when identifying them.
- In terms of their appearance, they have a deep black color that looks almost blue in some lighting. The center of the Horn of Plenty is usually hollow and it can grow to be 4-8 inches tall. under bright light conditions and has been described as looking like an "antler in black velvet."
- The ends of the fruit body have a distinct, non-forked attachment to their stalks. It's roughly 1-3 inches wide and 2-6 inches tall with a vase-shaped or earlike shape when mature. The Horn of Plenty mushroom fruit body is roughly ¾″ thick at the base before expanding with age.
- Another good field mark for this mushroom is its "turn off odor", which is said to be distinctive once you've detected it. However, they do produce an unpleasant fruity sweet smell after being handled for a short period of time.
In terms of identification, the Horn of Plenty mushroom is sometimes confused with Craterellus lutescens / Yellow Foot, black trumpet mushrooms, or false chanterelle.
Those who are new to Mushroom hunting should take caution when identifying Horn of Plenty mushrooms as they look very similar to several toxic species. However, according to some experts, there are no known visual field marks that can distinguish Horn of Plenty from its poisonous look-alikes.
As a result, it's recommended that beginners avoid eating them in the wild and focus more on the popular chanterelle and trumpets instead.
20. Jack-O-Lantern Mushrooms
Jack-O-Lantern Mushrooms are a type of bracket fungus that gets its name from the gills on the underside of the mushroom cap, which are a deep orange color and look like flames. They grow on standing or fallen hardwood trees, mainly oak, chestnut and beech. The caps are convex when young but become more concave or even funnel-shaped as they mature. They typically reach 5–10 cm (2–4 in) in diameter. Jack-O-Lantern Mushrooms are found in North America and Europe.
The Jack-O-Lantern Mushroom is poisonous and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and cramps. If eaten in large quantities, it can lead to liver damage. People have also reported experiencing hallucinations after eating this mushroom. Therefore, it is best to avoid them altogether.
If you see a Jack-O-Lantern Mushroom, it is best to leave it alone. Please do not touch it, and do not try to eat it. Just enjoy the sight of this strange and beautiful fungus, and be thankful that you don’t have to worry about its poisonous effects.
21. King Oyster Mushrooms
King Oyster Mushrooms are known scientifically as Pleurotus Eryngii are native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean. They were first cultivated in China over 200 years ago, but now they can be found fruiting all around the world.
These special mushrooms were added to the list of cancer-fighting foods published by The National Cancer Institute in 2012 after studies showed that they contain compounds that may prevent cancer from growing and spreading.
King Oysters grow large caps that resemble scallop shells when young and become more elongated as they mature.
The gills on their undersides are white throughout most of their development, but start to turn grayish-purple before the mushroom becomes too old. In their prime, King Oysters grown outdoors measure from 5"-8" (12 cm - 20 cm) in diameter, but mushrooms grown indoors can reach twice that size.
Growing on logs or using as table decorations because they do not release a strong odor like many other cultivated edible mushrooms.
King Oyster mushrooms can be grown indoors or outdoors year-round and prefer warmer temperatures and high humidity levels when colonizing and fruiting. Strangely enough, they can grow in almost any controlled environment with the proper care.
Can be dried, frozen, pickled, or canned for long-term storage and consumption at a later date. Have been shown to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels by increasing nitric oxide, which improves circulation. King Oysters can be a delicious addition to the diets of people with hypertension, high cholesterol, or those at risk for developing certain cancers.
22. Lactarius Deliciosus Mushrooms
Lactarius Deliciosus Mushrooms are a type of Lactarius L. Russulaceae growing predominantly in the temperate areas of the world, yet also found in places with tropical to subtropical climates.
- L. deliciosus is a relative of L. piperatus and L. chrysorheus , which grow naturally in South America and North America respectively, but can be differentiated from the other two by its sweet taste.
- Lactarius deliciosus grows from summer to autumn, often found under conifers such as spruce or pine trees, although it has been recorded growing under deciduous trees as well including oak or linden/ trees (Tilia platyphyllos).
- Grows up to 10 cm tall and have a distinct orange cap with white gills. Lactarius deliciosus is an ectomycorrhizal fungus, which means that it has symbiotic relations with the roots of the tree it grows under, which gives Lactarius deliciosus its distinctive light yellow color.
- Lactarius deliciosus mushrooms are only found in Europe, North America, and Asia, but there are several close relatives forming part of the Lactarius family.
