Would like info on identifying wild mushrooms

Asked August 4, 2020, 12:37 PM EDT

Would like info on identifying wild mushrooms

Medina County Ohio

1 Response

To identify wild mushrooms, you will need to become familiar with different mushroom characteristics and growth patterns. Is the cap smooth, warty, sticky, growing around vegetation? Is the stem wider around the base? If you pinch the mushroom, what color does the tissue turn (example: yellow to blue)? If you cut into it, does it produce a milky latex like substance? What color is the spore print? These are just a few of the common questions identification keys will use. Try going on a fungal foray hosted by the Ohio Mushroom Society or colleges and universities when they are available. You can also go exploring with someone who has experience searching for mushrooms - these are great ways to get an idea of what conditions and times of year are best to find certain species if you are new to wild mushrooms.

Some good field guides and keys for this area of the US include:

Mushrooms of Northeast North America: Midwest to New England by George Barron

Mushrooms Demystified by David Arora (one of the more complete publications; good to use if you are familiar with use of identification keys; this is an older publication - verify with another field guide to verify mushroom species)

MushroomExpert.com - this is a good resource for those curious about mushrooms in general; does not make recommendations for edible species

Mushrooms of the Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada by Timothy Baroni

Wild Mushroom Fact Sheet: https://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/plpath-gen-11

OSU has a regional mushroom field guide you can use to identify common mushrooms of OH - Keep in mind it doesn't include all mushroom types found here (most, if not all, field guides won't be a complete listing of species): https://extensionpubs.osu.edu/mushrooms-and-macrofungi-of-ohio-and-the-midwestern-states-a-resource-handbook/.