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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 Texas (Pictures)

If you live in Texas, you’ve probably seen mushrooms pop up in your yard. They’re everywhere. From backyard to hiking trail, there are thousands of species of mushrooms in the state. Texas is a prime location for mushrooms in the southern United States. The various habitats – grasslands, swamps, and forests – work well for moisture loving fungi. 

Fungi don’t photosynthesize like plants and they aren’t mobile like most animals. Instead, they remain stationary, but they use enzymes to tap into root systems and decaying organic matter. This gets them the minerals and nutrients they need to survive.  

We’ll examine a few of the types of mushrooms that grow in Texas. There are over 10,000 species of mushrooms in the state, but we’ll concentrate on just the most common edible and the most dangerous toxic ones. 

Keep reading to learn more. 

13 Types of Mushrooms in Texas 

This list contains both edible and non-edible mushrooms. When foraging, it 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. 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 chanterelle mushroom is one of the most popular mushrooms used for cooking. It’s easy to find, delicious, and there are multiple varieties in Texas! They’re most common in the eastern part of the state, where they grow underneath oaks and pine trees.

The cap of the golden chanterelle is between 1 and 4 inches wide. They’re trumpet shaped and look like tiny orange vases.

Once you reach the right location to forage for them, try using your nose. The aroma of citrus and apricots will clue you in to their presence nearby. 

2. Pale Oyster Mushroom 

Pale oyster mushroom 
Pale oyster mushroom  | image by Bernard Spragg. NZ via Flickr
  • Scientific name: Pleurotus pulmonarius 
  • Average size: 2 to 7 ¾ inches in diameter  
  • Can be found: in mixed forests of hardwood or evergreen trees  
  • Edible: Yes

The Pale oyster mushrooms are commonly grown commercially. In fact, these mushrooms, which are native to both North America and Europe, have been grown for sale in grocery stores for years. They thrive in Texas thanks to their penchant for warm weather and high moisture levels. 

Pale oyster mushrooms look similar to regular oyster mushrooms. However, they are a little smaller. Their caps measure between 2 and 7¾ inches across. Harvest them late in the summer, compared to the general oyster mushroom. 

3. Yellow Morel

Yellow morel
Yellow morel | image by GLJIVARSKO DRUSTVO NIS via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific name: Morchella esculenta
  • Average size: 1 to 3 inches across by 1 to 4 inches tall  
  • Can be found: in cottonwood groves 
  • Edible: Yes

Mushroom foragers commonly look out for yellow morels. These rare and delicious mushrooms are easy to spot because they have a unique crumpled cap, yellow pigment in the folds, and a robust stalk. Look for them in central to east Texas during the spring and summer. 

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Yellow morels’ caps measure about 1 to 3 inches in diameter. They grow most often on the ground as well as out of stumps or dead logs. Make sure to keep an eye out for false morels when hunting for these delicious mushrooms. 

4. Black Morel 

Black morel
Black morel | image by Thomas Woyzbun via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 4.0
  • Scientific name: Morchella angusticeps 
  • Average size: 1 to 3 inches wide 
  • Can be found: in recovering forests and aspen groves  
  • Edible: Yes

The Black morels, like their cousin the yellow morel, grow in Texas. They share many similar traits, but they differ primarily in terms of their color. Black morels have a dark pigment in between the cap’s ridges. The cap itself is about 1 to 3 inches in diameter. 

In Texas, a great place to look for black morels is in areas which were recently burned in wildfires or in prescribed burns. They love high humidity and don’t require light to grow. Like all true morels, a black morel is completely hollow when cut down the center. This is one way to tell them apart from false morels, which are poisonous to humans.  

5. White Jelly Fungus

White jelly fungus
White jelly fungus | image by Scot Nelson via Flickr
  • Scientific name: Tremella fuciformis 
  • Average size: About 3 inches across 
  • Can be found: in forests with deciduous trees 
  • Edible: Yes

Even if you’ve eaten mushrooms for your whole life, you’ve probably never seen anything like white jelly fungus! This exotic fungus is eaten as a delicacy in China and Japan. In Texas, it grows on deciduous trees’ branches and trunks. 

The body of the fungus has no clear cap or stalk. Instead, it is a coral-like gelatinous mass with no pigment. It usually measures about 3 inches across. To prepare this fungus for eating, it’s often made into a soup

6. Elegant Stinkhorn

Elegant stinkhorn
Elegant stinkhorn | image by Tyler Wright via Flickr
  • Scientific name: Mutinus elegans  
  • Average size: ‘egg’ is 1 inch across 
  • Can be found: on the ground in forested areas 
  • Edible: Yes

While stinkhorns are so named because they have a very unpleasant smell, they are actually edible. Some stinkhorns, like the elegant stinkhorn, are edible prior to their maturation.

They are chopped and fried. They have to be harvested before they excrete slime that attracts flies, however. 

Elegant stinkhorns have a stem but no cap. It’s best to pick them when they have barely sprouted, because the ‘egg’ underground is more edible than the stalk. It’s up to you – stinkhorns may be more trouble than they’re worth. 

