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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.

12 Species of Mushrooms Found in Indiana

If you’ve ever been to Indiana, you may have noticed various fungi growing there. Some of these fungi are dangerous and should be avoided at all costs, while others can be a delicious addition to any meal. There are so many varieties of mushrooms in Indiana that it’s hard to know which ones are safe to eat and which ones you should avoid at all costs. 

This article will go over some of the mushrooms found in the state, including how to identify them and whether or not they’re safe to eat. 

12 Mushrooms in Indiana

3 Edible Mushrooms in Indiana

Common Name Scientific Name Habitat Season
Morel Morchella spp. Deciduous forests, near trees Spring
Oyster mushroom Pleurotus ostreatus Decaying wood, logs, stumps Year-round
Chanterelle Cantharellus cibarius Mixed hardwood forests Summer-Fall

This list of 12 mushrooms in Indiana features some of the most common and sought-after edible fungi found throughout the state. By learning to identify these mushrooms, you can safely forage for these delicious and nutritious ingredients to enhance your culinary adventures.

1. Bolete mushroom

King bolete mushroom 
King bolete mushroom  | Image by Pexels from Pixabay
  • Scientific name: Boletus edulis
  • Average size: 10 to 30 cm in diameter
  • Color: light red or brown
  • Can be found: beneath trees, notably beech and birch
  • Edible: Yes

The King Bolete is a beautiful fungus with a round or slightly convex cap supported by a thick, bulbous stem. The cap can be anywhere from dark brown to light reddish brown, while the stem is typically white or cream. 

King Boletes are easily identified by their sponge-like pores beneath the cap and can be found in deciduous and coniferous forests throughout the state. They primarily grow in association with oak, beech, and spruce trees, thriving in nutrient-rich soil near the tree’s roots. 

2. Smooth Chanterelle

Smooth chanterelle mushrooms
Smooth chanterelle mushrooms
  • Scientific name: Cantharellus lateritius
  • Average size: 1 to 15 cm in diameter
  • Color: yellow to orange
  • Can be found: deciduous and coniferous forests
  • Edible: Yes

The Smooth Chanterelle is a delightful edible mushroom that’s well-known for the distinctive qualities it possesses and the vibrant appearance it displays. Its cap has an undulating, irregular shape and a smooth surface compared to other chanterelle. 

The color can range from yellow to orange, and they’re common in Indiana and thrive there in large numbers. 

3. Puff balls

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

Indiana is home to a variety of mushrooms, including puffballs, which are easily identifiable by their distinctive round, globular shape and method of dispersing spores. They can be white, cream, or light brown in color, and their shapes and sizes can range from small and round to large and pear-shaped. When fully developed, the interior becomes a cloud of powdery spores.

Puffballs are widespread in Indiana and can be discovered in various environments, from deciduous and mixed forests to woodlands, leaves, and even sandy areas. 

4. Tippler’s Bane

Tippler’s bane
Tippler’s bane | image by Bernard Spragg. NZ via Flickr
  • Scientific name: Coprinopsis atramentaria
  • Average size: 3 to 7 cm in diameter
  • Color: gray
  • Can be found: buried wood and is found in grassland, meadows, disturbed ground, and open terrain
  • Edible: Yes, with caution
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Tippler’s Bane, also known as the common inky cap, is a distinctive mushroom that starts out pale gray before turning black and dissolving into an inky liquid. The underside of the cap is covered in white gills, which gradually turn a darker color as the mushroom ages. 

These species are common in the state and can be found in a diverse array of habitats, growing in clusters, either on rotting wood or close to rotting tree stumps, and they prefer to grow on decaying wood. 

5. 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: white, gray or yellow-gray
  • Can be found: logs and dead standing trees
  • Edible: Yes

The Oyster mushroom is a type of edible fungi highly prized for its tender texture and subtle flavor. It has a smooth, velvety surface in colors ranging from white to gray or brown, and a fan-shaped, oyster-like cap that’s anywhere from 5 to 25 cm in diameter. This mushroom is common in Indiana, and its delicious flavor has made it a favorite among cooks and mushroom hunters.

6. False parasol 

False parasol
False parasol | image by David Eickhoff via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific name: Chlorophyllum molybdites
  • Average size: 10 to 27 cm 
  • Color: white with light brown patches
  • Can be found: lawns and grassy areas
  • Edible: No

The False Parasol is a large, toxic mushroom that closely resembles some edible species, posing a risk to foragers. Its cap is either white or a light brown color, and it has spots or patches that can be a darker shade of color. 

