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Edible Mushrooms

Never pick and eat wild mushrooms unless they've been identified by an expert!

Here is a list of edible mushrooms. Many of these edible mushrooms presented here have toxic look-alikes and unless you are very experienced in mushroom identification, you can’t tell the difference between an edible mushroom and a poisonous one. Please read the disclaimer.

You can click on the pictures to enlarge them.

Bovista nigrescens   (Brown puffball)
Family
Lycoperdaceae
Location
North and West Europe
Dimensions
3-6 cm diameter * 3-6 cm tall
Edibility

Description
This small, white, puffball, often referred to as the paltry puffball is attached to the substrate by a single mycelial cord. It grows solitary or in scattered troops in grass and pastureland mostly in late summer to autumn.

Fruiting body roughly spherical and slightly pointed at the bottom. The outer wall is white at first, but soon flakes off in large scales at maturity to expose the dark purple-brown to blackish inner wall that encloses the spore mass. Spore mass is at first white and firm, becoming clay-brown and finally olive-brown and powdery. Spores are brown.

Similar species include Bovista plumbea which is smaller and Bovista pila which is is dark brown to bronze.

Bovista nigrescens on Wikipedia.
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Bovista plumbea   (Paltry Puffball)
Family
Lycoperdaceae
Location
Western Europe, California
Dimensions
2-3 cm diameter * 2-3 cm tall
Edibility

Description
This small, white, puffball, often referred to as the paltry puffball, is attached to the stony surface by several strands. It often lives scattered to clustered in disturbed areas, especially in sparse grass and pastures.

Fruiting body attached to the substrate by a tuft of mycelium, and spherical to slightly compressed. The surface is white, becoming buff to pale-tan and minutely tomentose. It is falling away in flakes at maturity to reveal dark grey papery contents. Spores are olive to sepia-brown.

Bovista plumbea on the www.first-nature.com web site.
Bovista plumbea on Wikipedia.
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Calocybe gambosa   (St George's Mushroom)
Family
Tricholomataceae
Location
Europe and North America
Dimensions
Cap 5-15 cm diameter; stem 3-7 cm tall x 2-3 cm diameter
Edibility

Description
Calocybe gambosa, commonly known as St. George's mushroom, is an edible, medium to large, fleshy, cream coloured mushroom. It grows mainly in fields, grass verges and roadsides, but also less frequently appearing in mixed woods.

Cap white-creamy coloured to bright yellow, often with a brownish tinge. At first sub-spherical, becoming expanded and irregularly convex with an incurved margin. Gills sinuate, white and crowded. The flesh is thick and soft and has a mealy or cucumber smell. The spore print is white to pinkish white. Stem whitish, smooth, bulky at the base. The mushroom has no ring.

Similar species Spring fruiting white Entoloma species are distinguished by pink spore deposits and pink mature gills.

Calocybe gambosa on the www.first-nature.com web site.
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Calvatia gigantea   (Giant puffball)
Family
Lycoperdaceae
Location
North America, Asia and Europe
Dimensions
7-80 cm diameter * 7-80 cm tall
Edibility

Description
Calvatia gigantea, commonly known as the giant puffball, is a puffball mushroom commonly found in meadows, fields, and deciduous forests usually in late summer and autumn. The large white mushrooms are edible when young.

Fruiting body shaped like a ball, or nearly so, white when fresh, becoming yellowish or olive brownish. The surface is less than 1 mm thick. soft, finely velvety when young, becoming bald. The inside of mature Giant puffballs is greenish-brown, whereas the interior of immature puffballs is white.

Similar species Bovista plumbea, which is a lot smaller.
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Cantharellus cibarius   (Common Chantarelle)
Family
Cantharellaceae
Location
North America, Europe, Bhutan and China
Dimensions
Cap 3-10 cm across, stem 2-10 cm tall * 0.4-1.5 cm thick
Edibility

Description
This mushroom is typically orange or yellow, meaty and funnel-shaped. On the lower surface, underneath the smooth cap, it has gill-like ridges that run almost all the way down its stem, which tapers down seamlessly from the cap.