- Sightly orange, red, or yellow cap with gills that range from white to light green in color.
23. Lion's Mane
Lion's Mane Mushrooms can be eaten both cooked or raw, but Lion's Mane that has been dried is most beneficial to the body. Lion's Mane Mushrooms are found growing on trees, as well they grow wild in many parts of the world, including North America, Europe, and Asia.
- Lion's Mane contains protein, fiber, and B vitamins. Lion's Mane also offers healthy amounts of zinc and iron. Lion's Mane mushrooms contain polysaccharides that help boost the immune system and may even prevent cancer cells from forming.
- Anti-inflammatory properties makes Lion's Mane perfect for people suffering from arthritis, gout ulcers, constipation, diarrhea, cancer, and tumorous growths.
- Reduces pain and swelling in the joints, and by doing so, allows for a more comfortable joint movement. Lion's Mane is also used as a mild sedative, and Lion's Mane has been known to help with Alzheimer's disease.
- The fungus had been found to contain erinacine, which acts like epinephrine (adrenaline) on white blood cells, triggering them to become active and rush to wherever they're needed.
- Helps treat digestive problems such as constipation or diarrhea.
- Strong antibacterial properties that may also prevent blood clotting.
- Contains nerve growth factor which helps protect brain cells, resulting in improved memory, increased mental ability, and reduced effects of neurological disorders.
Lion's Mane stimulates the synthesis of Nerve proteins which can reverse symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and depression.
24. Lobster Mushrooms
Lobster Mushroom are an edible wild mushroom that fruits in the summer and fall in a wide array of habitats around North America. Lobster Mushroom is bright vermilion-orange in color and has a signature fragrance and flavor that is very akin to seafood;
- The lobster Mushroom texture is quite similar to lobsters.
- Lobster mushrooms usually appear in the summer and fall throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.
- Identified by its bright red-orange coloration. The fruiting bodies of Lobster Mushrooms look like caps with spongy or wavy margins that are attached at their stems to the decaying stumps or roots of their host trees.
- The smooth and moist texture of the Lobster Mushroom caps often ranges from 2 to 10 cm in width. Lobster mushrooms do not grow very large, and both Lobster mushroom stems and Lobster Mushroom caps are edible.
- An aroma is similar to shellfish, hence their common name. Lobster Mushroom tissue is composed of thin-walled generative hyphae with clamp connections.
- Lobster Mushrooms grow as a parasite on hardwood trees, including oak, beech, maple, and chestnut.
25. Maitake Mushrooms
Maitake Mushrooms, or Hen of the Woods, are species in the genus Maitake or Grifola, which includes M. fasciculata, M. frondosa, M. albobrunnea, M. anoncifera, M. dudleyi, M. polyphilla var. hen-of-the-woods, and M. xanthopus.
They are called "hen of the woods" because they look like white balls with many gray/black sticks growing around them (similar to a chicken's egg).
- Maitake mushrooms are native to Japan and the United States.
- can be consumed raw or cooked; they have a flavor similar to seafood when raw but taste like potatoes when steamed or boiled.
- They're usually found in dried form at Asian grocery stores because they're not as popular when fresh due to their short shelf-life (they only last 2 weeks).
Maitake mushrooms are considered both an adaptogen and an anticarcinogen, meaning that consumption of maitake mushrooms may help prevent cancer and decrease tumor size in patients diagnosed with cancer.
Matsutake Mushrooms are a little denser than other species, which makes them excellent for grinding and slicing. The aroma comes from its unique spiciness that some find pleasant while others cannot stand; this means you'll need to experiment with how much spice your palate can handle before cooking up these delicious fungi!
- Matsutakes are highly sought in Japan not only because they smell great but also because of their nutritional content
- Ingredients such as vitamin D2 ( contributors here ) help promote bone health when consumed regularly on top of foods rich with calcium like dairy products or fish.
27. Meadow Mushrooms
Meadow Mushrooms are one of the most common types of wild mushrooms. Meadow mushrooms belong to the genus Agaricus, which contains about 300 species worldwide (with at least 25 species in North America, over 50 in Europe, and over 100 in China).
- Meadow mushrooms can be identified by their distinctive smell, often described as 'mushroomy' or 'pleasant,' which is not present with other closely related mushroom groups such as the Lepiota family.
- Meadow mushrooms are saprophitic, meaning that they derive nutrients from decomposing organic matter, such as fallen leaves and twigs. Typically be found along the forest floor in regions of brush, grass, or woodland areas.
