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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.

Macrolepiota procera   (Parasol Mushroom)
Family
Agaricaceae
Location
North America, Europe
Dimensions
Cap 10-25 cm diameter; stem 15-30 cm tall * 1-1.5 cm diameter
Edibility

Description
Macrolepiota procera, also known as the Parasol Mushroom, is a spectacularly large, distinctive, pale brownish agaric with a scaly cap, white gills, and a pale brownish stem with a snakeskin pattern and ring. It grows solitary, scattered or clustered on soil in open grassy places and in mixed woods.

Cap pallid brown decorated with darker brown broad scales starts off egg-shaped and then bell-shaped until the cap margin detaches from the stripe. The base colour becomes lighter with age. Dark scales appear on top when the brown surface cracks up from the smooth, central bump. Gills are white, free, and crowded. Flesh creamy white and soft. Stem is distinctive grey-brown with banded markings on a whitish background, long and thin with an onion-shaped base. Above the double-edged ring that often falls off, it is evenly brown and below this, it is irregularly striped in a zigzag pattern. The ring is white above and brown below.

Similar species include Chlorophyllum rhacodes and the poisonous Chlorophyllum molybdites, which has a stouter stalk, green spore print and lacks the snakeskin pattern that is generally present on the parasol mushroom and the very poisonous Lepiota venenata. Inexperienced foragers may also confuse the mushroom with species in the Amanita genus like Amanita rubescens.

Macrolepiota procera on the First Nature Web site.
Macrolepiota procera on the MushroomExpert.Com Web site.
Macrolepiota procera on the www.mushroomknowhow.com Web site.
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Marasmius oreades   (Fairy Ring Marasmius)
Family
Marasmiaceae
Location
North America, Europe, East Asia
Dimensions
Cap 2-5 cm diameter, stem 2-10 cm tall * 0.3-0.5 cm thick
Edibility

Description
Marasmius oreades, also known as Fairy Ring Marasmius, is a small agaric which is producing characteristic rings in lawns. It has a bell-shaped to convex cap, which becomes flatter with a broad umbo with age. The mushroom belongs to the family Marasmiaceae which contains about 500 species of agarics, of which a few, such as Marasmius oreades, are edible.

Cap at first convex, then flat to cup-shaped with a low central hump that is often a darker shade. Colour varies from light beige to brown yellow. The margins are usually crinkled and almost transparent and streaky in damp weather. They turn lighter in dry weather and regain their colour in more humid conditions. The flesh is whitish buff, thick at the center, otherwise thin. Gills free, sparse, and convex in the center with horizontal ridges. Creamy white at first, becoming ochraceous cream, fairly broad and distant. Spores off-white. Stem tall, coloured as the cap, smooth or finely scurfy, slender, more or less equal, whitish downy at the base and slightly rooting, stiff. The mushroom has no ring.

Similar species include the poisonous Clitocybe dealbata which is found in the same grassy habitat. It is distinguished by its decurrent gills. Another one is the very poisonous mushroom Clitocybe rivulosa and the inedible Agrocybe pediades. Similar species also include other species in the Marasmius genus, like Marasmius vagus.

Marasmius oreades on the First Nature Web site.
Marasmius oreades on the mykoweb.com Web site.
Marasmius oreades on the MushroomExpert.Com Web site.
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Melanoleuca cognata   (Spring Cavalier)
Family
Tricholomataceae
Location
Europe
Dimensions
Cap 4-10 cm diameter, stem 5-12 cm tall * 1-1.5 cm thick
Edibility

Description
Melanoleuca cognata, also known as Spring Cavalier, is a medium or large agaric, that is pale brown with an umbonate cap and white gills. It occurs often in the spring, when few other gilled mushrooms are fruiting, and grows solitary or scattered on soil and needle litter in coniferous woodlands; occasionally in litter-rich grassland, woodchip or garden compost heaps.

Cap buff to warm brown, umbonate. Flesh cream, soft and full. Gills crowded, sinuate, notched and pink to dark ocher colored. Spores cream colored. Stem rust colored with brownish fibrils, tapering slightly upwards from more or less bulbous base. The mushroom has no ring.

Melanoleuca cognata on the First NatureWeb site.
Melanoleuca cognata on the MushroomExpert.Com Web site.
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Morchella elata   (Black Morel)
Family
Morchellaceae
Location
North America, Europe
Dimensions
2-4 cm diameter * 5-15 cm tall
Edibility

Description
Morchella elata, also known as Black Morel, is like most members of the genus a popular edible fungus and is sought by many mushroom hunters. It has a conical cap with distinct black ridges and brown to smoky-grey pits. The stem is white with a rough, mealy or granular surface and hollow center. The mushroom fruits in spring.

