Mushrooms come in a variety of forms. They can range in color, texture, and taste. Some mushrooms are edible while others are not.
If you are looking to learn more about wild mushrooms, the article below is the perfect read for you. This comprehensive a-z mushrooms list will help you identify this wild food, making the next wild mushroom season an enjoyable experience.
List of AZ mushrooms
It is important to be cautious when identifying and consuming wild mushrooms, as some species can be poisonous. If you are unsure whether a mushroom is safe to eat, it is best to err on the side of caution and not consume it.
1. Black Trumpet Mushroom
The black trumpet mushroom is a species of edible mushroom that is native to North America.
Also known as the horn of plenty, trumpet of the dead or black chanterelle, the mushroom has a dark brown or black cap, and paler stem. The trumpet-shaped cap measures about 0.5-2.75 inches in diameter and a height of up to 4 inches when mature.
Its dark color helps it blend into the background. When can you find this mushroom? They are plenty in hardwood forests, look around beech and oak trees, from July through October. They grow in clusters.
The black trumpet mushroom is a popular ingredient in many dishes, including soups, stews, and sauces. The mushroom has a rich flavor that pairs well with other earthy flavors. Black trumpet mushrooms can also be found fresh, dried, or canned at most grocery stores.
2. Barrows Bolete
Barrows bolete is a species of edible mushroom in the family Boletaceae. It was first described in 1976. The fungus has a cosmopolitan distribution and is found in North America, Europe and Asia.
The fruit bodies of Barrows bolete are large, up to 10 inches wide, and have a convex to flattened cap. The surface of the cap is dry and smooth, with a brown to reddish-brown coloration.
The flesh is white to pale yellow, and does not change color when cut or bruised. The gills are attached to the stem, and have a whitish to pale yellow coloration. Its stipe stands at about 5 inches when fully mature.
As we said earlier, this boletus species is edible.
3. True Morels
Another type of mushroom you should know about and that are common in North America are the true morels. These delicious mushrooms also have different names; yellow morels, sponge morels, or common morels.
Morels are one of the most sought-after mushrooms by hunters and home cooks alike. These springtime fungi have a unique, honeycomb-like appearance and a savory flavor that is unlike any other. The shroom has a gray-brownish color, measuring about 1-3 inches in length and are hollow. It has the same appearance as the stinkhorn mushroom.
Morels are generally found growing in wooded areas, near dead or dying trees. They typically emerge in early spring, after the last frost has passed.
4. Lobster Mushrooms
Lobster mushrooms are edible mushrooms that have a lobster-like taste and color. The scientific name for this fungi is Astraeus Hygrometricus. Lobster mushrooms are found in North America.
This fungi grows on trees, stumps, and logs. The best time to find them is in mid summer or early fall.
How can you identify them? They are vase-shaped and orange-yellow in color. When cut or torn, it reveals thick, white flesh. When harvesting lobster mushrooms, go for younger meaty mushrooms. They taste better.
Lobster mushrooms can be cooked in many different ways. They can be boiled, baked, sautéed, or grilled. When cooking lobster mushrooms, it is important to remember that they are very delicate. They should not be overcooked or they will become rubbery. It’s also worth noting the lobster mushroom also comes in white.
5. Oyster Mushroom
Another group of cluster mushrooms that mushroom hunters love are the oysters. Also known as hiratake they have a long history of cultivation.
What do they look like? They typically have oyster-shaped or fan-shaped caps that are about 11 inches for fully grown shrooms. The thin fleshed cap has crowded gills on its underside.
Oyster mushrooms are prized for their savory flavor and meaty texture. They can be used in soups, salads, stews, stir-fries, pasta dishes, and more. They are also a popular ingredient in vegetarian and vegan recipes.
If you have a large harvest, you can dry them for later use. And the best part is you don’t need to re-hydrate them. Just put them in with other ingredients and they’ll soak up immediately.