- Often be seen on mulch, bark chips, soil, meadows, lawns, and the edges of footpaths, which is particularly common on horse dung or cow patties that have just begun to decompose.
- Mostly found in temperate climates throughout the world. Meadow mushrooms are more prevalent during the late summer to early autumn months. Meadow mushroom season is generally from June through November.
- Can grow up to 30 cm tall with caps reaching 8-20 cm inches by 7-15 centimeters wide. However, caps are typically about 10cm wide.
- Meadow mushrooms often have bright orange, yellow, or red caps with brown scales on the cap that fade as the mushroom matures.
- White gills that turn yellow or rusty brown as they mature. Meadow mushroom Characteristics Meadow mushrooms have a ring on their stalk called an annulus, separating them from other closely related mushrooms such as Chanterelles and Ramaria species.
Morel Mushrooms are a species of edible wild mushrooms. Morels have been called many different names in different regions of the world. They include Morel, Morchella, sponge mushroom, dryland fish, Missouri morels, or simply black Morels.
It is believed that the Morel mushroom evolved from its mycorrhizal ancestor through neotenic ontogeny. The Morel retains a traditional form even after leaving symbiosis with a tree. This theory suggests that Morels may not require a host to grow, and instead, most forms of Morel are probably saprobic.
- Morels can be found in large numbers at the bases of oak trees during early May in the northern hemisphere or February in the southern hemisphere.
- Popular delicacies and have a distinctive strong flavor that says "wild" to many people. Morel mushrooms can be eaten cooked or raw, although they must first be thoroughly cleaned of sand and dirt.
- Should never be picked from polluted areas as they can absorb heavy metals which may not be removed by cooking.
- Morchella Morels can be dried and stored for later use, although Morels that have been dried tend to lose their flavor quickly. Morel mushrooms were traditionally pickled and eaten by French farmers. Morels are exported to other countries around the world
29. Oyster Mushrooms
Oyster Mushrooms are found in many different parts of the world. They belong to the phylum Basidiomycota, which means "club fungi." They have long, thin stems topped with fan-shaped caps, and like to grow on dead trees and logs. You can also buy spawns to grow them yourself on wood chips or plugs (small pieces used for starting plants).
Oyster mushrooms are delicious sauteed with butter and garlic or tempura fried, then served over pasta!
- Oysters mushrooms get their name from their sweet, seafood-like taste and texture, partly due to their high protein content.
- It contains all eight essential amino acids, making them a complete protein source. Oysters are not oysters; they don't even closely resemble true oysters. They grow in clusters of two or more.
- Oysters mushroom can be found throughout North America, but are mainly concentrated along the Pacific Northwest coast, where there is plenty of rainfall and decaying wood to feed the fungus' growth.
- Oyster mushrooms fruit (produce spores) year-round, though most often during fall and winter.
These mushrooms sometimes act as a parasite and invade the tree, and cause significant damage.
They don't require much light as other mushrooms do. Oyster mushrooms can increase, sometimes growing over 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) per day.
- Used medicinally in China for at least 2,000 years.
- Oyster mushrooms have high levels of lentinan, an active component currently being studied for its anti-tumor properties in cancer therapies.
- High in antioxidants.
30. Pig’s Ear Mushrooms
Pig's Ear Mushroom or Gomphus Clavatus, a coral mushroom that grows in clusters on the ground. Pig's ear mushroom is rare but often found fruiting under oaks in late summer and early fall.
- Pig's Ear Mushroom has no stem but has a cottony base that attaches it to the tree trunk or the ground.
- These mushrooms last for months if stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
- belongs to the Gomphaceae family of fungi, characterized by spores with one large oil droplet and one small droplet.
- The mushroom is inedible due to its tough consistency.
- Pig's ear mushrooms are saprobic, living off decaying organic matter found on the forest floor.
- Pig's ears grow slowly and may take several months to mature.
Biology: Pig's ear mushrooms typically grow on dead deciduous trees, usually oak, but they sometimes grow on conifers. The caps are initially convex but become flattened or depressed in age, while the stalks are long and slender, up to 10 cm tall by 1–1.5 cm thick.
Pig's Ear Mushrooms have a two-part life cycle that involves the production of basidiospores as well as conidia or chlamydospores.
