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Mushroom misidentification can lead to serious health risks. Always ensure compliance with local foraging laws, including regulations in national and state parks and other government-managed areas.

13 Types of Mushrooms in Florida (Photos)

Florida is a hotspot of biological diversity thanks to its subtropical climate and high precipitation. Mushrooms adapt well to conditions in this state’s swamps, verdant lawns, and oak-dominant forests. When foraging in Florida, you will see mushroom species that don’t grow in many other places in the United States. We’ll talk about some of these unique mushrooms today. 

This article takes a deeper look at some of the most common edible and poisonous mushrooms in the state of Florida. Whether you have to hike into the Everglades or just need to look out your back patio window, you’ll be able to identify some mushrooms that grow in the area. 

We’ll discuss the habitats Floridian mushrooms need to grow successfully, the times of year they sprout, and whether you can eat them or avoid them. 

13 Mushrooms in Florida 

This list contains both edible and non-edible mushrooms. When foraging is your responsibility to ensure that you properly identify the mushrooms on this list. They are clearly labeled and described with pictures and indicators of whether they are edible. 

If you believe you have ingested a poisonous mushroom, seek immediate medical attention. Some poisonous mushrooms have slow-acting toxins.  

Edible Mushrooms 

The mushrooms in this section are safe for human consumption. Remember that all mushrooms must be cooked before eating, and that it’s your responsibility to properly identify a mushroom. If you’re in doubt, don’t eat it! 

1. Cinnabar Chanterelle 

Cinnabar chanterelle 
Cinnabar chanterelle  | image by Under the same moon… via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific name: Cantharellus cinnabarinus 
  • Average size: 1½ inches across  
  • Can be found: underneath trees, especially oaks.  
  • Edible: Yes

The Cinnabar chanterelles are one heck of a treat if you find one while foraging for mushrooms! These relatives of the golden chanterelle grow throughout the eastern United States. In Florida, they can be found inland around oak forests and other hardwood trees. 

The caps are narrow and trumpetlike, rarely reaching 1½ inches wide. You’d think they would be hard to see since they’re so small, but their color – bright flamingo pink – solves that problem. Try sauteeing them with other mushrooms if you want to eat them. 

2. Indigo Milk-cap

Indigo milk cap
Indigo milk cap | image by Bernard DUPONT via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Scientific name: Lactarius indigo
  • Average size: 2 to 6 inches across  
  • Can be found: near oak and pine trees  
  • Edible: Yes

The indigo milk-cap is a mushroom straight out of a fairy tale. This bright blue mushroom has a shape similar to a large button mushroom, but other traits that make it very unique.

Go hunting for this mushroom in Florida’s forests. It likes oak and pine trees, where it relies on underground fungi in the trees’ roots to survive. 

The cap of this mushroom measures about 2 to 6 inches in diameter. What’s great about the indigo milk-cap is that there are no poisonous doppelgangers. You’re safe searching for this mushroom even if you’re new to foraging

3. King Bolete 

King bolete mushroom 
King bolete mushroom  | Image by Pexels from Pixabay
  • Scientific name: Boletus edulis 
  • Average size: 3 to 12 inches in diameter  
  • Can be found: in forests and woodlands  
  • Edible: Yes

The King Boletes are also known as porcini mushrooms when sold in grocery stores. They are large, brown, meaty mushrooms that make a great addition to poultry and vegetable dishes. Wild specimens in Florida grow best under pine trees. 

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The king bolete’s cap measures from 3 to 12 inches across. That’s a lot of mushroom! When harvesting king bolete mushrooms, make sure to check the underside. This mushroom has no gills at all. 

4. Grisette Mushroom 

Grisette mushroom
Grisette mushroom | image by Dr. Hans-Günter Wagner via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Scientific name: Amanita vaginata 
  • Average size: 1 to 4 inches in diameter  
  • Can be found: near parks and lawns  
  • Edible: Yes

The delicate grisette mushroom is a small edible fungus that grows in most of the United States. In Florida, spot them near lawns and parks. Unlike other mushrooms that rely on wilder areas, grisette mushrooms can adapt to urban landscapes and higher levels of disturbance. 

The cap is a light mousy brown and measures between 1 and 4 inches across. It has some striations on the outer edge, which can be ragged. There are a few rings with ragged edges around the stalk at the level of the cap. 

5. Golden Chanterelle

Golden chanterelle
Golden chanterelle | image by Dr. Hans-Günter Wagner via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Scientific name: Cantharellus cibarius 
  • Average size: 1 to 4 inches in diameter 
  • Can be found: in forests and near recently burned areas 
  • Edible: Yes

The Golden chanterelles grow in Florida’s oak and hardwood forests. They are most common in the summer and fall months in interior parts of the state. They prefer conditions with high humidity, which Florida accomplishes easily. 

The golden chanterelle has a cone-shaped cap and stalk, so it can be hard to measure. Even so, caps are usually 1 to 4 inches across.

They usually grow in groups, so it will be easy to fill your mushroom foraging basket. Just remember to leave a few mushrooms behind to mark the spot and nourish wildlife. 

6. Sulfur Shelf

Sulfur shelf
Sulfur shelf | image by Blondinrikard Fröberg via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific name: Laetiporus sulphureus
  • Average size: 2 to 12 inches in diameter 
  • Can be found: growing on oaks and hardwoods in forests
  • Edible: Yes

If you’ve hunted for mushrooms before, you’re probably familiar with the sulfur shelf and its multiple names – this mushroom also goes by chicken-of-the-woods. Regardless of nickname, this mushroom is a great find in Florida’s interior hardwood forests, especially live oaks. 