7. Caesar’s Mushroom 

Caesar’s mushroom 
Caesar’s mushroom  | image by Worm via Flickr
  • Scientific name: Amanita caesarea 
  • Average size: 3 to 6 inches across 
  • Can be found: in oak and conifer woodlands 
  • Edible: Yes

You’re probably surprised to discover a member of the Amanita mushroom family on the edible section of a mushroom list. Surprise – this mushroom is one of the only edible members of the Amanita family. In Texas, it’s found in various places with high humidity and mature forests. 

The cap of the Caesar’s mushroom is about 3 to 6 inches in diameter. The mushroom isn’t native to North America – it’s regularly eaten in Europe. However, because it has so many toxic lookalikes in the states, it’s more often left alone than harvested. 

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. 

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8. Psilocybe cubensis 

Psilocybe cubensis 
Psilocybe cubensis  | image by Dick Culbert via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific name: Psilocybe cubensis  
  • Average size: ½ to 3 inches across 
  • Can be found: in rangeland and open fields 
  • Edible: No 

This mushroom is notorious for having just enough toxic compounds to cause hallucinations, but not enough to cause overload and lethality. Regardless, this is one mushroom you should avoid on your next foraging journey. In Texas, it grows well in rangeland where it gets its nutrients from cow pats and herbivores’ dung. 

The cap of P. cubensis is umbrella-shaped and light brown. It measures from a half-inch to 3 inches in diameter.

Stalks are tall and disproportionate to the size of the cap. These mushrooms may grow in yards and fields, so it’s important to monitor babies and toddlers who are curious about tasting things they see.  

9. Fly Agaric  

Fly agaric
Fly agaric | image by Bernard Spragg. NZ via Flickr
  • Scientific name: Amanita muscaria 
  • Average size: 2 ¾ to 8 ¼ inches in diameter  
  • Can be found: in forests, especially commercial paper plantations
  • Edible: No. TOXIC

Video game characters might eat fly agaric mushrooms, but human beings cannot. The fly agaric is one of the most well known mushrooms in the world. In Texas, it grows in areas with a reliable water supply, especially close to pine trees or paper birch trees. 

The cap of the fly agaric mushroom measures from 2 ¾ to 8 ¼ inches across. It’s easy to recognize thanks to the flaky white scales that decorate the bright red cap. If this is a mushroom you come across while foraging, steer clear! 

10. Destroying Angel Mushroom 

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 is extremely toxic. They contain compounds that destroy liver and kidney function.

What’s even scarier is that these symptoms can be delayed for up to 24 hours after ingesting the mushroom. In Texas, they pop up in the central and eastern regions of the state. 

The cap of the destroying angel is about 1 to 4 inches across, and it looks very similar to juvenile giant puffballs. If you are hunting for giant puffballs, check the species by cutting it open. If it’s hollow, stay away! 

11. Earthball

Earthball mushroom
Earthball mushroom | image by alan_rockefeller via iNaturalist | CC BY 4.0
  • Scientific name: Scleroderma texense  
  • Average size: ½ to 2¾ inches in diameter  
  • Can be found: Gulf Coast area 
  • Edible: No. TOXIC

The Earth Balls are large yellowish mushrooms with dark black or indigo centers. Texas has its own native earthball, which grows throughout the Southeast and even reaches into part of Mexico’s gulf coast. 

The Earthball measures between ½ and 2 ¾ inches across. It doesn’t have a pronounced stem, but the cap’s surface is textured with visible scales.

The easiest way to tell them apart from real giant puffballs is to look at their size and cut them open. The inside of this mushroom is dark, they are always small, and the exterior is not white. 

12. Southern Jack O’Lantern 

Southern Jack O’lantern 
Southern Jack O’lantern | image by Virginia State Parks via Flickr | CC BY 2.0
  • Scientific name: Omphalotus illudens 
  • Average size: 1 to 5 inches in diameter  
  • Can be found: Forests, parks, and the base of trees 
  • Edible: No. TOXIC
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The Southern Jack O’Lanterns are close relatives of the Eastern Jack O’Lantern mushroom, which are common throughout the eastern United States. In Texas, they’re found in the central and eastern parts of the state. They’re not as common in West Texas because there isn’t as much water. 

Like other types of Jack O’Lantern, the Southern Jack O’Lantern’s caps grow in a starlike fashion. They’re also a great find in the autumn. It’s very seasonally appropriate because they glow in the dark! 

13. 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 Parasol mushroom looks a lot like a bubble-style umbrella. They have very hemispherical caps and long, skinny stalks.

In Texas, they grow in the central and eastern portion of the state. They’re known to make ‘fairy circles.’ 

The cap of the false parasol is about 4 to 8 ½ inches across. The cap’s edge remains curved underneath for the lifetime of the mushroom.

Like members of the genus Amanita, the false parasol also has flaky white scales on the top of the cap. This is one mushroom it’s wise to leave alone.