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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.

11 Examples of Common Mushrooms in Georgia

Georgia, known for its peaches and peanuts, is also a haven for mushroom lovers. Hidden beneath its lush forests and rolling hills are hundreds of species of mushrooms in Georgia that add a unique and delectable flavor to the state’s culinary scene. 

In this article, we’re going to dig deeper into the fascinating world of some of Georgia’s mushrooms and learn more about their unique qualities. 

11 Mushrooms in Georgia

Here is the simplified markdown table for the 11 mushroom species with only four columns:

Common Name Scientific Name Edibility Habitat
Field mushroom Agaricus campestris Edible Fields, pastures, gardens, parks
Fishy Milkcap Lactarius volemus Edible Deciduous forests, under oaks
False Morel Suillus luteus Poisonous Coniferous forests, pine forests
Golden Chanterelle Cantharellus cibarius Edible Deciduous and coniferous forests
Old-Man-of-the-Woods Strobilomyces strobilaceus Edible Deciduous woods
Pecan Truffle Tuber lyonii Edible Roots of oak trees
Macrocybe titans Macrocybe titans Edible Disturbed habitats
Oyster mushroom Pleurotus ostreatus Edible Dry and rotten leafy trees
Common Puffball Lycoperdon perlatum Edible Fallen and rotten wood, meadows, coniferous and deciduous forests
Blusher Amanita rubescens Edible Coniferous and deciduous forests
Ringless Honey Fungus Desarmillaria tabescens Edible Living and decaying deciduous trees, especially oaks

Browse this selection of 11 common mushroom species found in Georgia. The list includes concise descriptions and accompanying photographs, offering a helpful glimpse into the state’s diverse fungal landscape for enthusiasts and beginners alike.

1. Field mushroom

Field mushroom in the field
Field mushroom in the field | image by Nathan Wilson via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 3.0
  • Scientific Name: Agaricus campestris
  • Average size: 5 to 12 cm in diameter
  • Color: Whitish
  • Can be found: fields, pastures, gardens, and parks
  • Edible: Yes

A field mushroom, also known as the meadow mushroom, is a type of edible mushroom that grows in fields and meadows. It’s possible to come across field mushrooms in Georgia if you look for them in areas with moist soil and grass during the spring and fall.

Field mushrooms are white with pink gills that darken with age and are fleshy and smooth to the touch. These mushrooms are a popular food item used in various dishes, particularly soups, stews, and sauces.

2. Fishy Milkcap

  • Scientific Name: Lactarius volemus 
  • Average size: 5 to 14 cm in diameter
  • Color: brownish to orange or rust
  • Can be found: deciduous forests, mostly under oaks
  • Edible: Yes

A milkcap mushroom known as the Fishy Milkcap can be discovered in the woods of Georgia, USA. It’s a firm mushroom with a velvety and sometimes cracked surface and a cap that can be orange-brown or rust in color. 

This fungus thrives in the leaf litter under Georgia’s hardwood trees like oaks and is a common sight in the state’s wooded areas. After being cooked or roasted, the Fishy Milkcap can be safely consumed.

3. False Morel

False morel mushroom  
False morel mushroom | image by Michael Mortensen via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific Name: Gyromitra esculenta
  • Average size: 3 to 12 cm 
  • Color: light brown, chestnut
  • Can be found: coniferous forest, pine forest, mountainous areas
  • Edible: No

A False Morel is a type of mushroom that looks like a true morel but is actually extremely poisonous. These poisonous mushrooms have a brownish to chestnut color, and their shapes are typically spherical, irregular, and wrinkled like a human brain. 

In the spring, you can find false morels scattered about the forest floor, especially in areas of the mountains that are densely forested with pines and other coniferous trees. False morels are poisonous and should never be consumed, so don’t try to eat them.

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4. 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: 4 to 10 cm in diameter
  • Color: yellow to orange
  • Can be found: deciduous and coniferous forests
  • Edible: Yes

The Golden Chanterelle is one of the most common types of mushrooms in Georgia. It has a trumpet shape and a smooth cap that is typically orange or yellow in color, with wavy or ruffled edges.

Typically, they occur between late spring and late summer or early fall. Chanterelle mushrooms are edible and delicious; they typically grow in mossy and moist places in groups in both coniferous and deciduous forests.

5. Old-Man-of-the-Woods

Old man of the woods in the forest
Old man of the woods in the forest | image by Michael Hodge via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific Name: Strobilomyces strobilaceus
  • Average size: 6 to 12 cm in diameter
  • Color: grayish black
  • Can be found: deciduous woods
  • Edible: Yes 

Among the fungus found in the state is the Old-Man-of-the-Woods. The cap and stalk of this mushroom are shaggy, and the mushroom itself is a dark grayish-black with grayish pores. It grows singly on the ground in deciduous woods and doesn’t grow on dead or decaying materials. 