The fungus has no stems and a shelf-like cap that measures between 2 and 12 inches across. Don’t harvest a sulfur shelf mushroom from a hemlock or cedar tree. They’re more likely to cause intestinal issues because of compounds within the flesh. 

7. Common Puffball

Common puffball
Common puffball | image by Alexandre Dulaunoy via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Scientific name: Lycoperdon perlatum 
  • Average size: ½ inch to 2 ½ inches  
  • Can be found: in open fields and clearings  
  • Edible: Yes

The Common puffballs adapt well to the moist and fertile soils of rangeland in Florida. They pop up often in summer and early fall, especially after rainstorms. Depending on the environmental conditions and how cold it gets, they might grow through the winter in Florida. 

The cap of a common puffball is the entirety of the mushroom; it has no stem. It measures about ½ to 2 ½ inches.

It’s crucial to cut the mushroom open before harvesting since it’s about the same size as a juvenile death cap. Because a mature common puffball is so large, try sauteeing it as a side dish or flash freezing it immediately. 

8. Ringless Honey Mushroom 

Ringless honey mushroom
Ringless honey mushroom | image by Katja Schulz via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific name: Armillaria tabescens
  • Average size: 1 to 2 inches in diameter 
  • Can be found: grassy areas and tree stumps  
  • Edible: Yes
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The Ringless honey mushrooms have a pretty descriptive name: they are honey-colored and lack a ring around the stalk. Spot them in Florida’s inland pine and hardwood forests. Usually they grow in tight clumps around dead stumps and appear quickly after it rains. 

The cap of a single ringless honey mushroom has wavy edges and measures 1 to 2 inches across. They’re okay to eat, but be sure to cook them thoroughly because some people can have mild reactions. 

9. Pineapple Bolete 

Pineapple bolete 
Pineapple bolete  | image by Jason Bolin via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 3.0
  • Scientific name: Boletellus ananas  
  • Average size: 2 to 4 inches in diameter 
  • Can be found: at the base of decaying trees  
  • Edible: Yes

The Pineapple boletes’ range extends along most of the Gulf Coast and includes Florida. This mushroom is similar to a porcini mushroom, but with a few cardinal differences. Spot it in forests at rotting stumps and trees. 

Its cap is thick and fleshy, measuring about 2 to 4 inches across. The outside has dusky brown scales that are the same color as the stalk. If turned over, the underside has a bright yellow flesh, similar to that of a pineapple. 

Non-edible Mushrooms 

These mushrooms cannot be eaten. Some are inert and can’t be eaten, but some are toxic and have the potential to cause hallucinations or even death. Do not eat any of the mushrooms on this part of the list. 

10. Destroying Angel

Destroying angel   mushroom 
Destroying angel   mushroom  | image by Mark Nenadov via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific name: Amanita bisporigera 
  • Average size: 1 to 4 inches in diameter
  • Can be found: Meadows, forests, and lawns  
  • Edible: No. TOXIC

The Destroying angel mushrooms are some of the most lethal mushrooms in the United States. In Florida, find this mushroom away from salty coastal breezes. It prefers to grow in moist, rich soil near the edges of forests and even in backyards. 

The cap of the destroying angel measures about 1 to 4 inches across. It’s a completely white mushroom, and that should be a clue about its toxic nature. They have densely packed gills underneath the cap and a ring around the stalk close to the top. 

11. Eastern Jack O’Lantern

Eastern Jack O’lantern
Eastern Jack O’lantern | image by Virginia State Parks via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific name: Omphalotus illudens
  • Average size: 2 to 4 inches in diameter
  • Can be found: in forests around dying hardwoods  
  • Edible: No. TOXIC

The Eastern Jack O’Lanterns are poisonous mushrooms that are occasionally confused for two edible mushrooms: the chicken of the woods and the golden chanterelle. In Florida, they grow in similar locations –  in forests around hardwood trees, especially. 

The eastern Jack O’Lantern measures 2 to 4 inches across, but it has a notable funnel-shaped cap. They’re most common around late summer and fall.

If you have the opportunity to see a patch of eastern Jack O’Lanterns, try returning after dark. The gills glow green in the dark because of bioluminescent compounds!  

12. False Parasol 

False parasol
False parasol | image by David Eickhoff via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific name: Chlorophyllum molybdites 
  • Average size: 4 to 8½ inches in diameter
  • Can be found: Meadows and lawns 
  • Edible: No. TOXIC

The False parasols are ‘technically’ edible, but they cause such intense digestive problems in some people that it’s best to avoid this mushroom altogether. Like other poisonous mushrooms in Florida, they tend to grow near the edges of woodlands and forests. 

Identify a false parasol by way of its large cap measuring between 4 and 8½ inches across, as well as the ring around the stalk, and its flaky brown scales on the top of the cap. They have extremely small, densely packed gills around the underside of the cap. 

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13. Deadly Galerina 

Deadly galerina mushroom
Deadly galerina mushroom | image by jacinta lluch valero via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Scientific name: Galerina marginata 
  • Average size: ½ to 1 ½ inch in diameter  
  • Can be found: on dying trees (both deciduous and coniferous)   
  • Edible: No. TOXIC

The deadly galerina mushroom is one of the smaller types of toxic mushrooms in the United States. They’re light brown and grow in clusters near other types of mushrooms. In Florida, you’ll spot them in hardwood forests and oak-dominated woodlands. 

The cap of the deadly galerina is between a half and 1 ½ inches across. Compared to other mushrooms it has a delicate stalk and cap. Most injuries from the consumption of this mushroom occur when individuals searching for psychedelic mushrooms accidentally consume the deadly galerina instead.