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In addition to its use as a food, Maitake has been researched extensively for its medicinal properties, specifically in the areas of cancer and diabetes. Maitake, with few look-alikes, is certainly one of the safest mushrooms to harvest. Look for this gem under oak trees and make sure you circle the tree … you may be pleasantly surprised to find a second or third , late summer through autumn.

To learn more about the Maitake mushroom, I encourage you to check out this video I created on its identification, health benefits, and more! Oyster mushrooms are popular amongst both mushroom hunters and cultivators. To positively identify Oysters, one only needs to visit a grocery store and observe these mushrooms in bins or clamshells. Oyster mushrooms are edible fungi that grow in overlapping clusters on wood… usually on hardwood logs, stumps, and standing dead trees.

Rarely will you see this particular species, Pleurotus ostreatus , decomposing conifer wood… though it is possible.

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While many Oyster mushroom species are white, Pleurotus ostreatus can be cream-colored and even grayish-brownish in color. The underside contains whitish gills that become yellowish in age. A key feature of Pleurotus ostreatus is that its gills are decurrent; in other words, the gills run the complete length of the cap and down the stalk. To learn more about oyster mushrooms, check out this video in which I discuss identification, medicinal benefits, and more.

Morels genus Morchella are among the most prized of all wild mushrooms. Every year, countless mycophiles scour the woods in search of these tasty, elusive fungi. Depending on where you live, you might see Black Morels in March. These mushrooms grow terestrially underneath a variety of trees, including ash, sycamore, aspen, and coniferous trees, and are most commonly found in Northern and Western North America though they certainly do grow in Eastern North America. Disturbed areas are good places to look, including campgrounds, along roads, and in logged areas.

Black Morels can be found in burned areas as well, especially 1 to 2 years after the occurrence of a forest fire. Additionally, wetland areas can be conducive to Black Morel mushroom fruitings, especially in lowlands containing sycamore and cottonwood trees. They grow near a variety of hardwood trees, including tulip poplar, ash, and dead or dying elm trees. Older apple orchards are also good places to look. Of course, these are generalizations for both groups. Yellow Morels grow in burned areas, too. Black Morels may be found under tulip poplar trees. I have simply narrowed down the descriptions to what is most commonly observed.

There will always be outliers. False morels of the genus Gyromitra tend to retain a darker shade of red and have a wrinkled, brain-like, or convoluted cap. A few mushrooms in the Gyromitra genus are known to be toxic to a degree. Thimble morels Verpa spp. For more information on finding and identifying morel mushrooms, check out a very detailed article on this blog: How To Find And Identify Morel Mushrooms.

If I had to include additional easy-to-identify mushrooms, I would extend this list to boletes, chanterelles, puffballs, and shaggy manes. The ones that made the final cut, however, are those that I have found to be the easiest to identify. I hardly need to think twice before bringing these delectable fungi home. The mushrooms that earned their ranking are also the ones that, when taught to other beginning mushroom hunters, are identified with confidence and ease. If you are just starting on the road to becoming an ardent mushroom hunter, use this list as a guide for helping you along your journey.

Remember, however, that the descriptions here are not complete and are only meant to briefly discern the listed mushrooms from their potential look-alikes. A good habit actually, an extremely wise habit is to cross-reference your mushrooms with other resources, and always be absolutely positive with your identification before ingesting wild mushrooms in any form. Your safest bet is to have an expert identify, or confirm the identification of, your specimens.

A quick online search will yield local mycologists as well as online forums to assist in the identification process. To receive information from Adam Haritan on wild plant and mushroom identification, please enter your name and email address below. Thank you! Reblogged this on 2 Boys 1 Homestead and commented: Great one for all you foragers out there!! Reblogged this on The Artsy Gingers and commented: This could be so helpful in the coming year!

Good info! Just bought some plugs to grow the chicken mushrooms. Wish me luck! Also, just found about 30lbs of Maitakes. West Central Indiana. Looks great!

Lifeform of the week: Brain mushroom

Congrats on the great maitake find, and let me know how the chicken mushrooms turn out! I found a couple of different mushrooms but I do not know how to send the picture. Please let me know how I can send these pic to you. Checking out your mushroom link. I noticed your pic of an edible yellow morel looks to be a non edible false morel. Let me know, this could be bad. I live in Sweden, was born and grown in Finland, so we have a bit different mushrooms here. The edible ones are pretty easy to recognize. And there are no poisonous brittlegills at all.