Porcini Mushrooms, also known as ceps or penny buns in French, and Boletus edulis, is an edible variety of mushrooms. Porcini mushrooms are among the most highly prized and expensive wild mushrooms in Italian cuisine, especially in the north. This mushroom has a distinctive earthy flavor that makes them suitable for broad application in cooking, from delicate dishes to hearty recipes.
- Porcini can be dried and eaten as they are, reconstituted (soaked in liquid), or incorporated into other recipes such as, sauce, stews, omelets, or risotto.
- Common in Europe, Asia, North Africa, and North America. They can grow with certain hardwood trees such as Hazel, poplar, oak, sweet chestnut, hornbeam, apple, cherry, birch, hackberry, and persimmon. Porcini mushrooms may also grow solitary or scattered on soil or lawn grasses.
- They should be cooked soon after purchase because they deteriorate quickly. Porcini mushrooms will be kept in the refrigerator for two or three days if stored properly; putting them into a paper bag will retain the moisture and prevent them from drying out.
Porcini mushrooms lose their firmness when exposed to excessive heat, making them unsuitable for stir-fries. Porcini can be purchased, dried or fresh.
Portobello, Portabello, and Portabella are commonly used names for the mature version of the Cremini, or Crimini mushrooms. The term "portobello" is said to have been coined by the owner of one of two rival companies who were both manufacturing grills with mushroom-shaped cast iron covers beginning sometime around 1982.
- Portobellos are often used as a substitute for meat because they're high in protein, low in calories, and high in niacin, riboflavin, and selenium.
- They contain small amounts of iron and zinc, plus trace amounts of copper, manganese, and potassium. Portabellos also have very little sodium and are cholesterol-free.
Cooking with Portobello Mushrooms
The mushroom portobello mushrooms have a light, earthy flavor with a slightly sweet taste. They're also known for absorbing flavors from sauces and marinades very well, which makes them an ideal choice for grilling or roasting.
Portobello mushrooms go well with lemon juice, herbs such as basil, thyme, parsley, garlic, red onions, vinegar, wine, and soy sauce. Portobello mushrooms also hold up well to strong-flavored condiments such as balsamic vinaigrette, blue cheese, and mustard. Portabella mushrooms are a source of potassium, phosphorus, selenium, and copper.
- Portabellas can be somewhat difficult to clean because their open caps make them susceptible to dirt, bugs, and other unwanted foreign particles that might fall into the cap while still growing.
- Portobello mushroom gills should be removed before cooking.
Portabella mushrooms have been shown to help lower cholesterol levels. Still, they can also be very high in sodium, so Portabella mushrooms should only be eaten occasionally. Portobello mushrooms should always be served with other low or no-sodium foods.
33. Reishi Mushrooms
Reishi Mushrooms, or Lingzhi in Chinese, have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years. Reishi mushrooms are known as one of the most effective "adaptogen" herbs that help the body adapt to stress and improve many different types of conditions. Reishi mushroom is currently being studied extensively and has been found to be useful for conditions such as heart disease and hypertension.
Reishi mushrooms belong to a group called polypore (polyporaceae) family of mushrooms. Reishi's scientific name is Ganoderma Lucidum. Reishi mushrooms can be found all around the world; China produces 95% of reishi mushrooms worldwide.
Reishi mushrooms have a hard consistency due to their high amount of chitin (polysaccharide), making them hard for the body to digest.
Reishi has been known to be one of the most powerful medicinal herbs/medicine that exists. Reishi is known as a "tonic" because it can strengthen many different systems in the body.
- Reishi mushrooms support the immune system, cardiovascular system, nervous system, liver function, and respiratory system, just to name a few.
- Contains triterpenoids which are also found in red ginseng that help suppress tumors and stimulate immune cells to produce more interferon.
- Known to be a powerful antioxidant that scavenges free radicals that may cause cancer or other diseases, its main ingredient is ganoderic acid.
- Reishi mushrooms have also been found to have positive effects on lowering blood sugar levels in diabetic patients and improving liver enzyme function and lipid metabolism.
- Being studied for its anti-tumor activity that may be immune-enhancing or suppress tumor growth. Reishi mushroom benefits are not limited to just these health problems, though; it has also been documented to relieve insomnia, fatigue, asthma, coughing, and shortness of breath.
Reishi mushrooms take approximately six months to grow and produce a single harvest, with it being optimal to let them sit for another few months before harvesting again.
