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

False Turkey Tail

False Turkey Tail (Stereum ostrea) is an extremely common and widely distributed, wood decaying, bracket fungi. It is found on logs and stumps of dead hardwood trees, especially oaks. It appears as individual, overlapping, thin, semicircular or fan-shaped brackets. The upper surface is densely hairy and concentrically zoned dark reddish, orange, yellowish, brown, and buff. The under surface is smooth or slightly bumpy, with no layer of pores or tubes. Older caps are usually buff or gray above, gray or whitish below, and often greenish or blackish due to being partially covered with algae.

False Turkey Tail can be easily mistaken for the more common Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor). That species has brackets that often fuse into overlapping rosettes. The underside of the cap is covered with a layer of spore-bearing pores.

  False Turkey Tail
  Photo by Kirk Nelson

Hen of the Woods

Hen of the Woods (Grifola frondosa) is one of the most easily recognized polypores of eastern North America. The numerous, overlapping, smoky-brown caps are reminiscent of a fluffed-up chicken, giving this mushroom its common name. It is found in deciduous woodlands, especially woodland edges, usually at the base of a dead or dying tree or stump. It appears in summer and fall as a large cluster of rosettes of numerous small, overlapping, fan-shaped caps rising from a single base. Tender young caps are edible after long, slow cooking.

Hen of the Woods is distinctive in appearance. A closely related species, Grifola umbellata, is similar in appearance but the caps are larger and lighter in color, and are attached near the center, not at or near the side. It is much less common.

  Hen of the Woods
  Photo by Cannon Valley Foraging

Aspen Bolete

Aspen Bolete (Leccinum insigne) was first described in North America in 1966. In the summer and early fall it is found on the ground, widely scattered or in groups, in woods and woodland edges under aspen and possibly also under birch. The species name means “distinctive or outstanding” but the mushroom was named for the Italian soccer player Lorenzo Insigne. Most sources state that it is safe to eat, but it has recently been thought to cause gastrointestinal distress in some individuals.

Scaber stalk mushrooms can be easily identified to the genus, less easily to the species. All have whitish or pale stalks covered by numerous short, rough, projecting scales (scabers) that turn dark at maturity. Many are similar in appearance and are often misidentified as Red-capped Scaber Stalk (Leccinum aurantiacum), even in printed guides and on popular mushroom Websites. However, recent DNA analysis suggests that Red-Capped Scaber Stalk is a European species that does not occur in North America.

Aspen bolete is distinguished by the dry, orange or orangish cap that turns bluish-gray or purplish-gray when bruised or cut; the stalk that tuns blue at the base when cut; and its habit of growing under aspens.

  Aspen Bolete

Late Oyster Mushroom

Late Oyster Mushroom (Panellus serotinus) is common, widespread, and aptly named. It appears in the late fall with the onset of cold weather. It is found singly or in overlapping groups on the trunk or a large branch of a dead and decaying tree. It usually occurs on a hardwood, especially black cherry, but occasionally also on a conifer.

There is often no stalk. When there is a stalk it is short, thick, and attached at the side. The cap is kidney-shaped or semi-circular. It is downy and often flushed with violet when young, becoming hairless and olive-green to yellowish-green as it ages, eventually turning yellowish-olive or light brown when mature. The edges are curled under at first but flatten out with age. The gills are yellowish or orangish but fade with age. It is edible but has a mediocre taste and becomes bitter as it ages.

  Late Oyster Mushroom

Phomopsis gall on hickory

There are at least 232 species of the fungus Phomopsis. Several of these produce bark galls on bitternut hickory. The galls are identical in appearance making identification of the associated species in the field impossible.

Spores are produced throughout the growing season and are spread by wind and rain splashes. It is believed that spores infect a host by entering a wound of a young twig. The fungus then spreads to branches and to the trunk. The galls do not kill the host but reduce vigor and girdle small branches causing dieback. Uninfected trees may occur near heavily infected ones.

Galls may occur singly or in clusters on the trunk and branches. They are woody, rough, more or less round swellings. They appear as tight clusters of nodules. They can be very small to 10 in diameter. If cut open they reveal disorganized woody tissue but no insect chambers or tunnels.

  Phomopsis gall on hickory

Other Recent Additions

Peeling Puffball (Lycoperdon marginatum)

Witches’ Butter (Tremella mesenterica)

True Tinder Polypore (Fomes fomentarius)

Smoky Polypore (Bjerkandera adusta)

Pear-shaped Puffball (Lycoperdon pyriforme)

Thin-Walled Maze Polypore (Daedaleopsis confragosa)

Wood Blewit (Clitocybe nuda)

Eastern Flat-topped Agaricus (Agaricus placomyces)

  Witches’ Butter
  Photo by Heather Ellis









Aborted Entoloma (Entoloma abortivum)


American Hawthorn Rust

Artist’s Conk

Aspen Bolete

Black Knot


Chicken of the Woods

Chicken Fat Mushroom

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

Fried Chicken Mushroom

Giant Puffball

Gray False Death Cap

Hen of the Woods

Indigo Milk Cap

Late Oyster Mushroom

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

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)

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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)


Black Trumpet (Craterellus fallax)


Black Witches’ Butter (Exidia glandulosa)


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)


Confusing Bolete (Strobilomyces confusus)


Crown Fungus (Sarcosphaera crassa)

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Crown Rust (Puccinia coronata)


Crown-tipped Coral (Artomyces pyxidatus)


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)

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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)


Freckled Dapperling (lepiota aspera)

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Fried Chicken Mushroom (Lyophyllum decastes)


Frost’s Amanita (Amanita frostiana)


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


Hairy Curtain Crust (Stereum hirsutum)

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Hen of the Woods (Grifola frondosa)


Hexagonal-pored Polypore (Polyporus alveolaris)


Hooded False Morel (Gyromitra infula)

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Indigo Milk Cap (Lactarius indigo)


Inocybe mixtilis


Inocybe rimosa

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Jack-o’-Lantern Mushroom (Omphalotus olearius)


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)


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)


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)

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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)


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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