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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 Types of Mushrooms Found in Missouri

Missouri is a state known for its iconic Gateway Arch and stunning Ozark landscapes, but there are also a diverse array of mushrooms in Missouri hidden within its lush forests. Each species adds a unique flavor to Missouri’s rich natural heritage, from the gourmet morels to the vibrant oyster mushrooms. 

Let’s explore the undiscovered secrets of some of the mushrooms in this state and discover more about these species. 

11 Mushrooms in Missouri

1. 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

Puffballs are a delightful discovery in Missouri and can be found in meadows, forests, and grasslands with nutrient-rich soil. When they’re young, the mushrooms have a white, round shape and a soft, marshmallow-like texture inside. As puffballs get older, the inside turns into powdery spores while the exterior remains white and rounded. 

These fungi come in various sizes, and when they’re disturbed, they release spores in a fascinating “puff”. Foragers are charmed by their mild flavor and unique texture, and these mushrooms are harvested from late summer to fall. 

2. 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

Oyster mushrooms are a well-liked type of edible fungus that can be recognized by their resemblance to oysters. It can be seen on decaying hardwoods in Missouri, forming striking fan-shaped clusters. 

These fungi are among the mushrooms found throughout the state at all times of the year, and their colors range from creamy white to grayish. Its mild and slightly sweet taste, along with its velvety texture, make it a popular ingredient in various dishes. 

3. Bearded Tooth  

Lion’s mane
Lion’s mane | image by candiru via Flickr
  • Scientific name: Hericium erinaceus
  • Average size: 10 – 25 cm
  • Color: white
  • Can be found: wood of dead or dying deciduous trees
  • Edible: Yes

Bearded tooth are typically discovered between late summer and fall, and their tender, noodle-like texture and mild flavor make them a popular edible fungus. It grows well on decaying hardwoods and tends to form clusters that cascade down.

These white to cream-colored fungi have elongated projections that look like teeth. They’re also similar in appearance to icicles or stalactites.

4. 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

In Missouri, Morel mushrooms are highly valued and can be found growing near dying or dead elm, ash, and apple trees in mixed forests. Their distinctive appearance and earthy tones attract foragers with a honeycomb-like cap and hollow stem. 

Fungi like these tend to appear in the springtime because that’s when conditions are most favorable for their growth: warm and moist days. Morels are a culinary treasure due to their rich, nutty flavor and meaty texture. 

5. Common chanterelle

Chanterelle mushroom
Chanterelle mushroom | image by GLJIVARSKO DRUSTVO NIS via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific name: Cantharellus cibarius
  • Average size: 3 – 10 cm
  • Color: yellow-orange
  • Can be found: coniferous forests in mossy areas
  • Edible: Yes
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The common chanterelle is one of four chanterelle species found in the mixed forests of Missouri, and it’s typically found in the shade of conifers and hardwoods near mossy areas. These fungi have trumpet-shaped coloring and bright yellow-orange hues, and they smell apricot-like and fruity. 

The ridges on the underside of the cap that run down the stem can also serve as an identifying feature. Chanterelles are a culinary gem due to their tender texture and slightly peppery taste. 

6. Crown coral 

Crown coral mushroom
Crown coral mushroom | image by Björn S… via Flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Scientific name: Artomyces pyxidatus
  • Average size: 2 – 8 cm in diameter   
  • Color: yellowish tan
  • Can be found: decaying hardwood  
  • Edible: Yes 

The Crown corals are commonly found in moist deciduous forests, particularly in the vicinity of decaying wood in Missouri. The fungi have intricate, coral-like branching structures that range in color from pale cream to yellowish tan, making them very eye-catching. Foragers are drawn to their delicate texture and mild, woodsy flavor, and they’re available from June to September. 

7. Shaggy Mane

Shaggy mane mushroom
Shaggy mane mushroom | image by Bernard Spragg. NZ via Flickr
  • Scientific name: Coprinus comatus
  • Average size: 3 to 15 cm in diameter
  • Color: whitish
  • Can be found: yards, woodchips, hard-packed dirt and freshly disturbed ground
  • Edible: Yes, with caution

The Shaggy Manes are among the fungus found in Missouri and can be encountered in grassy areas, woodlands, and disturbed soils. These fungi have an elongated, cylindrical shape and shaggy, white scales that make them stand out visually from their surroundings.

They mostly show up in the autumn and eventually transform into a black liquid as they mature. Though edible when young, they must be consumed quickly after harvesting.  

8. Ash Tree Bolete 

Ash tree bolete mushroom
Ash tree bolete mushroom | image by Sandra Cohen-Rose and Colin Rose via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific name: Boletinellus merulioides
  • Average size: 5 to 20 cm in diameter
  • Color: dark brown to reddish brown
  • Can be found: under ash trees
  • Edible: Yes

The Ash Tree Bolete are dense, nutty-flavored mushrooms that grow in the state from June to October. They can be identified by their stout and thick stalk topped with a convex, brownish cap.

These species are typically named after their habitat, which is commonly mixed forests, especially those located near ash trees. Interestingly, ash tree boletes may display a blue color change when bruised or cut. 

9. Chicken-of-the-woods

Chicken of the woods
Chicken of the woods | image by pete beard via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific name: Laetiporus sulphureus
  • Average size: 5 to 31 cm 
  • Color: orange and white
  • Can be found: deciduous hardwoods like oaks, ash, elm, and hickory
  • Edible: Yes

The Chicken-of-the-woods mushrooms are among the fungi that can be found on Missouri’s hardwood trees, especially oak. These mushrooms have bright orange and white colors and often grow in big clusters with caps that overlap each other.

They’re typically discovered during the late summer and fall seasons, and they have a distinct taste and texture that’s similar to chicken, which makes them a favorite among foragers. 

It’s important to be cautious when consuming these mushrooms, as some individuals may experience mild allergic reactions. 

10. 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 are one of the mushrooms that grow at the base of oak trees, forming large, rosette-shaped clusters. The caps of these fungi are fan-shaped and have subtle gray-brown tones that overlap each other, resembling a hen. They’re available from late summer to fall and are known for their rich, earthy flavor and tender, meaty texture, which has earned them culinary recognition. 

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11. 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

The False Morel is a deceptive species in Missouri that inhabit mixed forests, resembling their prized counterparts, true morels. They appear in reddish-brown hues in spring, with wrinkled, brain-like caps and stout stems, similar to true morels.

However, false morels are toxic and can cause serious health risks. Foragers need to be careful when differentiating between these look-alikes.