Three Edible Wild Mushrooms (And 5 to Keep away from)

All through historical past, folks around the globe have foraged wild mushrooms for meals.

Gathering wild mushrooms will also be an especially rewarding and attention-grabbing interest. Nonetheless, those that do it should proceed with the utmost warning.

Although many wild mushrooms are extremely nutritious, scrumptious, and secure to eat, others pose a critical danger to your well being and might even trigger demise if ingested.

Because of this, it’s essential to solely hunt mushrooms with somebody who’s extremely skilled at figuring out each edible and toxic mushrooms.

This text lists Three edible wild mushrooms, in addition to 5 toxic mushrooms to keep away from.

Grifola frondosa, generally generally known as hen-of-the-woods or maitake, is an edible mushroom that’s a favourite of mushroom hunters.


Hen-of-the-woods is a polypore — a kind of fungus that has small pores overlaying its underside.

They develop on the bases of timber in shelf-like clusters, favoring hardwoods like oak. These clusters resemble the tail feathers of a sitting hen — therefore the title “hen-of-the-woods.” A number of hen-of-the-woods might develop on a single tree (1).

This mushroom is native to China but in addition grows in Japan and North America, particularly the northeastern United States. It’s a perennial mushroom and infrequently grows in the identical spot for a few years.


Hen-of-the-woods are grayish-brown in shade, whereas the underside of the caps and branch-like stalk are white, although coloring can range.

These mushrooms are mostly discovered within the fall, however they are often discovered much less incessantly in the summertime months as nicely (2).

Hen-of-the-woods can develop fairly massive. Some mushroom hunters have scored large mushrooms weighing as much as 50 kilos (about 23 kg), however most weigh 3–15 kilos (1.5–7 kg) (3).

A useful clue when figuring out hen-of-the-woods is that it doesn’t have gills, and the underside of its cap has tiny pores, that are smallest on the edges.

Don’t eat older specimens which are orange or reddish in shade, as they might be contaminated with micro organism or mould.

Hen-of-the-woods is usually favored by newbie mushroom hunters. It’s distinctive and doesn’t have many harmful look-alikes, making it a secure choice for novices.


Hen-of-the-woods are fairly nutritious and significantly excessive within the B nutritional vitamins folate, niacin (B3), and riboflavin (B2), all of that are concerned in power metabolism and mobile development (4, 5).

This mushroom additionally comprises highly effective health-promoting compounds, together with advanced carbohydrates referred to as glucans.

Glucans remoted from hen-of-the-woods have been proven to have immune-boosting properties in animal research (6).

What’s extra, analysis exhibits that these mushrooms might have anticancer, cholesterol-reducing, and anti inflammatory properties (7, 8, 9).

Hen-of-the-woods have a savory, wealthy taste and are scrumptious when added to stir-fries, sautées, grain dishes, and soups.

Abstract In style amongst novice mushroom hunters, hen-of-the-woods are generally discovered rising on the base of an oak tree. They’re grayish-brown in shade and resemble the ruffled tail feathers of a sitting hen.

The oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) is a scrumptious edible mushroom that resembles an oyster in form and is often wanted by mushroom hunters.


Oyster mushrooms develop in forests around the globe, together with all through North America.

These mushrooms develop on useless or dying hardwood timber like beech and oak timber. They will generally be discovered rising on fallen branches and useless stumps (10).

Oyster mushrooms decompose decaying wooden and launch vitamins into the soil, recycling vitamins for use by different crops and organisms in forest ecosystems (10).

They are often discovered throughout the spring and fall months within the Northern United States and year-round in hotter climates.


Oyster mushrooms develop in clusters resembling cabinets on useless or dying hardwood timber.

Relying on the time of 12 months, the tops of the oyster-shaped caps of those mushrooms can vary from white to brownish-gray and are sometimes 2–eight inches (5–20 cm) broad (10).

The undersides of the caps are lined with tightly spaced gills that run down the stubby, generally nonexistent, stem and are white or tan in shade.

Oyster mushrooms can develop in massive numbers, and many alternative clusters might be discovered on the identical tree.


Oyster mushrooms have thick, white, mild-tasting flesh that comprises quite a lot of vitamins. They’re significantly excessive in B nutritional vitamins, together with niacin (B3) and riboflavin (B2), in addition to the minerals potassium, copper, iron, and zinc (11, 12).

In addition they include highly effective anti-inflammatory plant compounds, together with triterpenoids, glycoproteins, and lectins, which can provide some safety in opposition to power illness (12).

For instance, test-tube analysis exhibits that oyster mushrooms have properties that assist battle prostate, colon, and breast most cancers cells. Nonetheless, human research are missing (13, 14).

Oyster mushrooms are glorious sautéed with onions and garlic as a aspect dish. You may also add them to soups, pastas, and meat dishes.

Abstract Oyster mushrooms might be discovered on useless or dying hardwood timber around the globe. They’ve a light style and include an abundance of vitamins.

Share on Pinterest

The sulphur shelf (Laetiporus sulphureus) mushroom is also called chicken-of-the-woods or hen mushroom. It’s a brilliant orange or yellow mushroom with a singular, meaty taste.


Sulphur shelf mushrooms develop on hardwood timber in North America and Europe. They’re broadly distributed east of the Rocky Mountains in america (15).

These mushrooms can both act as parasites on dwelling or dying timber, or derive vitamins from useless timber, reminiscent of rotting tree stumps.

Sulphur shelf mushrooms develop on timber in shelf-like clusters. They’re generally discovered on massive oak timber and sometimes harvested throughout the summer season and fall months.

It ought to be famous that sulphur shelf look-alike Laetiporus species exist. They develop on conifer timber ought to be prevented, as they will trigger extreme allergic reactions in some folks (16).