Related Read: List of Red Mushrooms
6. Hen of the woods
Ram’s head or hen of the woods or maitake is a choice edible mushroom that occurs in many forested areas across North America
This amazing mushroom gets its name from its distinctive shape, which resembles feathers on a hen’s body. It is difficult to describe its cap. But the short of it is they grow in clusters. Note the spoon-shaped caps. A cluster can grow up to 40 inches.
They are parasitic and occur near oak trees. And like the lobster mushrooms, always go for younger and smaller mushrooms.
The Hen of the Woods is not only a delicious addition to any meal, but it also has many health benefits.
If you’re looking for a new and exciting way to add more flavor and nutrition to your diet, look no further than the Hen of the Woods mushroom!
7. Shrimp of the woods
Shrimp of the woods mushrooms, also known as Entoloma abortivum, are a type of edible fungi that typically grow on dead or dying hardwood trees. These mushrooms have a seafood-like flavor and can be harvested from late summer through early fall.
The caps are typically 2-8 inches in diameter and are grayish-brown in color. The stems are short and thick, and the mushrooms can grow in clusters or individually.
One thing you need to keep in mind is that shrimp of the woods are notoriously dirty. You’ll need to put in some effort when cleaning them.
When cooked, shrimp of the woods mushrooms have a firm texture with a slightly crunchy bite. They can be used in a variety of dishes. Foragers recommend browning them to get the best flavor.
8. Beefsteak Mushrooms
Beefsteak mushrooms are a type of fungi that gets its name from its meaty texture, look and taste. These mushrooms can be found in woods and fields.
Also known as the poor man’s steak or ox tongue, it really does resemble the tongue of an ox. The red caps are large, up to 12 inches in length and really thick. When cut, its flesh is red. You’ll also notice white veins; it can fool anyone into thinking its real beef.
So, is the beefsteak mushroom edible? Yes. Like other mushrooms they can be eaten raw or sauteed.
9. Caesar Mushrooms
Visiting Southern Europe? You must try Caesar mushrooms. They are a type of fungi that is closely related to the fly agaric. Wait, you may be thinking if they are related to that species, are they edible? Yes, Caesar mushrooms are edible.
Caesar mushrooms have a slightly different appearance than white button mushrooms. They are slightly larger and have an orange-red color. Its initial stage is interesting too; the cap starts out egg-shaped, then opens up to a convex shape and ends up with a flattened surface.
Underside is yellowish-orange and very crowded. Caesar mushrooms can be found in many grocery stores, as well as online. But if you are in Europe during the summer month, you can go mushroom hunting in oak woodlands. These highly valued wild mushrooms can be used in many recipes that call for mushrooms, or they can be eaten on their own.
10. Button Mushrooms
Button mushrooms are a type of edible mushroom that is popular in many dishes.
They have a round shape and are usually white or cream in color. They are one of the most sort after mushrooms in the United States, being used in more than 70% of dishes that requeire mushrooms.
Button mushrooms are low in calories and fat, and they are a good source of fiber and protein. They can be found fresh or canned. They are often used in soups, salads, pasta dishes, pizzas, and stir-fries. Button mushrooms can also be grilled, baked, or sautéed. When cooked, they have a meaty flavor and a slightly chewy texture.
11. Cauliflower Mushroom
Sparassis or the cauliflower mushroom is a type of fungi that typically grows on trees. There are several subspecies of these mushrooms and the sparassis crispa is the most sought after species.
They get their name from their appearance, which resembles a cauliflower. But some people say they look like brains. Color ranges from creamy white to yellow-gray. Also fruiting bodies can grow quite large.
Cauliflower mushrooms are often used in Asian cuisine, as they have a savory flavor that pairs well with rice and other dishes. These mushrooms can be eaten raw or cooked, and are commonly used in soups and stir-fries.
They are mostly found in coniferous and deciduous forests. When cleaning, inspect the mushrooms for bugs and ensure they are well dried before storage.