Now, milkcaps and brittlegills are typically Finnish food mushrooms — probably also used in Eastern Europe, where they grow — but not in Sweden. I am a newbie at the mushroom hunting, but it is so fascinating.

Hi I pick about lbs of hen of the woods every year. We recently had a lot of rain. I have never picked in August so am leery. What do you think? I can attach a foto if possible. Hi Adam i just want you to see my hunt of wild mashrooms i got the redish nice look mashrooms pleade could u help me are they ok to eat. This is my first time to hunt. Adam, I am looking at a mushroom I pulled form my backyard. The rest has the color of a button mushroom with a slight caramel.

Reishis are not supposed to be out until December and this is summer. Adam, thank you SO much for everything you are doing here. Your depth of knowledge and the information you share about mushroom edibility as well as medicinal effects is among the very best I have seen. Also, I just found the first honey mushrooms of the season growing here in central Massachusetts.

Today is a great day! Thank you for the information. I have a single photo of what I suspect to be Oyster mushroom. How worried shall I be about mis-identifying it? Would Aborted Entolomas be considered an easy-to-identify edible? Are there any toxic look alikes? Do shrimps vary greatly within a flush? I live in Wisconsin and I have a ring of mushrooms growing in my backyard.

They often bury gold! Identifying the type of mushroom can help determine which troll buried it. Can I send you pictures and relevant data on the mushrooms I find in nearby woods-western Massachusetts? Do you have email I could send pics. I have been reading your posts and read a couple books on mushrooming.


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I would like to send you pix so you can opine as to whether these look safe to clean and cook. I have some fungus growing on a well shaded hackberry stump. Older leaves are Ruffled and leathery. How do I know? Hi, reading your post has good info, but the pictures are not there. Could you repost them. Amazing post, the medicinal benefits of mushroom it greatly underestimated or hidden. I bought a book but its a minefield sorting through the deadly one and edible, my confidence was very low.

These one appear easy to identify, so lets give it a go. I wish there was a local group here in the UK like yours, it sounds great; may be and can rattle up some interest and get one going. Today I was out harvesting and I found what looks like a maitake but it was not attached to a tree or anything, it was kind of interaction open space. Your morel picture is not a very good specimen, at all. Do you have a more accurate depiction? It would be alarming if people were mis-identifying morels based on your photo.

The morel mushroom featured is Morchella diminutiva… a small variety within the esculenta clade. Thanks for checking. Really appreciate the info! Would love to hear this. Thanks, Emma! I am new to foraging and still in the identification process for most things. This mushroom is about 16 inches in diameter and weighs about pounds. Now I have a third safe one to add to the list! Matthew — Thanks for sharing your great story!

Indeed, the more I try to understand mushrooms, the more they surprise me and remain mysterious! Do you cultivate the oysters commercially? That is a lot of totems! Where are you located? What type of log species are you using? They actually seem to prefer wood that has already been partly rotted by another species. Also, they fruit on similar species of wood to oysters, including poplar, birch, and beech. I agree though — there is a great irony in how hard we must try to cultivate mushrooms under controlled conditions, only for nature to effortlessly produce huge spontaneous flushes!

Who knows how it got there? I brought a small sample home to identify and perhaps eat for dinner. I may go back tomorrow to get another clump of it which was about the size of my head! Still leaving 3 smaller, hand-sized clumps. Furthermore, yummm! It is one of the safest edible mushrooms, and it also happens to be delicious! This year after reading more information, I am more confident and would like to harvest it for consumption.

Thank you in advance. If it is fruiting inside the hollow oak tree, this means the wood is already colonized. You can harvest the whole thing and it should still come back next year and every year thereafter until it eats all the wood. However, if you leave some, there is a greater likelihood that its spores might get carried to another tree nearby. I am curious if anyone has been successful at continuous cultivation of lions mane mushrooms to make it a viable commercial business venture. I would recommend contacting Dr.

