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Edible Mushrooms

Never pick and eat wild mushrooms unless they've been identified by an expert!

Here is a list of edible mushrooms. Many of these edible mushrooms presented here have toxic look-alikes and unless you are very experienced in mushroom identification, you can’t tell the difference between an edible mushroom and a poisonous one. Please read the disclaimer.

You can click on the pictures to enlarge them.

Laetiporus sulphureus   (Chicken of the Woods)
Family
Polyporaceae
Location
Europe and North America
Dimensions
Cap 5 to 60 cm in diameter and 4 cm thick
Edibility

Description
The fruit bodies of this mushroom grow as striking golden-yellow shelf-like structures on tree trunks and branches. The undersurface of the fruit body is made up of tubelike pores rather than gills.

Fruiting body attached directly to the trunk of a tree and is initially knob-shaped, later expands to fan-shaped, typically overlapping shelves with thick margin. The upper surface colour ranges from bright whitish-yellow to bright whitish-orange. Flesh soft and coloured as cap surface. Old fruitbodies fade to tan or whitish. The under surface is sulphur-yellow with small pores or tubes and has a white spore print. When fresh, the flesh is succulent and exudes a yellowish juice, but soon becomes dry and brittle. It has a strong, fungusy smell.

Laetiporus sulphureus on the First Nature Web site.
Laetiporus sulphureus on the MushroomExpert.Com Web site.
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Leccinum aurantiacum   (Orange Oak Bolete)
Family
Boletaceae
Location
Europe, North America
Dimensions
Cap 5-10 cm diameter, stem 8-14 cm tall * 1.5-4.5 cm thick
Edibility

Description
Leccinum aurantiacum, also known as Orange Oak Bolete, is a large or massive bolete that has a bun-shaped reddish-orange fleshy cap, whitish pores and a scaly stem, which turns pink and then black throughout where cut or bruised. It grows solitary or in small scattered groups on soil specifically under aspen.

Cap bright orange skin, at first round like a ball, then ovate or bun-shaped. It is sticky when damp and has, just like Leccinum versipelle, a larger skin that hangs down or is tucked under the margin of the cap. Flesh creamy-white then vinaceous or sepia were cut. Thick and firm. Pores white or cream, darkening vinaceous where bruised, circular. very small. Spores are ochraceous-buff. Stem dirty white, covered with woolly scales in an irregular network, at first white then rust, stoutish, more or less equal or swollen towards the base. The mushroom has no ring.

Similar species The most similar species is Leccinum versipelle, which differing from Leccinum aurantiacum grows under birch trees.

Leccinum aurantiacum on the www.first-nature.com web site.
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Leccinum scabrum   (Brown Birch Bolete)
Family
Boletaceae
Location
North America, Europe
Dimensions
Cap 5-15 cm diameter, stem 6-15 cm tall * 1.5-3 cm diameter
Edibility

Description
Leccinum scabrum, also know as Brown Birch Bolete, is a medium to large bolete with a greyish brown to yellowish-brown fleshy cap and a white to grey stem covered with grey-black scales. It grows specifically with birch, often on damp ground.

Cap brown, with reddish or greyish tinges; convex or bun-shaped, at first finely downy, becoming smooth, somewhat scurfy when older. Flesh dirty white, unchanging, thick and firm. Pores dirty white or grayish brown, circular, small. Tubes same colour as pores, adnate. Spores are ocher-brown. Stem whitish, covered with grey-brown scales, more or less equal or tapering slightly upwards. The mushroom has no ring.

Similar species Distinguishing between Leccinum scabrum and its near relatives is difficult, and Leccinum scabrum is often used as a collective name for all brown capped Leccinum species like Leccinum variicolor.

Leccinum scabrum on the www.first-nature.com web site.
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Leccinum versipelle   (Orange Birch Bolete)
Family
Boletaceae
Location
Europe, parts of North America
Dimensions
Cap 8-20 cm diameter, stem 8-20 cm tall * 1.5-4 cm thick
Edibility

Description
Leccinum versipelle, also known as Orange Birch Bolete, is a large or massive bolete, that can weigh up to 1.5 kg and has a distinctive orange cap, greyish-yellow pores and a scaly stem. It grows solitary or in small scattered groups on soil specifically under birch trees and on heaths, sometimes together with Leccinum scabrum (the Brown Birch Bolete).

Cap clear orange or red-brown. Round to start with, then oval and finally convex. Grainy or smooth as dry, and sticky when damp. The orange cap skin hangs down over the margin. Pores are circular and small. They are at first whitish, then buff, darkening rust where bruised. Tubes are similarly coloured as the pores, wine-coloured where cut, and depressed. Spores are ocher-brown. Stem black tufts on a grey-white base that gets sparser with age and often thicker at the base. The mushroom has no ring.