12. Beech Mushroom
Beech mushroom is a type of fungi that commonly grows on the beech tree.
Known as shimeji or clamshell mushrooms, beech mushrooms have very distinctive features. Like hen of the woods, they grow in clusters. They have brownish, round tops with short gills, whitish stalks, and white, firm flesh.
The beech mushroom is edible and has a nutty flavor. It can be used in many different dishes. It can also be dried and used as a seasoning.
13. Corn Smut
Can you eat corn smut? If you have had huitlacoche soup or tacos, then you’ve had some corn smut. It’s a common delicacy in Mexico.
Caused by Ustilago maydis, it is a disease that occurs on young maize cobs. This fungal disease causes black, sooty growths on the kernels of the corn cob. The fungus grows inside the kernels, causing them to swell and eventually burst open. Most foragers gather young cobs that still have enough moisture content.
How can you prepare corn smut? Here is my favorite huitlacoche soup recipe.
-1 green pepper
-1 jalapeño pepper
-4 cloves garlic
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-1 tablespoon cumin
-1 teaspoon chili powder
-8 cups chicken broth
-1 can of corn
-1 can of black beans
-1 can of kidney beans
-1 can of pinto beans
-6 ounces huitlacoche (corn fungus)
1. Start by cooking the onions and green peppers in a large pot over medium heat until they are soft. Add the garlic, cumin, chili powder, and olive oil and cook for another minute.
2. Add the chicken broth, corn, black beans, kidney beans, and pinto beans to the pot. Bring it to a simmer.
3. Once it’s simmering, add in the huitlacoche and let it cook for about 5 minutes or until it’s cooked through. Serve hot!
14. Elm Oyster
Elm oysters are a type of edible fungi that have a long history of cultivation in Europe. They are typically found growing on elm trees, but can also be found on other trees such as maple and oak.
Elm oysters have large convex caps with decurrent gills. As stated above, they grow on elm trees, a cluster of up to five mushrooms.
When can you forage for them? You can find them starting late summer to fall. They have a delicate flavor and texture, making them a popular ingredient in soups and stews. You can use them to make mushroom risotto, fried elms, and stir fries.
15. Jack-o-lantern Mushrooms
Know any mushrooms that look like chanterelle mushrooms? Jack o lantern mushrooms are a type of fungi that occur in North America and are often mistaken for chanterelles.
They get their name from their orange color and their resemblance to jack o’lanterns. The scientific name for these mushrooms is Omphalotus olearius.
Like chanterelle mushrooms, they have vase-like fruiting bodies and are almost the same size.
These mushrooms grow on dead or dying trees, especially oak trees. They can also be found on stumps, logs, and fallen leaves. Jack o lantern mushrooms typically fruit in the late summer and fall months.
Are they edible? No.
16. Giant Puffball
The giant puffball is a large, round, white mushroom that can grow up to the size of a beach ball. According to the Arizona Mushroom Society, this mushroom is common in woods, meadows, and fields from late summer to early fall.
The mushroom gets its name from the fact that when it is mature, it is filled with a mass of spores that look like puffs of smoke. Also, this edible mushroom can be quite large, up to 20 inches in diameter and can weigh up to 44 lbs.
Unlike other mushrooms on this A-Z list, they do not have stems and are easier to clean. The giant puffball is edible when it is young and still white inside. When the mushroom matures and turns brown, it becomes inedible and bitter. The giant puffball is sometimes used in folk medicine as a treatment for various ailments.
17. Matsutake Mushroom
What are matsutake? They are a type of fungus that grows in the wild. They are prized for their unique flavor and aroma, and are used in many traditional Japanese dishes.
Matsutake mushrooms are difficult to cultivate, so they are typically only found in forests. They often grow under pine trees, which is why they are also known as pine mushrooms.
