Minnesota Fungi

Kingdom Fungi

Fungi is the kingdom of living organisms that is characterized by lacking chlorophyll, feeding on dead and decaying organic matter, producing spores, and having cells with cell walls that contain chitin. The order includes mushrooms, puffballs, rusts, smuts, sac fungi, molds, yeasts, Penicillium, bread molds, and organisms that cause plant and animal diseases such as athlete’s foot and leaf spot.

While there are about 100,000 described fungi species, there are estimated to be over 1,500,000 species worldwide. According to the Bell Museum of Natural History, there are 9,000 species expected to be native to Minnesota “based on the number of vascular plant species native to the state and the ratio of fungi to vascular plants for well documented parts of Europe.”

To date, only two states have declared a state mushroom: Minnesota and Oregon. In 1984, the Minnesota legislature designated the Yellow Morel (Morchella esculenta) as the state mushroom of Minnesota.

Recent research based on DNA comparisons have resulted in changes in taxonomic order at all levels, even the highest (fungi are now considered to be closer to animals than plants). As a result, authoritative sources of information about fungi on the Web provide differing binomial names and lineages for the same species. The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) on-line database, http://www.itis.gov, avoids this problem by providing only sparse coverage of fungi.


Wood Blewit



Recent Additions

Crowded Parchment

Crowded Parchment (Stereum complicatum) is a common, widely distributed, wood decaying, bracket fungi. It is found from spring through fall as fused masses or dense, overlapping clusters on stumps, logs, and sticks of hardwood trees, especially oak.

The fruiting body is sometimes a thin, semicircular or fan-shaped bracket (cap), but very often it lies flat without a well-defined cap, with the margins free and folded inward. The upper surface is concentrically zoned with shades of orange, orangish-brown, tan, pinkish, or cinnamon. The under surface is bright orange and smooth, with no layer of pores or tubes. The flesh is thin, tough, and inedible.

  Crowded Parchment
  Photo by Robert Briggs

Honey Mushroom

Honey Mushroom (Armillaria mellea group) is a common and very widespread, extremely variable group of closely related gill mushrooms. It is found around the globe in the northern temperate zones and has been introduced in South Africa.

At least 14 varieties of Honey Mushroom have been described. Several characteristics are relatively constant. It usually appears in small to massive clusters on stumps or logs, on the lower trunk of living trees, or on the ground growing on tree roots. On young mushrooms the gills are covered with a Kleenex-like, cottony, membranous tissue. On the cap there are usually tiny brown scales, most dense in the center and more or less radiating outward. The stalk is tough, and fibrous, tapered to the base when in clusters, expanded at the base when solitary. The flesh is bitter when raw. The spores are white and white spore dust can be seen on lower mushrooms in large mature clusters.

  Honey Mushroom
  Photo by diraek

Long-spined Puffball

Long-spined Puffball (Lycoperdon pulcherrimum) is a beautiful, small to medium-sized puffball. It is found in the fall, alone or in small groups, on ground under hardwoods or on very rotten wood. It is common in the southern United States, uncommon in Minnesota.

Long-spined Puffball is more or less pear-shaped, about 1½ in diameter and 2 in height. It has a globe-shaped top and a sterile, stalk-like base that is usually well developed but sometimes inconspicuous. The top is white and densely covered with spines when young, dark brown to dark purplish-brown, shiny, and smooth at maturity. The slender spines join at the tips in groups of 2 to 6 or more creating numerous pyramid-shaped clusters. They remain white until they are shed or wear away, leaving no marks on the outer layer. When mature, a pore-like mouth develops at the top of the puffball through which spores are released by wind and rain. It is edible when it is young and the flesh is firm and white.

Several spiny puffballs are found in Minnesota. Curtis’s Puffball (Vascellum curtisii) spines and outer layer remain white at maturity. It usually occurs in clusters. Gem-Studded Puffball (Lycoperdon perlatum) stem is substantial. The top is flattened and is covered with short white spines interspersed with white granules. The spines wear off by maturity leaving scars on the pale brown outer layer. Spiny Puffball (Lycoperdon echinatum) spines and outer layer soon turn brown, changing color together.

  Long-spined Puffball
  Photo by Ben Heath

Jack-o’-Lantern Mushroom

Jack-o’-Lantern Mushroom (Omphalotus illudens) is a poisonous, bioluminescent, gill mushroom. It is found in woodlands growing on the trunk or stump of a hardwood, especially oak, or on the ground gaining nutrients from tree roots. It gets its common name from its bright orange color, its appearance around Halloween, and its eerie green glow in the dark. One report had it bright enough to read a newspaper by. More trusted sources suggest that the light is very faint and may not always be visible to human eyes. To see the light it is suggested that a person take a fresh, actively growing specimen into a closet, close the door, and wait 30 minutes for their eyes to become accustomed to the dark. Only then a will dim green glow be visible… or not.