Fruiting body is yellowish-brown, with darker parallel longitudinal ribs that are connected to form honeycomb-like pits; while conical, it tapers downward into a creamy-white stem which is more or less equal along its length. The flesh is white, brittle, thin and hollow.

Similar species include Morchella esculenta which is yellow with pale ribs along the length of its cap. The mushroom can also be confused with poisonous Gyromitra species, of which the deadly poisonous Gyromitra esculenta is one. It lack the pitted cap and has a chambered, rather than hollow, stem.

Morchella elata on the www.first-nature.com web site.
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Pleurotus citrinopileatus   (Golden oyster mushroom)
Family
Pleurotaceae
Location
Asia, some places in North America
Dimensions
Cap 2-6.5 cm diameter, stem 2-5 cm tall * 0.2-0.8 cm diameter
Edibility

Description
Pleurotus citrinopileatus also known as Golden oyster mushroom, is a small to medium-sized agaric, native to eastern Russia, northern China, and Japan. It can also be found in some places in North America and is comparable to an invasive species there. In Japanese, the mushroom is named Tamogitake. The mushroom attracts attention with the unusually bright colouring of hats and a refined conical shape of fruit bodies.

Cap bright yellow to golden brown with a velvety, dry surface texture. First convex with an incurved margin, expanding to a fan-shaped flat or shallowly depressed disc. Gills crowded, white, and descend on the stem. Stem off-center, cylindrical, white in color, often curved or bent.

Pleurotus citrinopileatus on the freshcap.com web site.
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Pleurotus ostreatus   (Oyster mushroom)
Family
Pleurotaceae
Location
Europe, North America and Asia
Dimensions
Cap 5-14 cm diameter, stem 2-3 cm tall * 1-1.5 cm thick
Edibility

Description
Pleurotus ostreatus, also known as the Oyster mushroom, is a medium to large fungus which is named for its shape rater its taste. It is sometimes found in great quantity and may be dried and stored for later use. It is easily cultivated and grown commercially almost all over the world.

Cap Convex with an incurved margin at first, expanding to a fan-shaped with a flat or shallowly depressed disc and inner limb. Gills are crowded, white to cream, and descend on the stalk if present. Stem off-center with a lateral attachment to wood.

Similar species include Omphalotus olivascens, the western jack-o'-lantern mushroom, Clitocybe dealbata, the ivory funnel mushroom, and Pleurocybella porrigens which all can be mistaken for Pleurotus ostreatus. Omphalotus nidiformis is a toxic lookalike found in Australia and Japan.

Pleurotus ostreatus on the www.first-nature.com web site.
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Polyporus squamosus   (Dryad’s Saddle)
Family
Polyporaceae
Location
North America, Europe
Dimensions
Cap 10-60 cm diameter, 0.5-5 cm thick
Edibility

Description
Polyporus squamosus, also known as Cerioporus squamosus or Dryad’s Saddle, has a circular to fan-shaped bracket, covered with brown scales, a black stem positioned to one side, and a decurrent off-white to ocher tube layer. It grows annually, alone or in clusters of two or three, on broad-leaf trees, also on stumps, favouring beech, elm and sycamore.

Fruiting body can be yellow to brown and has "squamules" or scales on its upper side. On the underside it has whitish cream pores that are made up of tubes packed together closely. The tubes are between 5 and 10 mm long. The taste is not distinctive. Stem black, thick and short.

Polyporus squamosus on the Nature First Web site.
Polyporus squamosus on the MushroomExpert.Com Web site.
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Russula aeruginea   (Green Brittlegill)
Family
Russulaceae
Location
North America, Europe
Dimensions
Cap 4-9 cm diameter, stem 4-8 cm tall * 0.7-2 cm thick
Edibility

Description
Russula aeruginea, also known as Green Brittlegill, has a convex to depressed green cap that is often marked with rust- to red-brown spots and frequently has furrows at the margin. The mushroom grows alone or in scattered groups on soil under birch.

Cap flat when young, soon funnel-shaped and weakly striped; somewhat sticky and shiny, pale green to light grey-green, more rarely olive green. Flesh white, moderately thick, granular and brittle. Gills buff, becoming yellowish tinged, adnexed, forked, fairly narrow and crowded. Stem white, sometimes with rust spotting, more or less equal, smooth. Flesh white, fairly firm but brittle and full. Spores are cream-yellow colored. The mushroom has no ring.

Similar species include Russula heterophylla which has former flesh and Russula virescens whose cap has small scales. Both are mild tasting. Can also be confused with the deadly poisonous Amanita phalloides with has a ring and is not a Russula.

Warning Even though this mushroom is edible, should it not be consumed because of the risk of confusing with the deadly poisonous Amanita phalloides (Death Cap). This concerns all mushrooms with green cap.

Russula aeruginea on the First Nature Web site.
Russula aeruginea 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.