As I discussed in my recent article, Fighting Fungophobia (or Mycophobia) …the fear of mushrooms, here is a list of 70 Distinctive Mushrooms:

Seventy Distinctive Mushrooms (Part One: 1-10)
Seventy Distinctive Mushrooms (Part Two: 11-20)
Seventy Distinctive Mushrooms (Part Three: 21-30)
Seventy Distinctive Mushrooms (Part Four: 31-40 )
Seventy Distinctive Mushrooms (Part Five: 41-50)
Seventy Distinctive Mushrooms (Part Six: 51-60)
Seventy Distinctive Mushrooms (Part Seven: 61-70)

This list of mushrooms comes from David Arora, mycologist extraordinaire and author of Mushrooms Demystified and All That the Rain Promises and More. I’ve added photos and a brief paragraph about reported edibility, characteristics, distribution, and habitat. Remember, this is not meant to be an identification guide but rather an introduction to some pretty amazing and representative mushrooms. The mushrooms on this list are all found in the United States (my home), but the majority are also found outside of North America.

A quick note on edibility: I am listing whether the mushroom is considered Edible or Poisonous or Deadly Poisonous. Understand that all mushrooms should be cooked before being eaten. Even edible mushrooms can cause gastrointestinal upset (nausea, vomiting, stomach cramping, and/or diarrhea) if the mushrooms are not cooked. Yes, some people can handle raw mushrooms in small amounts (mainly just the common, grocery store “button mushrooms”), but most will succumb to symptoms if they eat enough raw mushrooms, especially wild mushrooms. Also, note that some edible mushrooms may cause gastrointestinal symptoms for some individuals and none for other individuals. One species may cause some symptoms for one person but not for another. It is variable. If it is your first time consuming a new type of mushrooms, go slow. Eat a little bit one day, and if you do well, then consume a bit more the next day. If you still have no problems, then you can likely eat that type of mushroom with no issues. Finally, note that most anyone has a good chance of getting gastrointestinal symptoms if they eat an excessively large amount of mushrooms of any type. Just like if a person eats a whole pot of bean-laden chili… watch out! Keep it in moderation, but have fun!

Seventy mushroom listings and photographs will take a lot of space, so I am going to break the list up into ten species segments. I recommend reading David Arora’s books as well as some local field guides. Then go outside and get to know the fungus among us… er, you, I mean.

Here are the next ten:

21. Coccora (Amanita calyptrata)
22. Grisette (Amanita vaginata)
23. Green-Spored Parasol (Chlorophyllum molybdites)
24. Shaggy Parasol (Chlorophyllum rhacodes, C. olivieri, and C. brunnem)
25. Parasol Mushroom (Macrolepiota procera)
26. Meadow Mushroom (Agaricus campestris)
27. Yellow-Staining Agaricus (Agaricus xanthodermus)
28. Horse Mushrooms (Agaricus arvensis)
29. The Prince (Agaricus augustus)
30. Shaggy Mane (Coprinus comatus)

Here is the list again with photos and accompanying paragraph of additional information:

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Coccora (Amanita calyptrata)

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Coccora (Amanita calyptrata)

21. Coccora (Amanita calyptrata or Amanita lanei or Amanita calyptroderma): Edible (but not recommended due to it can easily be confused with other poisonous Amanita species). This large mushroom with an orange to brown or yellow-brown cap reportedly has a strong fishy flavor, and some mushroom hunters really like it… others, not so much. There is also a greenish form, which may be due to the temperature where the mushrooms grow, or may be a variety, or may be another very closely related species. Cap size: 2.7-9.8 inches (7-25 cm). Found only in western coastal states of North America, typically with Madrone (Arbutus menziesii), but also with oak, pine, and other conifers.

 

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young Grisette (Amanita vaginata)

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mature Grisette (Amanita vaginata)

22. Grisette (Amanita vaginata): Edible (caution recommended due to its resemblance to poisonous Amanita species, but still popular in France). A fairly classic Amanita mushroom that is gray to gray-brown. It is said cows like to eat this mushroom… hmmm. Cap size: 1.2-3.9 inches (3-10 cm). Common in North American, and also in Australia, the Azores (!), and Scotland.  Found growing in both coniferous and deciduous forests, but also forest edges, lawns, and recently disturbed soils.