They have brownish caps and thick stalks. Their color allows them to blend into the forest floor, making hunting more difficult. In the US, they can be found in some stores and are costlier than other mushrooms.
Matsutake mushrooms have a short season, only in september. If you’re lucky enough to find some, be sure to try them in a dish like matsutake rice or soup. You’ll be glad you did!
18. Shiitake Mushroom
Are shiitake mushrooms good for you? Yes. Shiitake mushrooms are a type of edible mushroom that is native to East Asia but is sold in many parts of the world. Their strong, umami flavor is perfect for Asian cuisine.
Shiitake mushrooms can be found fresh or dried, and are also available in powder form. If you are looking to forage for them, be on the look for clustered mushrooms with umbrella-like caps. On the underside of the cap you’ll notice creamish colored gills.
They are found mostly around decaying oak trees and maple trees. What can you do with shiitake mushrooms? Like portobello you can have:
- Sauteed shiitake mushrooms
- Garlic-roasted mushrooms
- Baked shiitake mushrooms
If you’re looking for a way to add more flavor and nutrition to your meals, consider using shiitake mushrooms. This versatile ingredient can be used in a variety of dishes, and may provide some additional health benefits as well.
19. Shaggy Mane
When it comes to mushrooms, the shaggy mane is one of the most distinctive.
This edible fungi gets its name from its long, shaggy cap that resembles a mane or lion’s mane. The shaggy mane is also sometimes called the “inky cap” because of the way its black gills release a dark liquid when they’re cut or broken.
The shaggy mane is found in North America, Europe, and Asia. It typically grows in grassy areas, often along roadsides or in open fields. Although it’s most commonly seen in late summer and early fall, the shaggy mane can fruit at any time of year if the conditions are right.
This mushroom is best eaten when it’s young and fresh. The older specimens can be tough and bitter.
20. Hedgehog Mushrooms
Hedgehog mushrooms are a type of wild mushroom that belongs to the family hydnaceae . Also known as sweet tooth, here are its identifying features.
This species is characterized by its spore-bearing fruit bodies which have a distorted shape. The underside of the fruit body is covered with spines or teeth, hence the name “hedgehog.” Cap measures about 6.5 inches wide and is orange-yellow colored.
These mushrooms are found in both temperate and tropical regions, and they typically grow on decaying logs or stumps. Hedgehogs are edible mushrooms, but they must be cooked properly before eating. When cooked, hedgehogs have an earthy flavor and a firm texture.
21. Enoki Mushrooms
Ever heard of enoki mushrooms? They are a type of edible mushroom that is often used in Asian cuisine.
These mushrooms have a long, thin stem and a small, delicate cap. Enoki mushrooms have a mild flavor and can be used in soups, stir-fries, or as a garnish.
What do they taste like? Slightly sweet with an earthy flavor. You can pair them with seaweed, lemongrass or ginger.
22. Chanterelle Mushrooms
Chanterelle mushrooms are one of the most popular and easily recognizable mushrooms.
Chanterelles have a distinctively trumpet-shaped cap and a slightly fruity smell. They grow in clusters on the ground in woods, meadows, and gardens. They are one of the few mushrooms that can be eaten raw or cooked without losing their flavor. When cooked, they have a nutty, earthy taste.
They can be found from spring to late fall. Best way to cook chanterelles? From making mushroom porridge to grilling them to lasagna, there is plenty you can do with these wild mushrooms.
Final thoughts on mushrooms A-Z
In conclusion,there are many different types of mushrooms that can be found all over the world. Some are edible, while others are not. With a little bit of research, anyone can learn about the different types of mushrooms and find the ones that they enjoy eating the most.
My name is Jenny. I’m the Chief Editor at Try Green Recipes and besides making yummy and healthy foods for my kids, grandkids, and friends. I’m new to the blogging world but I believe what I have to share is unique and will bring joy to your home. If you are adventurous and want try something tasty, let’s get started.