34. Shaggy Mane
Shaggy Mane Mushrooms, or Lawyer's Wig, Shaggy Ink Cap, and Shaggy Parasol. Shaggy Mane Mushrooms look a lot like a Shrimp or pom-pom with a cone-shaped cap on top of a long, thick stalk that extends from an underground white mat of mycelium (a mass of threadlike hyphae).
Shaggy Mane Mushrooms have no poisonous look-a-likes.
Shaggy Mane Mushrooms have an off-white color on their stalks near the base, and their caps often extend three to six inches above the cap. Shaggy Mane Mushrooms have about 1% percent psilocybin content by weight. Shaggy Mane Mushrooms are common in North America, Europe, and temperate parts of Asia.
- Groups grow on rotting stumps or logs of trees such as oak, beech, maple, and sycamore.
- These mushrooms fruit in fall near the ground along paths and roads where they often connect to underground mycelium networks that extend throughout the forest floor for many years.
- Found growing up from buried mulch, or even lawns with rich fertilizers added, like horse manure mixed into grass clippings.
Shaggy Manes mushrooms prefer warm temperatures for fruiting between 50°F (10°C) during the day and about 40°F (4.5°C) at night. Shaggy Mane Mushrooms will often form fairy rings of mushrooms that can grow as large as 15 feet wide and more than 150 years old!
- Shaggy Manes is a saprobe, meaning they live off the decaying remains of other organisms.
- Sprout from mycelium underground, where they help break down dead organic matter like fallen leaves on the forest floor and return nutrients to the soil for future plants and trees to use again.
- Known to recycle between 70 and 90 percent of the nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and calcium found in leaf litter each year
- Reproduce with spores released from the gills of the mushroom.
Shaggy Mane Mushrooms grow on decaying logs, mulch, and lawns, ranging from white to tan or light brown in color.
Shiitake Mushrooms are a kind of mushroom known as Lentinula edodes, or 'Lentinellus Edodes.' These wild mushrooms grow naturally in East Asia, North America, and Europe. The Japanese name for these delicious fungi is shii-take or shiitake (literally "oak mushroom").
They contain an anti-cancer compound called Lentinula Edodes Mycelium also contains lentinan, which stimulates the production of interferon in your body. They have long been recognized in Oriental medicine as having antitumor activity.
- The fruitbodies are rich in carbohydrates and dietary fiber while containing only small amounts of fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals.
- They are a medicinal and tasty mushrooms native to East Asia that grow naturally on dead oak trees - these mushrooms contain lentinan, a potent antioxidant known to boost the immune system in humans.
- When cooked, they have a savory, meaty flavor, and their texture is very meaty too. Excellent in dishes ranging from soups to stir-fry dishes to even desserts!
- Their cultivation is very popular - since its discovery as an official gourmet food source in Japan in the early 1960s, Shiitake Mushroom farming has grown in popularity.
- Easy to grow and cultivate, making them environmentally friendly while providing tasty food for your family.
How Shiitake Mushrooms Are Grown & Harvested
The spores germinate through the substrate (wood chips) they grow on. The spores begin to form Shiitake fruiting bodies after colonizing the host material; these fruiting bodies eventually mature into edible mushrooms - this is how they are harvested.
- Cultivating Shiitakes involves inoculating logs or sawdust with Shiitake Spores, placing them in a partially shady area where air can still circulate, and waiting until new fruiting bodies emerge - most Shiitake logs are harvested when around 30cm tall.
Best enjoyed when cooked, with a meaty, savory flavor and texture. Shiitakes pair well with light foods like chicken or fish and heavier dishes like beef or pork tenderloin.
36. Slippery Jack Mushrooms
Slippery Jack Mushrooms (Suillus species) grow in a cluster at the base of a small tree. Slippery Jacks grow on the ground in forests near hardwoods, especially oak. Slippery Jocks can be found from summer to late fall all across North America and Europe. Slippery Jacks have been introduced to Australia, where they're considered invasive.
The name "Slippery Jack" is well-known in Eastern Europe. In Russian, it's known as "maslyata," which means "butter mushroom."
Slippery Jacks change colors depending on how old they are;
- Baby Slippery Jacks start off grayish-pink and turn brown as they age. Slippery Jack Mushrooms taste best when young, so look for Slippery Jacks that are firm to the touch.
- The caps should be between 1" and 3" in diameter with stems around 2" long. Still, some Slippery Jack varieties grow bigger while others stay small.
- Slippery Jock mushrooms have a dark, spongy pore surface beneath their caps instead of gills on the underside of their caps like some other varieties of mushrooms do.