 

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Green-Spored/Gilled Parasol or False Parasol (Chlorophyllum molybdites)

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Note that the Green-Spored (Chlorophyllum molybdites) can have WHITE gills when immature!

23. Green-Spored/Gilled Parasol or False Parasol (Chlorophyllum molybdites): PoisonousAs typically mysterious as mushrooms are, this mushroom is eaten by some with no issues, but others will eat it and develop severe gastrointestinal distress, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramping and pain. It is considered the number one mushroom poisoner in North America. This is likely due to the very large size, classic “edible mushroom” shape (and resemblance to the Shaggy Parasol – our next mushroom), and growth on lawns. Identification is verified by green spores, NOT gills… only the very mature gills will be green; a spore print is all that is reliable! Cap size: inches 3.9-11.8 inches (10-30 cm), but can get to 15.75 inches (40 cm)… frisbee size! Common in North America, but has spread to Australia and Scotland, and warm tropical and temperate climates. Found in lawns and parks, often in fairy rings. Typically fruits after warm Summer rains, but will also fruit in Autumn.

 

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Shaggy Parasol (Chlorophyllum rhacodes)

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Note the red staining of the flesh, Shaggy Parasol (Chlorophyllum rhacodes)

24. Shaggy Parasol (Chlorophyllum rhacodes, C. olivieri, and C. brunnem… all formerly known as Lepiota rhacodes): Edible (caution advised due to its resemblance to the Green-Spored Parasol – above). Mature specimens have distinct, coarse “scales” on the cap, and they always have white spores; however, when younger, they look very similar to the Green-Spored Parasol, above. The flesh will also bruise an orange to red color, but may be faint. Cap size: 2-7.9 inches (5-20 cm). Common in North America and Europe, and also in Australia. Found growing under trees (usually conifers) and bushes, but also in any rich soils and disturbed soils (ant hills, roadsides, compost piles, greenhouses, and basements!), as well as open fields.

 

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Parasol Mushroom (Macrolepiota procera)

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Parasol Mushroom (Macrolepiota procera)

25. Parasol Mushroom (Macrolepiota procera, formerly known as Lepiota procera): Edible (very popular, with meaty/nutty flavor, and is now commercially grown in Europe). The name of this mushroom really describes it… macro=large, lepiota=scales, and procera=tall. When young, this mushroom resembles the Shaggy Parasol and Green-Spored Parasol (both above), but it has white spores and the flesh does not stain red or orange. The key identification is the “nipple”, or umbo, at the center of the cap. Cap size: 2.75-9.8 inches (7-25 cm). Found almost all around the world in temperate climates. Found in groups or faire rings in open woods, pastures, and on edges.

 

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Meadow or Field Mushroom (Agaricus campestris)

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Note the darker gills in mature specimens… Meadow or Field Mushroom (Agaricus campestris)

26. Meadow or Field Mushroom (Agaricus campestris): Edible (choice!) This mushroom is closely related to the common button mushroom sold in grocery stores, but most say it is far superior in flavor. The key identification is the pink gills when young and ideal, but can change to chocolate brown (spores) as it matures. Considered a great beginners’ mushroom. Preserves well with drying, freezing, and canning. Cap size: 1.5-4.3 inches (4-11 cm), but can reach 5.9 inches (15 cm). Found extensively throughout the world. Found alone, in small groups, or in fairy rings in fields and in grass and lawns, and very rarely in woodlands.

 

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Yellow-Staining Agaricus (Agaricus xanthodermus)

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don’t forget to smell your mushrooms! Yellow-Staining Agaricus (Agaricus xanthodermus)

27. Yellow-Staining Agaricus (Agaricus xanthodermus): Poisonous. Very similar in appearance to the Meadow Mushroom (above), but it has two distinct characteristics… it stains yellow when rubbed (especially at the base of the stalk) and it smells like phenol (strong, chemical odor). The smell is even worse when cooked. If a person could ignore the odor and eat it, most (but not all!) will develop headaches, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Cap: 2.3-5.9 inches (6-15 cm), but can reach 7.8 inches (20 cm). Found all over the globe in temperate climates, in almost any environment.

