If you love mushrooms, you will love visiting Illinois. Illinois is known for its incredible variety of fruit and mushroom flavors. In this article, we are going to share with you which 13 common mushrooms can be found in the Land of Lincoln.
Some of these mushrooms can be found growing wild, while others can only be found in specific places. We will also include a description of how to identify each type of mushroom and where to find it, So get ready to explore the fungal diversity of Illinois!
[Related Article: 5 Common Mushrooms In Rhode Island]
Morels are a common type of mushroom found in Illinois. They have a spongy, honeycomb-like structure and a earthy flavor. Morels are often used in soups, stews, and other dishes.
Morels are a type of edible fungi that belong to the Morchella genus. There are many different species of morels, but the most common ones found in Illinois are the black morel (Morchella elata) and the yellow morel (Morchella esculenta).
These mushrooms are characterized by their spongy, honeycomb-like structure and earthy flavor.
Morels are generally safe to eat, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Morels should be cooked before eating, as they can cause stomach upset if eaten raw.
It’s also important to clean morels thoroughly before cooking, as they can harbor dirt and debris. When cleaning morels, avoid soaking them in water, as this can cause them to lose their flavor.
If you’re looking for a delicious way to add morels to your diet, try incorporating them into soups, stews, or other dishes. Morels can also be sauteed, grilled, or roasted.
Whatever way you choose to prepare them, enjoy!
2. Meadow Mushroom
The Meadow Mushroom is a common mushroom found in Illinois. This mushroom is generally white or cream colored with a convex or umbrella shaped cap.
The cap is 3-10 cm wide and the stem is 5-15 cm tall. This mushroom can be found growing in fields, meadows, and pastures from late summer to early fall. When mature, the spores of this mushroom are brown.
These mushrooms are an edible mushroom however it is often confused with the poisonous Amanita species. It is important to correctly identify this mushroom before consuming it.
If you are unsure of the identification, it is best not to eat the mushroom.
3. Two-Colored Bolete
The Two-Colored Bolete is a common mushroom found in Illinois. This type of mushroom is characterized by its brown and white coloration, as well as its small size. This mushroom typically grows in wooded areas, and can be found growing on the ground or on tree stumps.
This mushroom is edible, but should not be consumed raw. When cooked, the Two-Colored Bolete has a nutty flavor that makes it a popular ingredient in many dishes.
However, it is important to note that this mushroom can cause gastrointestinal distress if consumed in large quantities. Therefore, it is best to consume this mushroom in moderation.
If you come across a Two-Colored Bolete while out hiking or foraging, you can bring it home and cook it up for a delicious and nutritious meal!
4. Giant Puffball
The Giant Puffball is a common mushroom found in Illinois. This type of mushroom is easily recognizable due to its large size and round shape. The Giant Puffball typically grows to be around 10 inches in diameter, but some have been known to reach up to 20 inches!
This mushroom can be found in a variety of colors including white, yellow, and brown.
This mushroom gets its name from the fact that when it is mature, it will release a puff of spores when touched or disturbed. The spores are used by the mushroom to reproduce and create new Giant Puffballs.
If you find a Giant Puffball in your yard or garden, you can let it mature and then use it to help create more mushrooms!
If you’re looking for a fun and easy way to add some mushrooms to your landscape, consider planting Giant Puffballs. These mushrooms are not only interesting to look at, but they are also low maintenance and easy to care for.
Plus, they will provide you with an abundance of fresh mushrooms that you can enjoy all season long!
Chanterelles are a type of edible fungi that is commonly found in woods and forests. These mushrooms have a distinct appearance, with their yellow-orange color and funnel-shaped cap.
These mushrooms are a popular ingredient in many dishes, as they have a slightly fruity taste and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.
While chanterelles are safe to eat, there are some lookalikes that can be poisonous. False chanterelles (Hygrophoropsis aurantiaca) are a type of mushroom that resembles the chanterelle, but has a darker orange color and a more wrinkled appearance.
