There are various types of mushrooms that can grow in your yard, and it is important to know each species in your household, especially if you have kids and pets running around. In today’s article, we are going to discuss the most common yard mushrooms and their properties, so read on if you want to find out more.
Various types of mushrooms grow in our yards, especially during rainy seasons. Although most of them are harmless, there are types that can be downright deadly. This is why you should be aware of all species that might sprout in your backyard, and we are here to assist you in this endeavor. There is a lot to cover, so without further redo, let us get right into it.
1. Horse Mushroom – Agaricus Arvensis (Edible)
This is a very delicious mushroom and perhaps one of the best edible ones you can find around your yard. Sadly, this is a very uncommon specie, and when you find it, it is usually growing alone, not in groups like some of its poisonous lookalikes.
It is named horse mushroom since it fruits in pastures, but luckily for some urban gatherers, you can find them in yards and lawns as well. You will recognize this specie for its distinguished sweet smell.
2. Urban Mushroom – Agaricus Bitorquis (Edible)
This is one of the most common urban mushrooms (which you can guess by its name), and it can grow so strong to the point it is able to elevate asphalt. This is not the only part of its rough life, as it also prefers to grow on hard-packed soils.
It often cracks the ground without fully emerging into the view of people. Like most of the urban mushrooms, this specie is often a victim of “grassification,” meaning that it is unlikely that you will find it around parks and green soils.
3. Meadow Mushroom, Pink Bottom – Agaricus Campestris (Edible)
Meadow mushroom, or pink bottom as some gatherers call it, can generally be found in short grass, often in open lawns. In case the lawns on which you are searching for these mushrooms are sprayed with herbicides and fungicides, you can also find them under bushes or trees.
The meadow mushroom’s appearance actually resembles the common supermarket button mushroom, but of course, the wild ones are much tastier. Although this specie lacks the gastronomical complexity of horse mushrooms, it is very tasty, and it is best to cook it thoroughly.
4. Yellow Foot – Agaricus Xanthodermus (Poisonous)
The yellow foot is a poisonous mushroom that is easily recognizable by its foul stench, and this smell will only intensify with cooking. If you are wondering why someone would cook a poisonous mushroom, the answer is that it loosely resembles a common supermarket mushroom or perhaps because some people cannot smell it.
Anyway, if you make a mistake and eat this mushroom, you will experience a full range of horrible symptoms, including headaches, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. This is why you should closely observe this mushroom, and if you have problems with your sense of smell, find someone who can confirm that it is indeed a smelly yellow foot.
5. Spring Agrocybe – Agrocybe Praecox Group (Edible, but Not Worth It)
Spring Agrocybe is a mushroom that you can find on lawns and wood debris. It can grow between 3 and 9 cm in width, has uplifted edges, and its color gets tan to yellow-brown. Although this mushroom is edible, it does not have any specific taste, so pursuing it for cuisine addition is not worth it.
Unlike with some city mushrooms, you will not have to get on your hands and knees to find this one and identify it, as it is pretty distinctive and easily recognizable.
6. Destroying Angel, Death Angel – Amanita Bisporigera (Deadly Poisonous)
These mushrooms are spread across the united states, and there are a couple of variations, like stark white Amanitas, Amanita ocreata, Amanita volvata, Amanita verna, Amanita virosa, and Amanita bisporigera. It is possible that all of them are the same species, but more studies are required to be sure.
They do have one thing in common that is highly important to remember – they all have cyclopeptides which kill liver cells. Be on a high alert when picking puffballs to eat because these mushrooms, when they are young and before they expand, look like smooth white puffballs. One of the best ways to check this is to cut your puffballs to see if there is a mushroom forming inside. If that is the case, it could be this deadly species.
7. Death Cap – Amanita Phalloides (Deadly Poisonous)
This mushroom has the classic features of deadly Amanitas. There is a volva or sack at the base of the stem, a skirt-like ring around the stem, free white gills, and white spores. You should be careful when identifying this specie since the ring can disappear, and the volva is buried underground and can disintegrate.