 

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Horse Mushrooms (Agaricus arvensis)

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Horse Mushrooms (Agaricus arvensis)

28. Horse Mushrooms (Agaricus arvensis): Edible (choice and highly prized!) Here is another mushroom that closely resembles another mushroom, this time very similar to the Yellow-Staining Agaricus (Agaricus xanthodermus); however, while it is yellow-staining, it smells like anise or black licorice! Cap: 2.75-7.8 inches (7-20 cm). Commonly found in North America, Europe, Britain, and western Asia. Typically found alone, scattered, in groups, and occasionally in rings, usually in grassy areas, and it likes rich soils that often grows nettles.

 

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The Prince (Agaricus augustus)

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The Prince (Agaricus augustus)

29. The Prince (Agaricus augustus): Edible (choice and highly prized!) This mushroom can get very large, and has a classic mushroom shape. Again, the key to identification is your nose… it smells like almonds or almond extract, but some say it has a hint of anise or black licorice. Cap size: inches 2.75-11.8 inches (7-30 cm), but can get to 15.75 inches (40 cm). Common and widespread in North America, Europe, North Africa, and Asia and found alone or in groups or clumps on edges near deciduous and coniferous woodlands and disturbed soils. It fruits easily, even in early season or warm weather.

 

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Shaggy Mane (Coprinus comatus)

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Shaggy Mane (Coprinus comatus)

30. Shaggy Mane (Coprinus comatus): Edible (highly prized). This is considered one of the unmistakable mushroom species, and is one of the most delicious wild mushrooms. It is said to have a soft, delicate flavor. These mushrooms are short-lived and will melt away into an inky mess which gives them their other common name the Shaggy Ink Cap. Please see my two articles on this species: Shaggy Mane Mushrooms and Making a Mushroom Patch: Shaggy Mane Mushrooms. Cap: 1.5-5.9 inches (4-15 cm) tall, but can get to 9.8 (25 cm) tall – cylindrical. Found all over in North America and Europe, and it has been introduced to Australia and New Zealand, and likely a few other places in the world. It prefers hard ground and grassy edges and rich or disturbed soils.

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 Photo References:

  • http://images.tribe.net/tribe/upload/photo/de0/048/de00486e-c5b9-45a4-918a-4e0290799860
  • http://mushroomhobby.com/Gallery/Amanita/Amanita%20calyptroderma/Amanita%20calyptrata%20101.jpg
  • http://www.mykoweb.com/CAF/photos/large/Amanita_vaginata(fs-01).jpg
  • http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c0/Amanita_vaginata_T65.jpg
  • http://mushroomhobby.com/Gallery/Lepiota/Chlorophyllum%20molybdites/Chlorophyllum%20molybdites%200.jpg
  • http://mushroomhobby.com/Gallery/Lepiota/Chlorophyllum%20molybdites/Chlorophyllum%20molybdites%203.jpg
  • http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4109/5037107947_dd09c00c53_b.jpg
  • http://botany.cz/foto/bedlacerherb1.jpg
  • http://mushroomhobby.com/Gallery/Lepiota/Macrolepiota%20procera/Macrolepiota%20procera.jpg
  • http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_-Yqa2RTnhEo/TJ9KHfOScrI/AAAAAAAAAIE/IuWIMooifA4/s1600/Macrolepiota_procera2.jpg
  • http://mushroomhobby.com/Gallery/Agaricus/Agaricus%20campestris%20var%20squamulosus%203.jpg
  • http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/95/2012-02-13_Agaricus_campestris_L_199587.jpg
  • http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e2/2011-10-13_Agaricus_xanthodermus_Genev_181971.jpg
  • http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-tagisazqOZo/UH2eIYE6mzI/AAAAAAAAA1A/ASUY6vIXxn8/s1600/Agaricus+xanthodermus.jpg
  • http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/dd/2012-10-09_Agaricus_arvensis_Schaeff_270481.jpg
  • http://www.mykoweb.com/CAF/photos/large/Agaricus_arvensis(fs-06).jpg
  • http://www.mykoweb.com/CAF/photos/large/Agaricus_augustus(mgw-02).jpg
  • http://greenwoodimages.com/theridge/images/Agaricus%20augustus.jpg
  • http://swbiodiversity.org/imglib/intermt/Coprinus_comatus.jpg
  • http://www.fvlmedia.dk/gallery/var/albums/Coprinaceae-/Coprinus-comatus—Stor-parykhat/Coprinus_comatus2.jpg?m=1319349348