Its scientific name means “woolly mushroom that resembles a pinecone.” But its common name comes from its grayish-black color, which is said to resemble that of an old man. 

6. Pecan Truffle

  • Scientific Name: Tuber lyonii
  • Average size: an inch to several inches in diameter
  • Color: light brown
  • Can be found: roots of some trees, including species of oak
  • Edible: Yes 

In eastern North America, the pecan truffle is one of the most widely distributed edible truffle species. It grows underground and forms symbiotic relationships with the roots of certain trees, such as oaks. It’s distinguished by its light brown, bald, dry, smooth outer surface, and lack of a stem.

The interior flesh is marbled with white lines and spots. Many people enjoy eating Pecan truffles. As a gourmet ingredient, it’s often grated on top of pasta, risotto, or salad to impart a nutty, earthy taste.

7. Macrocybe titans

Macrocybe titans set
Macrocybe titans set | image by Eduardo A. Esquivel Rios via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 3.0
  • Scientific Name: Macrocybe titans
  • Average size: up to 100 cm in diameter
  • Color: pale buff to cream
  • Can be found: disturbed habitats
  • Edible: Yes 

The largest mushroom species in the Western Hemisphere, Macrocybe titans, has also been discovered in the state of Georgia. This huge mushroom species thrives on decomposing wood and other organic matter in forested areas.

It has a pale buff to cream color and is reportedly edible. While Macrocybe titans are said to be edible, it’s important to never eat a wild mushroom without first having it identified by a professional, as they can be confused with other poisonous species. 

8. Oyster mushroom

Oyster mushroom
Oyster mushroom | image by Bernard Spragg. NZ via Flickr
  • Scientific Name: Pleurotus ostreatus
  • Average size: 5 to 25 cm in diameter
  • Color: brownish to grayish
  • Can be found: dry and rotten leafy trees
  • Edible: Yes 

The Oyster mushroom is a type of edible mushroom that is loved all over the world for its tender texture and subtle, yet satisfying flavor. The fan- or oyster-shaped caps, which can be shades of brown or gray, are what give this mushroom its common name. The caps are typically broad and thin, with whitish gills and a stubby stem. 

This mushroom is a saprotroph, meaning it thrives on decaying organic matter. You can find it growing naturally on dead or dying trees.

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9. Common Puffball

Common puffball
Common puffball | image by Alexandre Dulaunoy via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Scientific Name: Lycoperdon perlatum
  • Average size: 3 to 6 cm in diameter
  • Color: whitish to dark brown
  • Can be found: fallen and rotten wood, meadows, coniferous and deciduous forests
  • Edible: Yes

Georgia is just one of many locations in North America where you can find the common puffball mushroom. The fruiting body of this mushroom is pear-shaped, round, or slightly flattened and starts out white before turning brownish as it ages; its size can range from that of a golf ball to a beach ball.

This mushroom is commonly known as a “puffball” because of the puffs of spores it produces when it’s fully mature. The fungus’s spores are dispersed to new areas via the wind. 

10. Blusher

Blusher mushroom
A blusher mushroom | image by Katja Schulz via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific Name: Amanita rubescens
  • Average size: 4 to 16 cm in diameter
  • Color: pink to gray
  • Can be found: coniferous and deciduous forests
  • Edible: Yes, but should be eaten after 15-20 minutes of heat treatment

Blusher is a type of mushroom found primarily in Europe and eastern North America. This type of mushroom is mycorrhizal, meaning it forms a mutually beneficial relationship with certain trees, especially conifers in poor acidic soil. These mushrooms range in color from pink to gray and have a fleshy, sometimes slimy texture, especially when wet.

It’s also considered edible and is frequently consumed in Europe, where it’s more widely distributed. However, it’s important to note that the blusher mushroom looks similar to other poisonous mushrooms in the same genus. 

11. Ringless Honey Fungus

Ringless honey fungus
Ringless honey fungus | image by Елена Патерикина via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY 4.0
  • Scientific Name: Desarmillaria tabescens
  • Average size: 3 to 10 cm in diameter
  • Color: brownish to reddish
  • Can be found: living and decaying deciduous trees, especially oaks
  • Edible: Yes, but must be thoroughly cooked

Georgia is just one of many places in North America where you can find the ringless honey fungus. It’s a parasitic mushroom that thrives on trees and shrubs and can do serious harm to its host. 

They can be identified by their dry, scaly, honey-colored cap, and while some people find the ringless honey fungus to be edible, it’s important to note that it can cause gastrointestinal distress and other health issues if not properly cooked.