Jack-o’-Lantern Mushroom is usually small and found in large clusters, occasionally larger and solitary. The cap is yellowish-orange to orange. The flesh is more or less the same color as the cap. The gills on the underside of the cap are narrow, closely spaced, not forked, and emit a green glow.

Chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius) is similar in appearance but has a long growing season and can be found in the spring. It is usually solitary. The flesh is white. The gills are forked, shallow, and thick.

  Jack-o’-Lantern Mushroom
  Photo by magic mountain mushroom hunters

Black Trumpet

Black Trumpet (Craterellus fallax) is a common and widespread, edible mushroom. It occurs in deciduous and mixed woodlands across North America but is especially common in the east. It fruits from July to October on the ground, usually under oak, beech, and possibly other hardwood trees. It is often missed because its shape and color allows it to blend in with its surroundings. It sometimes stands out in sharp relief against a green carpet of moss.

Black Trumpet is trumpet-shaped, hollow in the center, tapered to the base, dark brown to black above, and pale below. There is no sharp distinction between the stalk and the cap. It has a fruity fragrance reminiscent of apricots.

Black Trumpet is distinguished by its blackish-brown, trumpet-shaped fruiting body; smooth or only shallowly wrinkled underside; and whitish to pinkish-orange or yellowish sport print. It is similar in appearance to three other “black trumpet mushrooms”, all of which are edible. Ashen Chanterelle (Cantharellus cinereus) has a bluish-black or bluish gray underside that is conspicuously wrinkled with shallow, primitive gills. Blue Chanterelle (Polyozellus multiplex) has a purple or dark blue tinted cap. Horn of Plenty (Craterellus cornucopioides) has a white spore print but is otherwise indistinguishable. It is common in Europe but much rarer in North America.

  Black Trumpet

Other Recent Additions

Trametes pubescens

False Turkey Tail (Stereum ostrea)

Hairy Curtain Crust (Stereum hirsutum)

Hen of the Woods (Grifola frondosa)

Aspen Bolete (Leccinum insigne)

Late Oyster Mushroom (Panellus serotinus)

Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria)

  Aspen Bolete









Aborted Entoloma (Entoloma abortivum)


American Hawthorn Rust

Artist’s Conk

Aspen Bolete

Black Knot

Black Trumpet


Chicken of the Woods

Chicken Fat Mushroom

Crowded Parchment

Crown Rust

Dead Man’s Fingers

Dryad’s Saddle

Eastern Flat-topped Agaricus

Entomosporium Leaf Spot

Fairy Fingers

False Coral Fungus

False Turkey Tail

False Tinder Fungus

Fan-shaped Jelly Fungus

Fly Agaric

Fried Chicken Mushroom

Giant Puffball

Gray False Death Cap

Hen of the Woods

Honey Mushroom

Indigo Milk Cap

Jack-o’-Lantern Mushroom

Late Oyster Mushroom

Long-spined Puffball

Lobster Mushroom

Northern Tooth

Oak Anthracnose

Old Man of the Woods

Oyster Mushroom

Pear-shaped Puffball

Peeling Puffball

Phomopsis gall on hickory

Purple-spored Puffball

Russula paludosa

Russula pulchra

Scarlet Cup

Scarlet Waxy Cap

Shaggy Mane

Smoky Polypore

Stalked Scarlet Cup

Tar Spot (Rhytisma americanum)

Thin-Walled Maze Polypore

Trametes pubescens

True Tinder Polypore

Turkey Tail

White Cheese Polypore

White False Death Cap

White Jelly Fungus

Witches’ Butter

Wood Blewit

Wrinkled Peach

Yellow Morel


American Eastern Yellow Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria var. guessowii)

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American Hawthorn Rust (Gymnosporangium globosum)


Angels Wings (Pleurocybella porrigens)


Apricot Jelly fungus (Tremiscus helvelloides)

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Artist’s Conk (Ganoderma applanatum)


Ashen Chanterelle (Cantharellus cinereus)

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Aspen Bolete (Leccinum insigne)


Birch Polypore (Piptoporus betulinus)


Bitter Bolete (Tylopilus felleus)

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Black Knot (Apiosporina morbosa)


Black Morel (Morchella elata)

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Black Trumpet (Craterellus fallax)


Black Witches’ Butter (Exidia glandulosa)


Blue Chanterelle (Polyozellus multiplex)


Blue Cheese Polypore (Tyromyces caesius)


Boletus subcaerulescens


Brown Witches’ Butter (Tremella foliacea)