False chanterelles can cause stomach upset if eaten, so it is important to be able to identify them.
If you’re planning on collecting chanterelles from the wild, make sure that you know what you’re doing. There are many resources available that can help you properly identify these mushrooms.
Once you’ve collected your chanterelles, they can be cooked in a variety of ways – try sautéing them with some garlic and butter, or adding them to a creamy soup or risotto dish.
6. Lion’s Mane
Lion’s mane mushrooms are one of the most common mushrooms found in Illinois. These mushrooms have a white, fluffy appearance and get their name from their resemblance to a lion’s mane.
These mushrooms are edible and are often used in cooking. These mushrooms have a mild taste and can be used in place of other mushrooms in recipes. Lion’s mane mushrooms are a good source of antioxidants and have been shown to boost cognitive function.
If you’re looking for a new mushroom to try, give lion’s mane mushrooms a shot!
7. Edible Amanitas
Amanitas are a type of mushroom that can be found in Illinois. There are many different types of Amanitas, but the most common one in Illinois is the edible Amanita.
These mushrooms have a white cap with red spots, and a white stalk. Amanitas are considered to be a delicacy by many people, and can be cooked in various ways.
If you’re looking for a new food to try, why not give Amanitas a chance? These mushrooms are not only delicious, but they’re also relatively easy to find if you know where to look.
Amanitas can usually be found in woods or fields near deciduous trees. So if you’re out on a nature hike, keep your eyes peeled for these tasty fungi!
8. Honey Mushrooms
Honey mushrooms are a type of fungus that is commonly found in Illinois. These mushrooms typically grow on trees, stumps, or logs and can range in color from white to yellowish-brown.
Honey mushrooms are edible and are often used in soups or stir-fries. While these mushrooms are safe to eat, it is important to cook them properly before consuming as raw honey mushrooms can cause stomach upset.
9. Shaggy Mane
The Shaggy Mane is a common mushroom found in Illinois. This mushroom gets its name from its shaggy, unkempt appearance. The Shaggy Mane is a white mushroom that can be found growing in grassy areas.
This mushroom is edible, but should not be consumed raw. When cooked, the Shaggy Mane has a slightly nutty flavor.
10. False Morel
The False Morel is a common mushroom in Illinois, and it is also one of the most poisonous. This mushroom gets its name from its resemblance to the morel mushroom, which is edible.
The false morel contains a toxin that can cause liver damage, and in some cases, death. If you’re planning on mushrooms hunting in Illinois, be sure to avoid the false morel!
11. Jack O’Lantern Mushroom
The Jack O’Lantern mushroom is a common mushroom found in Illinois. This mushroom is poisonous and should not be consumed.
If you come across this mushroom, it is best to leave it alone and enjoy the beauty of nature from a distance.
12. False Parasol
The False Parasol mushroom is a common mushroom found in Illinois. While it may be tempting to pick this mushroom due to its beauty, it is actually poisonous and can cause serious health problems if consumed.
This mushroom gets its name from its parasol-like shape and can be varying shades of white, brown, or tan. If you come across this mushroom, it is best to leave it be and admire it from a distance.
13. Deadly Galerina
The Deadly Galerina is a common mushroom found in Illinois. This mushroom is poisonous and can cause serious illness or death if ingested.
This mushroom typically grows in wooded areas and often appears after periods of heavy rain. This mushroom can be identified by its brownish-red cap and white gills. If you come across this mushroom, do not touch it or eat it under any circumstances.
In conclusion, there are thirteen different types of mushrooms that are common in the state of Illinois. Out of these thirteen mushrooms, ten of them are edible for humans while the other three are poisonous.
It is important to know which mushrooms are safe to eat and which ones are not, in order to avoid any potential health risks. I hope that this blog post has been helpful in educating you on the different types of mushrooms that are common in Illinois.