The cap color varies, and at times you can recognize this mushroom by its pungent odor. At some times of the year, you can find plenty of these mushrooms in San Francisco, Bay Area. These are highly poisonous mushrooms, and when eaten by mistake, it takes between 10 and 14 hours for the effects to kick in.
Symptoms include severe vomiting, diarrhea, and cramps. There is a remission in between, then serious kidney and liver problems kick in. It is a deadly poisonous mushroom, and if not intervened on time, it can cause death in 5 to 10 days.
8. Yellow Bolbitius – Bolbitius Titubans (Edible But Too Flimsy)
This mushroom typically grows on heavily composted lawns, gardens, and parks. It has a cap that can be between two and six cm in width, and when the mushroom is young, it can have a bell-like shape.
As far as the color goes, it varies between yellow and greenish, and you can easily recognize it during wet weather since the cap will look slimy. They are edible, but they are too flimsy to actually get them to your house and start preparing, as they will wither quickly.
9. Western Giant Puffball – Calvatia Booniana (Edible When Young)
Among mushroom experts and enthusiasts, western giant puffballs are sometimes called “dinosaur eggs,” and judging by their looks, you may think they are. They can also resemble soccer balls in their size, but if you decide to kick them, they will either shatter if they are young, splat if they are middle-aged or release a cloud of dust if they are old.
These mushrooms are edible when they are young and pure white and firm inside. However, if you notice that the color inside has started to turn yellow and that it has mushy consistency, it means that it has reached its splat stage, and you should not eat it. When in the edible stage, they are very tasty and have a great meaty flavor.
10. Vomiter or Green-Spored Parasol – Chlorophyllum Molybdites (Poisonous)
Chlorophyllum molybdites is a mushroom that is one of the most common causes of mushroom poisoning in the United States. People often confuse this specie with a shaggy mane or a button mushroom, which leads to poisoning.
The symptoms are severe vomiting and malaise. If you are a city mushroom hunter, you have no choice but to learn your fungus, especially the ones that can be in urban locations. This species is one of the most common poisonous kinds, and it can be found growing mostly in the grass. It appears mostly during summer, and it fruits toward the end of the season when people start confusing it with a shaggy mane.
11. Shaggy Parasol – Chlorophyllum Rachodes (Edible)
Shaggy parasol is a mushroom that fruits in late summer, usually in transition to fall when it gets chilly outside. You can find it under trees or disturbed areas during this season. However, you should be very careful when picking it, as it resembles the vomiter, the mushroom we have just listed above.
While vomiter will leave you, well, vomiting for hours, the shaggy parasol is a delicious mushroom, especially when you cook it thoroughly. It is one of the better city edibles, and the flavor is often described as strong, earthy, and nutlike.
12. White Dunce Cap – Conocybe Lactea (Not Edible)
The white dunce cap is a truly special mushroom with a beautiful-looking cap. It has a cap that can grow between one and three centimeters, and the shape is narrowly conical, and in time, it becomes more bell-shaped with the cap edge flaring up slightly.
To find this mushroom, you would have to get out of bed early before the sun rises and heats up the grass. The reason for this is that it quickly dries up in the mid-morning, or the stem breaks under the weight of the cap.
13. Mica Cap – Coprinellus Micaceus (Edible)
The mica cap is a mushroom that is particularly prolific during spring days, and it often fruits on stumps or roots of dead trees. The roots are typically buried, so it may appear as if these mushrooms are growing on the grass.
Sadly, the dirt clings to them, and since they are so small and densely clustered, it can be really difficult to clean them. They are edible and can be prepared deliciously, so if you want to pick them for your meal, it is best to do so when they are easiest to deal with and best to eat – when they are young.
14. Alcohol Inky Cap – Coprinopsis Atramentaria (Edible but With Caution)
This mushroom is a truly interesting specimen, and it can be found in clusters on decaying wood, on lawns, on roadsides, and even at the base of live or dead trees. Although this is an edible species, there are some things you need to know before eating it.