- They give off a strong smell, almost peppery or acrid.
Slippery Jack mushrooms aren't safe to eat if you find them growing on coniferous trees.
37. Smooth White Lepiota Mushrooms
Smooth White Lepiotas (Lepiota Cristata) are small mushrooms that grow in woods. Smooth White Lepiotas mushrooms are poisonous and should not be eaten. White Lepiota Mushrooms are known as Smooth Lepiota and Smooth Parasol.
They may also cause an allergic reaction when touched or inhaled.
Smooth White Lepiota mushrooms have an off-white cap that has scales on the top of it, with a smooth stem. Smooth White Lepiotas have a bulbous stalk that is completely attached to their cap. Smooth white Lepiotas have a ring on their stalks which is called an annulus.
Smooth White Lepiotas' gills are free from the stalk, giving a spongy look. Smooth white lepiotas' spore print is a rusty brown color. Can be found from spring to fall. Smooth.
- these mushrooms grow up to 12 inches tall, though they usually grow around 6 inches tall.
- groups in clusters that have a mess hall appearance. They also may appear by themselves, growing out of mulched flower beds, compost piles, and soil.
- Grows in warmer weather and prefers to stay hidden during the winter months.
- Prefers growing on decaying vegetation such as rotted wood, manure, grass clippings, straw, and compost piles. Smooth White Leppiosa mushrooms also grow well on vines such as morning glory.
Smooth White Lepiotas are saprotrophs which means they break down dead organic matter. They can also be found throughout Australia and North America. In Europe, they can be found growing in temperate areas.
38. Snow Fungus Mushroom
Snow Fungus Mushrooms are an edible gelatinous basidiomycete fungus (the group of fungi that includes mushrooms and toadstools) belonging to the genus Tremella. Snow fungus is used in traditional Chinese medicine and culinary practices; it has been shown experimentally to have hypoglycaemic effects and may also exhibit antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities.
- It grows naturally on decaying logs and tree stumps on the ground and is also called the wood ear. They can be cultivated; it takes on a yellowish or brown color as it grows. It has no detectable flavor and absorbs flavors readily, so it is often used as a flavoring agent in dishes such as hot pots.
- Considered by some to have medicinal properties of their high polysaccharide content. Snow fungi should not be confused with the similarly named " silver ear fungus, "also known as "white jelly mushroom," nor with the unrelated but visually similar black fungus, a parasitic mold that grows on insects and other animal tissue.
- Used in traditional Chinese medicine and culinary practices; it has been shown experimentally to have hypoglycaemic effects and may also exhibit antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities.
Snow Fungu mushrooms are no longer classified so separately but are considered Tremella fuciformis.
- Snow Fungi are found deep within decaying logs or buried under debris in coniferous forests all over North America. They can be cultivated; it takes on a yellowish or brown color as it grows. Snow fungi are considered by some to have medicinal properties of their high polysaccharide content.
39. Straw Mushrooms
Straw Mushroom (Volvariella Volvacea) is a common and popular wild edible mushroom in China, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, etc. Straw mushrooms are cultivated on rice straw or other agricultural wastes with bovine manure as the major substrate. Straw mushrooms come in many shapes like cups/bowls/parasols/trumpets etc. They contain about 23 calories per 100 grams of fresh weight.
Straw Mushrooms have several medicinal benefits and can be prepared in various ways to suit different palates. Straw mushrooms are easily available at most Asian grocery stores and even some mainstream grocery stores nowadays due to their rise in popularity recently.
- Dry Straw Mushrooms also exist, and they usually look similar but are more wrinkly and often smaller than fresh Straw Mushrooms. Straw Mushrooms are known as Cloud Ears / Yung Ho / Straw Wood Ear Fungus.
- White Cloud Ear / Cloud Ear Fungus etc. Its fruiting body is very thin and made up of many layers that are usually whitish to grey in color when mature, hence the name Straw Mushroom. Straw Mushrooms are quite delicate; they are easily broken if handled roughly.
40. Chicken Of The Woods
Sulfur Polypore Mushrooms, Laetiporus Sulfurous, is a member of the genus Laetiporus; they used to be classified as members of the genus Panus because of their similarity with that mushroom genus.
Sulfur polypores have also been called Chicken Of The Woods mushrooms or just Chicken mushrooms, Sulfur Shelf fungi, Sulfur shelf mushrooms for their bright orange color.