It inhabits a wide range of environments across the state, from forested regions to open fields. Because this poisonous species can look like edible mushrooms, knowing how to distinguish between the two is crucial.

7. Fly Agaric

Fly agaric
Fly agaric | image by Bernard Spragg. NZ via Flickr
  • Scientific name: Amanita muscaria
  • Average size: 15 to 20 cm in diameter
  • Color: bright red
  • Can be found: woodlands, parks and heaths with scattered trees
  • Edible: No

The Fly Agaric is a ground-dwelling mushroom that’s commonly found in the state, especially in areas with pine trees. It’s a well-known, toxic mushroom with a striking appearance that includes a bright red cap with white, wart-like spots. 

Fly agarics are common in the state’s deciduous and coniferous forests, where they form symbiotic relationships with tree species like birch, pine, and spruce. 

8. Destroying Angel Mushroom

Destroying angel mushrooms
Destroying angel mushrooms | image by Under the same moon… via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific name: Amanita virosa
  • Average size: 2 to 5 cm in diameter
  • Color: pure white, or white and yellowish
  • Can be found: edges of woodlands
  • Edible: No 

The Destroying Angel is a particularly dangerous type of mushroom that can be found in Indiana. It has a pure white cap with a smooth or slightly scaly surface, and the mushroom cap has an egg shape when young but flattens out as it develops. 

They can even be found in yards, where they’re most frequently seen during the summer and fall. It’s critical not to confuse this mushroom with other edible mushrooms because its effects can be lethal.  

9. Morel

Yellow morel
Yellow morel | image by GLJIVARSKO DRUSTVO NIS via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

 

  • Scientific name: Morchella esculenta
  • Average size: 2 to 7 cm in diameter
  • Color: light cream to gray to yellowish-brown
  • Can be found: moist woodlands and in river bottoms
  • Edible: Yes

Morel is a type of edible mushroom commonly found in nature and is sought after for its delectable flavor. It’s one of the popular ingredients added to dishes, including pasta, soup, and meat.

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These mushrooms can be recognized by their honeycomb-like, netted cap, which can be light cream, yellow, or gray in color. They’re most common near dying or dead trees and are most abundant in the spring. 

10. Jack O Lantern Mushroom

Jack O Lantern mushrooms
Jack O Lantern mushrooms | image by GLJIVARSKO DRUSTVO NIS via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific name: Omphalotus olearius
  • Average size: 7 to 20 cm in diameter
  • Color: bright orange to yellowish orange
  • Can be found: base of trees, on stumps, or on buried wood
  • Edible: No

The Jack-o’-Lantern mushroom is a poisonous fungus well-known for its faint bioluminescent properties. These properties cause the mushroom to emit a bluish-green glow in the dark.

This mushroom has a cap that’s funnel-shaped, bright orange in color, and has a surface that’s both smooth and moist all over.  They form dense clusters under trees, and even though these fungi are visually appealing, one should avoid consuming them because they’re toxic. 

11. Hen-of-the-woods  

Hen of the woods mushroom
Hen of the woods mushroom | image by Eric Huybrechts via Flickr | CC BY-ND 2.0
  • Scientific name: Grifola frondosa
  • Average size: 2 to 7 cm in diameter
  • Color: dark gray to brown
  • Can be found: base of oak trees
  • Edible: Yes

The Hen-of-the-Woods is a type of edible mushroom that gets its name from its distinctive appearance, which is very similar to that of a large ruffled hen. It has many overlapping caps that form a fan shape, and its colors range from gray to brown. 

Their typical appearance period is late summer/early fall, and they prefer to take root at the feet of trees. Because of their unusual appearance, delicious flavor, and soft texture, they’re often added to several Japanese dishes

12. Orange Peel Fungus

Orange peel fungus
Orange peel fungus | image by John Donges via Flickr | CC BY-ND 2.0
  • Scientific name: Aleuria aurantia
  • Average size: 3 to 6 cm in diameter
  • Color: pale orange to very deep orange-red
  • Can be found: bare clay or disturbed soil
  • Edible: Yes

The Orange Peel Fungus is a type of mushroom that, in appearance, is strikingly similar to a discarded orange peel. The underside is a fuzzy grey-white color, and the top is a bright orange color with a slightly wrinkled or wavy margin. 

These mushrooms are most commonly discovered in environments that consist of bare clay or soil that has been disturbed. Indiana has no other mushrooms similar in appearance, so this one is easy to identify.