The most important thing is that you do not consume alcohol for at least five days after eating this mushroom, as it can result in severe vomiting because it consists of toxin that interferes with your body’s ability to metabolize alcohol. Despite this, many people enjoy alcohol inky cap and claim that it is very delicious.
15. Shaggy Mane or Lawyer’s Wig – Coprinus Comatus (Edible)
A shaggy mane is a mushroom that is easily recognizable for its specific cap. However, when picking it, you will need to pay close attention to details, as this is species that is commonly confused with poisonous vomiter mushroom. You can find shaggy manes on lawns and roadsides, and they often grow in larger groups.
It is an edible mushroom, and it is best to pick it when it is young. Although it tends to lose its shape when cooked, it is cooking that brings the exquisite flavor of this species. Always look to collect clean specimens when the spores are still light. Another important thing to note is that shaggy mane cannot be stored raw for more than a few hours.
16. Bird’s Nest Fungus – Crucibulum Laeve (Too Small to Eat)
The bird’s nest fungus is one of the easiest mushrooms to identify once you realize what exactly you are looking at. These are very tiny mushrooms that look like eggs, and you can find them on woody debris. Even the best mushroom experts often overlook them, even if they grow in their gardens.
It is likely that wood or chips bearing these mushrooms came from the mountains. Like many other species, the bird’s nest fungus is far more common in the mountains, but there is a chance that you will find it in the city, right in your own yard. It is not clear whether or not this mushroom is edible, but in any case, it is too small for consumption anyway.
17. Velvet Foot or Winter Mushroom – Flammulina Velutipes (Edible)
The velvet foot is a mushroom that is commonly cultivated in Japan, but you can also find it in the United States in clusters of dead hardwood. Many Japanese believe that consuming this mushroom has various health benefits and that it prevents tumor formation and growth.
This species is called winter mushroom because it grows out of tree stumps during late fall, early winter, and early spring. The wild, urban variation of this mushroom looks completely different from the Japanese kind. It is also very important to be careful when picking this particular species, as it resembles galerina autumnails, which is poisonous and deadly.
18. Corn Silk Inocybe – Inocybe Fastigiata (Poisonous)
This mushroom is almost identical to dozens of other species of Inocybe. All of them are poisonous and can be recognized by the distinct central bulb, radial fibrils, and splitting edge. The underground portion of this mushroom exchanges nutrients with the roots of the tree where it grows, which benefits both organisms.
Overall, it is not the most exciting mushroom you can find, and although it is rare in the cities, you can find it on duff under trees. It contains the same poison as Clitocybe dealbata, which causes various problems, including excessive sweating.
19. Gem-Studded Puffball – Lycoperdon Perlatum (Edible)
Young gem-studded puffballs are edible species that have a roundish shape and are colored in solid white color. They range in size in size from a tiny penny to a basketball, and when they are older and begin to dry out, the white mass inside becomes white and powdery.
At this stage, if you squeeze them, this powder will “puff” on the top of the fungus, hence the name puffball. In addition, we should mention that gem-studded puffballs are edible, but only when they are firm and white inside.
20. Fairy Ring – Marasmius Oreades (Edible)
The fairy ring grows in the grass in semi-circles or circles, and it is probably the most common mushroom that grows in lawns in many areas. You can spot them easily as they break the uniform green appearance of a lawn because the grass around the mushrooms grows faster and is typically darker green.
Dry variations of this mushroom will rehydrate after rain, making it appear as if they have sprouted shortly after the clouds break. These are also edible and can be prepared in a wide variety of delicious meals when cooked properly.
Having proper knowledge about mushrooms in your yard and surroundings bears huge significance, especially if you have pets and children running around and exploring. We hope you found sufficient information about the species that grow in your backyard in our article.
Although our list has twenty entries, there are plenty more that you can find within your household or nearby parks. If you like to eat mushrooms and want to go collecting, make sure to arm yourself with knowledge because some edible species can look fairly similar to poisonous ones to an untrained eye.