Ceratocystis Canker of Bitternut Hickory (Ceratocystis smalleyi)


Chaga (Inonotus obliquus)

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Chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius)

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Chicken of the Woods (Laetiporus sulphureus)

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Chicken Fat Mushroom (Suillus americanus)


Chrome-footed Bolete (Harrya chromapes)


Clitocybe subconnexa


Clouded Funnel (Clitocybe nebularis)


Common Funnel (Clitocybe gibba)


Common Stinkhorn (Phallus impudicus)


Confusing Bolete (Strobilomyces confusus)

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Crowded Parchment (Stereum complicatum)


Crown Fungus (Sarcosphaera crassa)

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Crown Rust (Puccinia coronata)


Crown-tipped Coral (Artomyces pyxidatus)


Curtis’s Puffball (Vascellum curtisii)


Cytospora Canker (Valsa sordida)


Dark-stalked Bolete (Leccinum atrostipitatum)

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Dead Man’s Fingers (Xylaria polymorpha)


Dead Man’s Foot (Pisolithus tinctorius)


Deadly Galerina (Galerina autumnalis)


Deadly Parasol (lepiota josserandii)


Death Cap (Amanita phalloides)


Deer Mushroom (Pluteus cervinus)


Destroying Angel (Amanita bisporigera)


Destroying Angel (Amanita virosa)

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Dryad’s Saddle (Polyporus squamosus)


Early Morel (Verpa bohemica)

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Eastern Flat-topped Agaricus (Agaricus placomyces)


Elderberry Rust (Puccinia bolleyana)

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Entomosporium Leaf Spot (Diplocarpon mespili)


Eyelash Cup (Scutellinia scutellata)

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Fairy Fingers (Clavaria fragilis)

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False Coral Fungus (Tremellodendron pallidum)


False Morel (Gyromitra esculenta)

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False Tinder Fungus (Phellinus igniarius)

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False Turkey Tail (Stereum ostrea)


Fan-shaped Jelly Fungus (Dacryopinax spathularia)


Fire Blight (Erwinia amylovora)


Fluted White Elfin Saddle (Helvella crispa)

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Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria)


Freckled Dapperling (lepiota aspera)

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Fried Chicken Mushroom (Lyophyllum decastes)


Frost’s Amanita (Amanita frostiana)


Gem-Studded Amanita (Amanita gemmata)


Gem-Studded Puffball (Lycoperdon perlatum)

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Giant Puffball (Calvatia gigantea)


Golden Ear (Tremella aurantia)

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Gray False Death Cap (Amanita citrina var. grisea)


Green-spored Parasol (Chlorophyllum molybdites)


Gyromitra ambigua


Gyromitra fastigiata

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Hairy Curtain Crust (Stereum hirsutum)

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Hen of the Woods (Grifola frondosa)


Hexagonal-pored Polypore (Polyporus alveolaris)

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Honey Mushroom (Armillaria mellea group)


Hooded False Morel (Gyromitra infula)


Horn of Plenty (Craterellus cornucopioides)

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Indigo Milk Cap (Lactarius indigo)


Inocybe mixtilis


Inocybe rimosa

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Jack-o’-Lantern Mushroom (Omphalotus illudens)


Jelly Ear Fungus (Auricularia auricula-judae)


Lacquered Bracket (Ganoderma lucidum)


Lactarius fuliginellus

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Late Oyster Mushroom (Panellus serotinus)


Lavender False Death Cap (Amanita citrina var. lavendula)


Leaf Curl (Taphrina communis)


Lilac Bonnet (Mycena pura)


Lizard’s Claw Mushroom (Lysurus cruciatus)

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Lobster Mushroom (Hypomyces lactifluorum)

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Long-spined Puffball (Lycoperdon pulcherrimum)


Lurid Bolete (Boletus luridus)


Meadow Mushroom (Agaricus campestris)


Mica Cap (Coprinellus micaceus)


Milk-white Toothed Polypore (Irpex lacteus)


Mossy Maze Polypore (Cerrena unicolor)


Mycosphaerella Leaf Spot (Mycosphoerello effiguroto)

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Northern Tooth (Climacodon septentrionalis)

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Oak Anthracnose (Apiognomonia errabunda)


Oak Leaf Blister (Taphrina caerulescens)


Oak Mazegill (Daedalea quercina)


Oak Wilt (Ceratocystis fagacearum)


Ochre Brittlegill (Russula ochroleuca)

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Old Man of the Woods (Strobilomyces strobilaceus)


Orange Jelly Fungus (Dacrymyces palmatus)


Orange Peel Fungus (Aleuria aurantia)

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Oyster Mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus)


Painted Bolete (Suillus spraguei)


Panther Cap (Amanita pantherina var. pantherina)

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Pear-shaped Puffball (Lycoperdon pyriforme)

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Peeling Puffball (Lycoperdon marginatum)


Peppery Milk Cap (Lactifluus piperatus)

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Phomopsis gall on hickory (Phomopsis spp.)