They belong to the group Basidiomycota / Agaricomycetes / Polyporales / Polyporaceae Sulfur Fungi and Laetiporus Sulfurous Sclerotium (soft rot stage).
- They have a pileus (cap) that is bright yellow, orange, or even slightly pinkish, convex when young but becoming flat or even centrally depressed in age. They also have a white pore surface that stains brown were touched and pores round, angular, or slitlike -all of these characteristics make them a member of the Polyporaceae Sulfur Fungi family.
- Sulfur Polypore Mushrooms have tubes under their caps that are grayish-yellow to pale lemon yellow, sometimes with reddish tints at the tube ends. The flesh is soft and watery when young but becomes tough in age with no distinctive odor or taste.
- Grows on wood (usually deciduous), less commonly on dead herbaceous stems, and very rarely from soil or humus-rich areas of the ground. They decay hardwoods such as ash, beech, birch, dogwood, elm, maple, and oak, among others; less often conifers such as hemlock and pine -hence their name "chicken of the woods" because they look like a small, yellowish hen.
41. Sweet Coral Clubs
Sweet Coral Clubs Mushrooms are coral-shaped mushrooms that grow out of the ground. Sweet Coral Clubs Mushrooms originate in North America but can also be found in New Zealand and Europe. Sweet Coral Clubs Mushrooms grow in different areas, depending on the season.
They mostly grow under conifers from spring to autumn. Sweet Coral Clubs Mushrooms have a blunt head with stubby projections growing out of it at intervals along its stalk, which is about 3 inches tall.
- Sweet Coral Club's Mushroom's stem has no ring nor volva but does have tiny white dots that run vertically down its length.
- The mushroom cap ranges from light yellow to bright orange or pink, and the spore print is brownish-yellow.
- has a fruity, earthy smell when fresh and a pepper or aniseed flavor when cooked with butter.
- Sweet Coral Club's Mushrooms are not edible when raw; however, Sweet Coral Club's Mushrooms can be eaten if boiled, fried, or baked.
- used to externally treat wounds and ulcers due to their antibiotic properties.
Sweet Coral Clubs are saprophytic fungi and draw nutrients from decayed organic matter. The spores germinate in the presence of free amino acids, which are abundant in fresh dung, making this mushroom very common on pastures - thus its other name: "the pasture mushroom."
Truffles Mushrooms are the fruiting body of a fungus in the genus Tuber. Truffle is a symbiotic fungal-plant relationship with several species belonging to the plant family "Liliales."
Truffles are valued for their intense aroma, their taste and also as an expensive food delicacy. Truffles grow underground. Truffles can be found at different depths, with some species growing as deep as three feet below ground. Truffles have hypogeous mycorrhizal relationships with trees, namely oaks and hazels. Truffle is made up of fat (~60%), with protein comprising most of the remaining mass (~35%). Truffle contains nearly no water.
- Truffles tend to taste better with age. Truffle has a strong odor which is highly valued by some people, while others are put off by the smell. Truffles mushrooms' flavor can vary from slightly nutty to meaty.
- Usually sliced thin or grated when used for cooking since this encourages the rapid release of aromas into the surrounding atmosphere.
Truffle oil is used economically, mainly in very expensive luxury goods like Truffle Fries, Truffle Vodka, and Truffle salt.
Truffle fruitings are rare and occur randomly over several weeks in autumn. Truffles begin as ectomycorrhizal seedlings, which means they grow around the roots of living trees, most often oaks or hazels.
43. Turkey Trail
Turkey Trail Mushrooms (Tricholoma magnivelare) are a group of gilled mushrooms commonly found in Turkey's Appalachian Mountains and can also be found in northwestern Turkey. Like many other members of the Tricholomataceae family, Turkey Trail mushrooms have white spores and black veils. Their flesh is not known to discolor after being cut or bruised.
- The Turkey Tail mushroom forms long, light brown bands on tree trunks. Turkey Trail mushrooms produce an almond-scented hydrogen disulfide when they are fresh and young and older specimens may develop a fishy or otherwise unpleasant odor.
- The Turkey Tail mushroom smells slightly fruity while growing but has no taste to speak of until after it has been cooked. Turkey Tails are not typically eaten raw.
- The Turkey Trail mushroom grows in Turkey, North America, and Japan. Turkey Trails are found on the ground growing on conifer needles or twigs of deciduous trees in mountainous regions.