Cap light yellow, bright yellow to orange in colour, fading with age. As young formed as a button and then turns more cone-shaped. The margin stays folded in for a long time and then often becomes wavy and uneven at maturity. The mushroom has gill-like veins under the cap, not gills. Flesh firm, thick, yellow. Stem solid, tapers downward from cap. The surface is smooth and the colour is similar to the cap or a lighter yellow to almost white.

Similar spiecies Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca which is not mycorrhizal. Can also be confused with the poisonous mushrooms Omphalotus illudens (and Omphalotus olearius), which have a luminous quality and grows on dead wood, and Cortinarius speciosissimus. There are also other funnel-shaped mushrooms an inexperienced mushroom picker could confuse Cantharellus cibarius with. The most important characteristics to distinguish from the look-alikes is that Cantharellus cibarius has gill-like veins under the cap, not gills.

Cantharellus cibarius on the First Nature Web site.
Cantharellus cibarius on the MushroomExpert.Com Web site.
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Clitocybe nuda   (Wood Blewit)
Family
Tricholomataceae
Location
North America, Europe
Dimensions
Cap 6-12 cm diameter, stem 5-9 cm tall * 1.5-2.5 cm thick
Edibility

Description
Clitocybe nuda, also know as Lepista nuda or Wood Blewit, is a medium-sized, fleshy agaric, with a brownish cap and lilac gills. It grows in trooping groups, often in rings, in leaf litter in deciduous and mixed woodland and under hedgerows during autumn and winter.

Cap violet-brown, emerges dark and bun-shaped, becoming convex and then flattened. Its colour becomes paler from the margin as the cap surface dries. The flesh bluish lilac, thick, firm. Gills liliaceous, attached to the short, stout stem. Spores are pink. Stem coloured as the cap, more or less equal, fibrillose and often slightly thickened at the base. The mushroom has no ring.

Similar species Unrelated poisonous look-alikes include species of Entoloma, Cortinarius and Hebeloma. Cortinarius mushrooms often have the remains of a veil under their caps and a ring-like impression on their stem.

Clitocybe nuda on the First Nature Web site.
Clitocybe nuda on the MushroomExpert.Com Web site.
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Clitopilus prunulus   (Dread Dough Clitopilus)
Family
Entolomataceae
Location
North America, Europe
Dimensions
2-3 cm diameter * 2-3 cm tall
Edibility

Description
A pale grey-white cap and decurrent, pale pink gills, combined with a strong smell of fresh bread dough, distinguish this species.

Cap white or light gray or yellow, convex to funnel-shaped that may have inrolled margin, sticky when moist. Gills decurrent, spaced together rather closely, and whitish, although they often develop a pinkish hue in age. Stem is central or off-center and is similar in color to the cap.

Similar species Species of Clitocybe and Entoloma can look very similar and are poisonous.

Clitopilus prunulus on the First Nature Web site.
Clitopilus prunulus on the MushroomExpert.Com Web site.
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Coprinus comatus   (Shaggy-mane Inky Cap)
Family
Coprinaceae
Location
North America, Europe, South America
Dimensions
Cap 5-15 cm tall * variable diameter, stem 10-30 cm tall * 1.5-2.5 cm thick
Edibility

Description
Coprinus comatus, also known as shaggy-mane ink cap, or lawyer's wig is a common fungus that has a white, conical, shaggy cap which blackens and dissolves itself in black, ink-like liquid at maturity. It grows solitary, scattered or in small clusters on soil in short grass.

Cap almost cylindrical and initially covers most of its stem, becomes later conical. It is mostly white with shaggy scales, which are more pale brown at the apex. Gills free, colour change rapidly from white to pink, then to black. It is deliquescent. Spores are black. Stem is white, smooth, often very tall, slightly swollen at the base and sometimes rooting. It has a loose ring that is white, thin and often slipping down stem towards the base. The flesh is white, hollow and fragile and the taste mild.

Coprinus comatus on the First Nature Web site.
Coprinus comatus on the MushroomExpert.Com Web site.
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WARNING

If you plan to collect fungi to be eaten, misidentified mushrooms can make you sick or kill you. Never eat a mushroom that you are not 100% sure is edible. Use many resources, and be skeptical of your own conclusions. Please consider that many mushrooms take years of experience to identify reliably.

The site takes no responsibility for damage caused by ingesting poisonous mushrooms. If you continue, you agree to view this website under these terms.