Leccinum versipelle on the www.first-nature.com web site.
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Lycoperdon excipuliforme   (Pistle-shaped Puffball)
Family
Lycoperdaceae
Location
North America, Europe
Dimensions
3-10 cm diameter * 8-20 cm tall
Edibility

Description
Lycoperdon excipuliforme, also know as Pistle-shaped Puffball, is a pale buff or brown, pestle-shaped fungus that fruits most often singly or in very small groups in woodland habitats.

Fruiting body Covered with short spines and warts, the body falls away pallid buff becoming dull brown. When mature, the outer skin breaks open and brown spores are dispersed by wind and rain. When young and firm, the fruit bodies are fairly tasteless yet edible. Stem slightly tapering in at the base; spongy; surface soon becoming wrinkled; initially white with pointed warts, but later turning ochre and becoming smooth and leathery.

Similar species Calvatia elata is widespread and common in North America. Lycoperdon molle resembles a short-stemmed specimen.

Synonyms Handkea excipuliformis

Lycoperdon excipuliforme on the www.first-nature.com web site.
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Lycoperdon perlatum   (Common Puffball)
Family
Lycoperdaceae
Location
North America, Europe, South America
Dimensions
2.5-6 cm diameter * 2-9 cm tall
Edibility

Description
Lycoperdon perlatum, also known as Common Puffball, is a yellowish-brown pear or top-shaped fungus, typically with a distinct stem and covered with short spines, each surrounded by smaller, grainlike scales. It grows summer to fall, solitary to densely clustered on soil or humus in forests, along roads or trails or in open areas.

Fruiting body white, becoming ochre-brown, covered with short pyramidial warts which fall off to reveal endoperidium decorated with a reticulate pattern; sub-spherical opening by an apical pore, the fertile head tapering down into a distinct, sterile, basal region. Spore mass at first white and firm, becoming olive-brown and powdery. Spores are pale yellow to olive-brown.

Similar species Lycoperdon nigrescens has longer, darker spines in groups, like those of the much longer-spined Lycoperdon echinatum. The surface of both has a similar pattern when the spines fall off. The mushroom can also be confused with young deadly poisonous Amanita species. A good way to tell puffballs apart from its poisonous look-a-likes, is to cut the mushroom in half from top to bottom. The inside of edible puffball mushrooms should be pure white, like a marshmallow. No signs of gills or patterns.

Lycoperdon perlatum on the First Nature Web site.
Lycoperdon perlatum on the MushroomExpert.Com Web site.
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Lycoperdon pratense   (Meadow Puffball)
Family
Lycoperdaceae
Location
Europe, occasionally in North America
Dimensions
2-4 cm diameter * 2.5 cm tall
Edibility

Description
Lycoperdon pratense, also known as the Meadow Puffball, is a smallish white or pallid yellowish-brown elongated ovoid formed fungus. It grows typically in small troops on lawns and in other places with short grass.

Fruiting body An elongated ovoid form with a short sterile stem typically half the width of the fruitbody. The spore mass is at first white and firm, then olive brown and powdery. Stem swollen towards the base; colour as the fertile head but with shorter spines.

Similar species other Lycoperdon species. Can also be confused with young deadly poisonous Amanita species. A good way to tell puffballs apart from its poisonous look-a-likes, is to cut the mushroom in half from top to bottom. The inside of edible puffball mushrooms should be pure white, like a marshmallow. No signs of gills or patterns.

Warning other Lycoperdon species.

Lycoperdon pratense on the www.first-nature.com web site.
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Lycoperdon pyriforme   (Stump Puffball)
Family
Lycoperdaceae
Location
North America, Europe
Dimensions
1.5-4 cm diameter, 1-5 cm tall
Edibility

Description
Lycoperdon pyriforme, also known as Stump Puffball, is identified by its elongated pear shape, its smooth surface at maturity, white cords at the base, and its occurrence on woody substrates (other in genus grows on the ground).

Fruiting body often pear-shaped, but may also be nearly spherical. When very young covered in small white spines that typically fall off before maturity. Colour ranges from nearly white to yellowish brown with the darker shades developing with age. Spore mass at first white and firm, becoming olive-brown and powdery. Spores are olive-brown.

Similar species Found in open, wooded areas, Lycoperdon lividium is also smooth, but is grayer and has warty spores (those of Lycoperdon pyriforme are almost smooth).

Lycoperdon pyriforme on the First Nature Web site.
Lycoperdon pyriforme on the MushroomExpert.Com Web site.
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WARNING

If you plan to collect fungi to be eaten, misidentified mushrooms can make you sick or kill you. Never eat a mushroom that you are not 100% sure is edible. Use many resources, and be skeptical of your own conclusions. Please consider that many mushrooms take years of experience to identify reliably.

The site takes no responsibility for damage caused by ingesting poisonous mushrooms. If you continue, you agree to view this website under these terms.