20+ Mushrooms for Forage in Fall

20+ Mushrooms for Forage in Fall

# 20+ Mushrooms for Forage in Fall

**Fall is a great time to go foraging for mushrooms**. The cool and damp weather creates the perfect conditions for mushrooms to thrive, making it an ideal time for mushroom enthusiasts to head out into the woods. But before you go on your mushroom hunt, it’s important to have some knowledge about which mushrooms are safe to eat and which ones are best left alone. In this article, we will explore over 20 different types of mushrooms that you can forage for in the fall. So grab your mushroom basket and let’s get started!

## 1. **Chanterelles (Cantharellus cibarius)**

Known for their beautiful golden color and fruity aroma, chanterelles are a popular choice among mushroom hunters. They can be found in both deciduous and coniferous forests, typically near mossy logs or in leaf litter. Chanterelles have a mild and slightly peppery flavor that pairs well with a variety of dishes.

## 2. **Porcini (Boletus edulis)**

Porcini mushrooms are a highly prized edible mushroom that can be found in both Europe and North America. They have a distinctive appearance with a meaty texture and a rich, nutty flavor. Porcini mushrooms grow near conifers, especially pine trees, and are commonly found in the fall.

## 3. **Honey Mushrooms (Armillaria mellea)**

Honey mushrooms are a type of edible mushroom that grows on decaying wood, particularly hardwoods like oaks and maples. They have a honey-colored cap and a slightly sweet taste. Honey mushrooms can be found in large clusters, making them easy to spot when foraging in the fall.

## 4. **Lobster Mushrooms (Hypomyces lactifluorum)**

Lobster mushrooms are not actually a species of mushroom but rather a parasitic fungus that grows on other mushrooms, particularly Russula and Lactarius species. They have a vibrant orange-red color and a seafood-like flavor, hence their name. Lobster mushrooms can be found in the fall, often hidden among the fallen leaves.

## 5. **Hen of the Woods (Grifola frondosa)**

Also known as maitake mushrooms, the hen of the woods is a large, fan-shaped mushroom that can be found growing at the base of trees, particularly oaks. They have a distinct frilly appearance and a rich, earthy flavor. Hen of the woods mushrooms are highly sought after for their culinary uses.

## 6. **Cauliflower Mushroom (Sparassis crispa)**

The cauliflower mushroom gets its name from its striking resemblance to a head of cauliflower. It has a creamy white color and a delicate, yet firm, texture. Cauliflower mushrooms grow in clusters at the base of trees, typically in the fall. They have a mild, nutty flavor that pairs well with various dishes.

## 7. **Morel Mushrooms (Morchella spp.)**

Morel mushrooms are a delicacy among mushroom hunters. They have a distinctive appearance with their honeycomb-like cap and hollow stem. Morels can be found in a variety of habitats, including woodlands and grassy areas. They have a rich, earthy flavor and are highly prized for their culinary uses.

## 8. **Chicken of the Woods (Laetiporus sulphureus)**

Chicken of the Woods is a bright orange mushroom that grows on the trunks and stumps of hardwood trees. It has a texture that resembles cooked chicken and a mild, slightly lemony flavor. Chicken of the Woods mushrooms are best harvested when they are young and tender.

## 9. **Black Trumpet (Craterellus cornucopioides)**

Black trumpet mushrooms are known for their unique shape, resembling a funnel or a trumpet. They have a rich, smoky flavor and a fragrant aroma. Black trumpet mushrooms can be found in both coniferous and deciduous forests, often growing in mossy areas. They are highly valued for their culinary uses.

## 10. **Blewit (Lepista nuda)**

Blewit mushrooms have a lilac to purple cap and a mild, nutty flavor. They can be found in both woodlands and grassy areas, usually in the fall. Blewits are considered a gourmet mushroom and are often used in various culinary dishes.

## 11. **Puffball Mushrooms (Calvatia spp.)**

Puffball mushrooms are a group of mushrooms that produce spores inside their fruiting bodies. They can vary in size, with some growing as small as a golf ball and others reaching the size of a soccer ball. Puffballs are edible when they are young and pure white inside. As they age, they turn brown and release spores when gently tapped.

## 12. **Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus)**

Lion’s Mane mushrooms are named after their distinctive appearance, which resembles the mane of a lion. They have a soft, delicate texture and a seafood-like flavor. Lion’s Mane mushrooms can be found growing on hardwood trees, such as oaks and maples, in the fall.

## 13. **Oyster Mushrooms (Pleurotus spp.)**

Oyster mushrooms are one of the most common types of mushrooms found in the wild. They have a fan-shaped cap and a delicate flavor. Oyster mushrooms can be found growing on dead or dying trees, especially hardwoods, in the fall. They are often used in stir-fries, soups, and other dishes.

## 14. **Shaggy Mane (Coprinus comatus)**

Shaggy Mane mushrooms are easily recognized by their shaggy appearance and tall, slender stems. They have a delicate taste and a crunchy texture. Shaggy Mane mushrooms can often be found growing near lawns, road edges, and disturbed areas in the fall.

## 15. **Candy Cap (Lactarius fragilis)**

Candy Cap mushrooms are highly sought after for their unique maple syrup-like taste and aroma. They can be found growing in coniferous forests, particularly under Douglas fir trees. Candy Cap mushrooms are often used to flavor desserts, ice creams, and other sweet treats.

## 16. **Birch Polypore (Piptoporus betulinus)**

Birch polypore mushrooms are large, flat mushrooms that grow on the trunk of birch trees. They have a woody texture and a slightly bitter taste. Birch polypore mushrooms have been used for centuries in traditional medicine for their various health benefits.

## 17. **Chestnut Bolete (Gyroporus castaneus)**

Chestnut bolete mushrooms are characterized by their brown cap and their association with chestnut trees. They have a mild, nutty flavor and a firm texture. Chestnut bolete mushrooms can be found growing near chestnut trees in the fall.

## 18. **Smooth Chanterelle (Cantharellus lateritius)**

Smooth chanterelles are similar in appearance to golden chanterelles but have a smooth cap instead of a ridged one. They have a fruity aroma and a mild, peppery flavor. Smooth chanterelles can be found in deciduous forests, often near mossy logs or in leaf litter.

## 19. **Velvet Foot (Flammulina velutipes)**

Velvet foot mushrooms, also known as winter mushrooms, have a velvety, brownish cap and a slender stem. They have a mild flavor and a slightly crunchy texture. Velvet foot mushrooms can be found growing on decaying logs and stumps in the fall and winter seasons.

## 20. **Giant Puffball (Calvatia gigantea)**

Giant puffball mushrooms are one of the largest mushrooms you can find in the wild. They can grow up to the size of a basketball and have a pure white interior. Giant puffballs are edible only when young and pure white inside. As they age, they become bitter and inedible.

## Conclusion

Foraging for mushrooms can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience, but it’s important to remember that not all mushrooms are safe to eat. Always consult a mushroom guidebook or an experienced forager before consuming any wild mushrooms. Use caution and make sure to properly identify each mushroom you find. With the right knowledge, you can safely enjoy the delicious flavors and unique textures that fall mushrooms have to offer.

**My 2 Cents:** Remember, foraging for mushrooms can be a fun and exciting activity, but it’s essential to have a good understanding of the mushrooms you are collecting. If you’re a beginner, start by familiarizing yourself with a few common edible mushrooms and learn to identify them correctly. It’s always best to go on a foraging trip with an experienced mushroom hunter who can teach you the ropes and help you avoid any poisonous varieties. Happy foraging!