They are more common under hemlock trees but can also grow beneath other types of tree cover, primarily birch and beech, near bodies of water. Turkey Tail mushrooms are saprotrophs that eat decaying woody material at various stages of decay. Tricholoma magnivelare comes in two different varieties: var. magnivelare has a spore print color darker than cream.
Identify Turkey Trail Mushrooms
- Turkey Trail Mushrooms can grow up to 20 cm high with caps 8 to 20 cm wide.
- Turkey Tails have cream-colored spore prints with gills that are initially pink before turning brown as the mushroom matures.
- typically grow in clusters or "fairy rings" and can be found growing on the ground, especially under hemlock trees, throughout Turkey and North America during summer and early fall.
44. Wine Cap Mushrooms
Wine Cap Mushrooms, also known as Hypholoma Fasciculare or the 'Sulphur Tuft,' is a species of gilled mushroom that grows in clusters on woodchip mulch or deciduous forest floors.
Wine Caps are common mushrooms and belong to a large family of fungi called Strophariaceae. Wine cap mushrooms can be identified by their brownish caps with paler margins and their clustered appearance on decaying wood chips, as shown above from northern Ohio.
Wine Cap Mushrooms have been cultivated for their medicinal properties since ancient times.
⚠️ Can cause digestive issues
Wine Cap Mushrooms contain several benefits:
- Alkaloids may inhibit harmful bacteria, as shown above from tests on laboratory mice against Salmonella typhimurium bacteria.
- Ergosterol has been found to naturally inhibit the dengue fever virus, as shown above from tests on laboratory mice.
- Block certain steroid hormones in cells derived from human breast tumors.
- Contain small amounts of thiamin (vitamin B1) and riboflavin (vitamin B2).
Wine Cap Mushrooms also contain the compound Ergosterol, which has been found to naturally inhibit the dengue fever virus and several other bacteria, including Clostridium Difficile and Clostridium Perfingens.
45. Wood Ear Mushrooms
Wood Ear Mushrooms are known as Jew's ear, Jelly Ear Mushroom, Auricularia auricula-judae, Black fungus is a common name for Wood Ear in Chinese. Wood ears are often added to soups or used in stir-fries in China. Wood ears are dried in Asian food shops and some groceries selling specialty foods. When soaked in water, they will expand significantly, becoming much larger than their original appearance when dry.
- Wood Ears are native to the subtropical areas of Asia, Europe, and North America, with broadleaf trees such as oaks, elms, beech, chestnut, etc.
- Contain high amounts of vitamin B complex and vitamin C, which support liver function. Wood Ears have a slightly crunchy texture and a mild flavor that goes well with stir-frying ingredients. Wood ears are often used as a vegetarian substitute for animal-based ingredients such as abalone, fish maw, or chicken.
- Wood ear mushrooms are used in Cantonese cuisine soups, stews, stir-fried dishes, etc....…
Wood Ears mushrooms have many medicinal benefits:
- It helps reduce cholesterol levels.
- It lowers blood pressure and strengthens the heart and respiratory system.
- Prevent cancer, and slow the aging process.
- Good source of protein.
- Wood Ears can be used by diabetics to regulate blood sugar levels, according to Chinese Food Therapy.
- Riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine, thiamine, and ascorbic acid, are all B vitamins that help prevent Beriberi disease caused by a lack of vitamin B1 in diets.
- Water-soluble polysaccharides such as beta-glucans
- Large amounts of flavonoids compounds called proanthocyanidin
- L-ergothioneine may help protect cells against oxidative damage caused by free radicals.
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Mushroom Poisoning Symptoms: ⚠️
Following mushroom poisoning, the first symptoms are typically nausea and abdominal pain within 1–3 hours, followed by vomiting around 3-6 hours after ingestion.
Other symptoms may include diarrhea, sleepiness, and dehydration, which develop over time because toxins disrupt the liver's ability to make proteins needed for blood clotting and initiating its detoxification function.
In high doses, the amatoxin will affect cells in the bone marrow, resulting in the impaired formation of white blood cells, which help fight infections.
This lowers the immune system, so poison victims become susceptible to infections and multiple organ failures.
To read more on Poisonous Mushrooms: https://whyfarmit.com/poisonous-mushrooms/
Wild plants and mushrooms can be really dangerous, so don't just go foraging in the woods. Some wild plants are poisonous while others may cause illness if they're not cooked properly or eaten raw!
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