Phyllosticta Leaf Spot (Mycosphoerello fraxinicola)


Psathyrella cystidiosa


Psathyrella rhodospora


Pseudospiropes longipilus


Purple Bordered Leaf Spot (Phyllosticta minima)

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Purple-spored Puffball (Calvatia cyathiformis)


Ravenel’s Stinkhorn (Phallus ravenelii)


Red Raspberry Slime (Tubifera ferruginosa)


Red-Belt Conk (fomitopsis pinicola)


Ringed Cone Head (Pholiotina rugosa)


Russula sp.


Russula flavisiccans

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Russula paludosa

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Russula pulchra


Rust of Prickly Ash (Puccinia andropogonis var. xanthoxyli)


Rusty Gilled Polypore (Gloeophyllum sepiarium)

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Saffron Milk Cap (Lactarius deliciosus)


Sandy Laccaria (Laccaria trullissata)


Sarcosoma globosum


Scaly Rustgill (Gymnopilus sapineus)

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Scarlet Cup (Sarcoscypha austriaca)


Scarlet Waxy Cap (Hygrocybe punicea)


Septoria Leaf Spot (Septoria aceris)

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Shaggy Mane (Coprinus comatus)


Shaggy Parasol (Chlorophyllum rhacodes)


Shoehorn Oyster Mushroom (Hohenbuehelia petaloides)


Short-stemmed Russula (Russula brevipes)


Shrimp Russula (Russula xerampelina)


Slipery Jack (Suillus luteus)


Small Stagshorn Fungus(Calocera cornea)

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Smoky Polypore (Bjerkandera adusta)


Snow Mushroom (Gyromitra gigas)


Speckled Tar Spot (Rhytisma punctatum)


Spiny Puffball (Lycoperdon echinatum)

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Stalked Scarlet Cup (Sarcoscypha occidentalis)


Strict-branched Coral Fungus (Ramaria stricta)


Suillus weaverae

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Tar Spot (Rhytisma acerinum)

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Tar Spot (Rhytisma americanum)


Tar Spot (Rhytisma salicinum)


Thick-Walled Maze Polypore (Daedalea quercina)


Thiers’ amanita (Amanita thiersii)

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Thin-Walled Maze Polypore (Daedaleopsis confragosa)


Toothed Jelly Fungus (Pseudohydnum gelatinosum)

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Trametes pubescens

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True Tinder Polypore (Fomes fomentarius)


Tubakia leaf spot (Tubakia dryina)

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Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor)


Umbrella False Morel (Gyromitra sphaerospora)


Veiled Oyster Mushroom (Pleurotus dryinus)


Veined Brown Cup Fungus (Disciotis venosa)


Vermilion Waxcap (Hygrocybe miniata)


Violet-pored Bracket Fungus (Trichaptum abietinum)


Violet-toothed Polypore (Trichaptum biforme)


White Chanterelle (Cantharellus subalbidus)

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White Cheese Polypore (Tyromyces chioneus)


White Coral Jelly Fungus (Tremella reticulata)

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White False Death Cap (Amanita citrina var. alba)

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White Jelly Fungus (Ductifera pululahuana)

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Witches’ Butter (Tremella mesenterica)

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Wood Blewit (Clitocybe nuda)


Woolly Inkcap (Coprinopsis lagopus)

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Wrinkled Peach (Rhodotus palmatus)

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Yellow Morel (Morchella esculenta)


Yellow Stagshorn Fungus (Calocera viscosa)



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No Species Page Yet?

If you do not see a linked page for a fungi in the list at left you can still upload a photo or video as an email attachment or report a sighting for that fungi. Click on one of the buttons below and type in the common name and/or scientific name of the fungi in your photo, video, or sighting. A new page will be created for that fungi featuring your contribution.


Capitalization of Common Names

Fungi common names are governed by International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN). According to the ICN, fungi common names can be either capitalized or not. In Britain fungi common names are governed by The British Mycological Society (BMS). The BMS formed a working party in 2005 to standardize common names of fungi. The project is ongoing, but a current checklist is available on the BMS Website. According to BMS, “the use of capitals for the English name in published texts will be to an extent determined by the publisher.” The BMS checklist uses capitalized common English language names. Most authors today also use capitalized common names for fungi. MinnesotaSeasons.com will adhere to the convention adopted by BMS.


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