Ken Mudge in the Dpt. Found my first lions mane this afternoon, one huge handful. Most was covered in debris, but I managed to clean one piece enough to enjoy as my first time actually cooking wild mushrooms by myself. I was amazed by the flavor when just frying with oil, butter and a little garlic. Thanks for the great post. Allowed me to have the confidence boost to cook and eat this one on my own. This has been a funny year for weather and we have been getting yellow oysters on a pretty regular basis all summer, after every rain. On the down side we have only been getting yellows.

I am keeping my eye on them to see how large they will get. Hey Matthew, It has been a funny weather year indeed! I took a paper grocery bag full, and there was still quite a lot left! I love shrooms in the Fall! I became a mushroom forager about a year ago. On three different occasions, I found the remains of one and finally this afternoon, spotted a nice, fresh specimen growing on an old log. It was about the size of a softball. I sauteed it with butter and garlic. I was ecstatic to sit down to eat the 8 to 9 large slices, which where nicely toasted and I am pretty sure, perfectly done.

The slices looked, for all the world, like slices of browned scallops. They tasted not so different from a common puffball or perhaps, oyster mushrooms. Next one I find, I will sell rather than eat it, now that my own curiosity is satisfied. Still…the search has been fun! I find it excellent, though not nearly as good as black trumpets, morels, maitake, porcini, matsutake, etc. I would give it another try some time, since specimens can vary slightly in flavor depending on species and substrate.

For example, I like H. Just fount two lions head on a walnut tree. The larger one is kind of pinkish. Is that alright for eating? Susan, Pinkish tone usually just means the specimen is young and fresh see last photo in article. It also could mean it is slightly forst-bitten.

After reading what I saw here I had to go fry it up and taste it.

I had to know if it tasted like seafood, it really does. There is a recipe in my MO Conservation Wild Mushroom book that has a Hericium salad recipe were you parboil the bearded tooth for 10 mins with some lemon juice and then add your salad ingredients, claims it tastes like crab salad.

After sauteing some in butter and then eating I have to go tomorrow and see if I can find some more! I know the exact area I found them. We had terrible storms come through here in the spring. Will they most likely come up on some of our other down trees, especially in that general area?

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We are big morel hunters and found over earlier this year in less then 4 hours! All were found in cedar groves. Still awaiting some chicken or hen of the woods, have yet to discover any… Happy hunting to all!!! Scott, Wow — morels is impressive! I have never found them under cedar; good to know.

Happy hunting! It was the first time we had ever found them in cedars as well. I had heard on some locals on some web sites saying that people were finding them in cedars so we decided to look. With nothing growing under them they stand out like a sore thumb! It was truly surreal seeing them so easily and not have to hunt them, we picked them instead. Scott, sounds surreal indeed — thanks for the tip!

Jamie, Feel free to post a photo to our FB wall. There is a photo of a young one — often pinkish and with shorter teeth — in this article see above. I found a nice comb tooth growing out of a locust tree a deer camp we use for hanging deer in southern ohio this past weekend cant wait to try the butter and garlic method!

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It is considered a secondary decomposer. Awe Crud! I have now figured out that I left a delightful tasty mushroom to go to waste! I found one on a locust as while squirrel hunting. I definitely will be looking next year to see if it is back, and if it decided to grow on the surrounding trees.

Thank you mushroom forager! Definitely check back on it — now you have a spot! It looks odd indeed, but tastes delicious! I posted a picture of a mushroom I found growing on a dead oak tree in our wooded area on my facebook page. I have been told it is a Lions Mane. Would you mind looking at it and verify that is what it is? I would like to taste it but I have absolutely no knowledge of mushrooms except they can be poisonous. My facebook is Karon Sutton Fort. I live in Nashville, GA I noticed it for the first time last year and would like to ensure it coming back each year.

5 Easy-To-Identify Edible Mushrooms For The Beginning Mushroom Hunter | Wild Foodism

How do I do that? Wondering if Lions Mane grows in my area ,, mountains of North Carolina at 4, feet ,, and if so what time of year to they appear. Thanks , Robin. Thank you so much , will look for them. We are in a temperate rain forest here with tons of mushrooms. Having a problem not knowing just when to look for various species. Yet to find a guide specific to this area. Will keep looking. Thanks again! Sherry, I would saute in butter and then freeze. I have a very large lions mane out back of my house and so very excited to try it for the first time!!

Hericium species are my favorite gourmet mushroom, also a top lister for medicinal properties! This year I started log production of H.