Sulphur shelf mushrooms are sometimes orange or yellow in shade and develop in overlapping shelf-like clusters on hardwoods, reminiscent of oak, willow, and chestnut.

The caps of the mushroom are fan-like or semicircular in form and sometimes 2–12 inches (5–30 cm) throughout and as much as eight inches (20 cm) deep. The sulphur shelf doesn’t have gills, and the underside of the caps is roofed with tiny pores (15).

This mushroom has a easy, suede-like texture and yellow-orange shade, which fades to a uninteresting white when the mushroom is previous maturity.

Many sulphur shelf mushrooms might develop on a single tree, with particular person mushrooms rising heavier than 50 kilos (23 kg) (15).


Like most mushrooms, sulphur shelf mushrooms are low in energy and provide a great quantity of vitamins, together with fiber, vitamin C, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, and magnesium (17).

Sulphur shelf mushrooms additionally include plant compounds, together with polysaccharides, eburicoic acid, and cinnamic acid. They’ve been proven to have antifungal, tumor-inhibiting, and antioxidant properties in test-tube and animal research (18, 19, 20, 21).

Sulphur shelf mushrooms ought to be eaten cooked ⁠— not uncooked. You may convey out their meaty texture and hearty taste by sautéing them with butter, including them to vegetable dishes, or mixing them into omelets.

Abstract The brightly coloured sulphur shelf mushroom grows on hardwood timber like oaks and has a meaty texture and pleasing taste when cooked. Don’t confuse it with a look-alike species that grows on conifers.

Although many wild mushrooms might be loved safely, others pose a menace to your well being.

By no means eat the next mushrooms:

  1. Dying cap (Amanita phalloides). Dying caps are among the many most toxic of all mushrooms and accountable for almost all of mushroom-related deaths worldwide. They develop in lots of nations around the globe (22).
  2. Conocybe filaris. This mushroom grows in Europe, Asia, and North America and comprises the identical toxins because the demise cap. It has a easy, cone-like cap that’s brownish in shade. They’re extremely poisonous and might be deadly if ingested (23).
  3. Autumn skullcap (Galerina marginata). Also called the “deadly Galerina,” autumn skullcaps are among the many most toxic of mushrooms. They’ve small, brown caps and develop on rotting wooden (24).
  4. Dying angel (Amanita ocreata). Associated to the demise cap, the demise angel grows alongside the West Coast of america. This mushroom is usually white and might trigger extreme sickness and demise if eaten (25).
  5. False morels (Gyromitra esculenta and Gyromitra infula). These resemble edible true morels, making them particularly harmful. In contrast to true morels, they don’t seem to be utterly hole when reduce (26).

Along with the mushrooms listed above, many extra varieties of toxic mushrooms exist.

In case you are ever not sure whether or not a wild mushroom is edible, don’t eat it. Some mushrooms could cause extreme illness and even demise.

A preferred saying amongst mushroom hunters is, “There are old mushroom hunters, and there are bold mushroom hunters. There are no old, bold mushroom hunters!”

Abstract There are a lot of varieties of toxic wild mushrooms that ought to be prevented. By no means eat a mushroom that you just aren’t utterly positive is edible.

On your security, it’s essential that you just solely hunt mushrooms if you’re skilled in figuring out edible varieties.

For those who’re considering mushroom looking, join a category taught by a mushroom knowledgeable to learn to correctly establish secure varieties. Lessons are provided via schools, universities, and mycology golf equipment, such because the North American Mycological Affiliation.

It ought to be famous that it’s a foul thought to eat wild edible mushrooms that develop in city settings, alongside busy highways, or in areas the place pesticide publicity is probably going. Fungi soak up pollution like automobile exhaust and chemical compounds from the surroundings (27).

When foraging for mushrooms, all the time convey alongside a mushroom looking information that features edible mushrooms that develop in your space. It should allow you to correctly establish secure varieties.

All the time keep away from selecting edible mushrooms which are previous their prime. Indicators {that a} mushroom shouldn’t be picked embrace decaying flesh, insect infestation, or a rancid scent.

While you’re mushroom looking, convey alongside both a basket, mesh bag, paper bag, or small backpack to retailer your haul, together with a small knife to reap mushrooms.

Cleansing and storage

Recommendation concerning whether or not to scrub wild mushrooms by operating them below cool water and eradicating extra grime with a comfortable brush varies.

Some consultants insist that washing mushrooms previous to storage results in faster spoilage, whereas some foraging lovers advocate cleansing mushrooms earlier than refrigerating them.

No matter whether or not you clear your mushrooms earlier than storing them, preserve them in a container with good airflow, reminiscent of a paper bag. Don’t retailer mushrooms in plastic baggage or tightly sealed containers.

Recent, wild mushrooms ought to final a couple of days within the fridge. They will also be frozen or dried, which may considerably enhance their shelf life.

Abstract Solely hunt mushrooms if you’re correctly skilled in figuring out edible varieties. Keep away from mushrooms that develop in polluted environments or are previous their prime. Recent, wild mushrooms might be refrigerated, frozen, or dried.

Hen-of-the-woods, oyster, and sulphur shelf mushrooms are secure, scrumptious, and nutritious wild varieties prized by mushroom hunters.

Whereas these and plenty of different mushrooms are secure to eat, consuming varieties just like the demise cap, false morels, and Conocybe filaris could cause critical opposed well being results and even demise.

Foraging for wild mushrooms could be a enjoyable and rewarding interest. Nonetheless, novice mushroom hunters ought to pair up with consultants who’re skilled in mushroom identification to allow them to learn to establish and deal with mushrooms correctly.

Source link

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.