Mushrooms in my yard

Asked December 28, 2020, 5:34 PM EST

Found an unusual mushroom (at least I think it is) in our yard. It’s mainly in grassy areas and some in just plantings. It’s really dense and firmly into the ground. Know what it might be and any advice? Thank you.

Multnomah County Oregon

1 Response


Thank you for reaching out to Extension Services, unfortunately, we don't have any experts in our system that can ID mushrooms - our Master Gardener programs also are not able to ID mushrooms. We generally recommend that you contact a local mycological society. In your area, your statewide Mycological Society has resources for identification, you can find them here, scroll down to Guidebooks and Eating Wild Mushrooms

Like Extension, The Oregon Mycological Society doesn’t identify mushrooms for the public via email or its website. (It’s too easy to get wrong from just photos, and there are liability issues.) You may be able to get help by posting photos on web sites like:
Facebook Pacific Northwest Mushroom Identification Forum
Mushroom Observer
(Neither OMS nor Extension are associated with these sites. The identifications they offer may be inaccurate.)

Fungi can grow on decomposing organic matter like roots or tree stumps left in a lawn after the tree is removed. Fungi that decompose organic matter like old wood are most likely harmless to grass, but if you have kids or pets playing on the grass you may wish to remove the mushrooms since some mushrooms may be toxic if eaten. The University of California has some suggestions for fungi that are growing from organic matter:

"Mushrooms found in lawns often develop from buried scraps of construction lumber, dead tree roots, or other organic matter. The fungi that produce these mushrooms are beneficial, because they decompose organic matter in the soil, making nutrients available to other plants. These mushrooms are usually harmless to grasses, but some people consider them unsightly or want to get rid of them because young children play in the area. Remove mushrooms growing from buried wood or roots by picking the mushrooms as they appear or by digging out the wood.

Sometimes you can eliminate mushrooms growing from organic matter or hasten decomposition of organic matter by applying nitrogen fertilizer at a rate of 1 pound of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn. The nitrogen should be readily available and not a slow-release or water-insoluble formulation. Examples include 5 pounds of ammonium sulfate (21-0-0) or special lawn fertilizers such as 6 pounds of 16-6-8 or 4 pounds of 27-3-4 per 1,000 square feet of lawn. Fertilization hastens decomposition of organic matter."

I hope that suggestion helps you decide if you need to remove these fungi and if so what steps to take. Please reach out if we can help you further.