16 Common Mushrooms Found in Louisiana! (2024)

What kind of mushroom did I find in Louisiana?

Types of mushrooms in Louisiana

If you spend time outside, you’ve probably asked this question at least once. Mushrooms are incredibly common in Louisiana, and they come in all shapes, sizes, and colors.

Believe it or not, there are THOUSANDS of different types of mushrooms that live in Louisiana. Since it would be nearly impossible to write about them all, I focused on the most common types that are seen.

IMPORTANT: You should NEVER eat a mushroom you find. There are many poisonous types, and some species will kill you. So stay safe, and don’t eat any wild mushrooms unless you are with a mycologist (mushroom expert)!

16 COMMON MUSHROOMS in Louisiana:


#1. Turkey-tail Mushroom

  • Trametes versicolor

Types of mushrooms in Louisiana

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Caps are up to 8 cm (3 in) long and 5 cm (2 in) wide.
  • Rings of different colors decorate the tops, ranging from black to shades of brown and white.
  • They often grow in a stacked pattern, which makes them look like roof tiles.

This species is one of the most common mushrooms in Louisiana!

Turkey-tail typically grows on logs of deciduous trees. It’s found in mature forests where dead trees on the forest floor make a perfect environment for this fungus.

This multicolored fungus is easy to spot thanks to the concentric rings of different colors on its caps. The growing pattern of Turkey-tail is also recognizable by the way it grows in a stacked pattern that looks like roofing tiles.

Like many mushrooms, Turkey-tail is used in Eastern medicine and as an herbal supplement. However, wild specimens should NOT be consumed or handled, and supplements containing this mushroom are not FDA-approved.


#2. Common Greenshield Lichen

  • Flavoparmelia caperata

Types of mushrooms in Louisiana

Identifying Characteristics:

  • This lichen grows in roughly circular patterns with wavy edges.
  • The coloring is pale green to yellowish.

Common Greenshield Lichen is technically not a mushroom, but instead, it is a lichen. Lichens are complex organisms made up of both fungi and algae. The combination of these two types of organisms allows lichens to live in diverse climates, ranging from cool, dry areas to warmer regions with humid weather.

As a result, you can find Common Greenshield Lichen across Louisiana. It most often grows on tree bark, although you might occasionally find it on rocks. Look for a rounded, pale-green growth with wavy edges.


#3. Splitgill Mushroom

  • Schizophyllum commune

Identifying Characteristics:

  • The caps are 1–4 cm (0.3–1.6 in) wide.
  • They are pale white or gray and grow in stacked clusters that resemble shelves.
  • As its name suggests, the gills of this mushroom are spaced apart like individual threads.

Splitgill Mushrooms in Louisiana thrive on decaying trees during rainy periods.

These tough, leathery mushrooms were once thought to be nonpoisonous. However, recent research shows they’re often linked to fungal infections of the lungs. Symptoms can include breathing problems, prolonged cough, and other respiratory ailments.

Interestingly, this is one of the few mushrooms that grow abundantly in tropical weather. It thrives in heat and humidity thanks to its rubbery, tough structure. Fleshy, sponge-like mushrooms quickly rot, whereas this species lasts much longer.

Even though Splitgill Mushrooms are not poisonous, it’s best not to consume any you find in the wild. The unprocessed fungus can cause lung infections, and this mushroom can be confused with more dangerous species.


#4. Crowded Parchment

  • Stereum complicatum

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Individual caps are about 2 cm (0.8 in) across.
  • This fungus grows in clusters of irregularly shaped semicircles, circles, and crescents.
  • Its coloring is varying shades of brown and orange. It resembles crumpled pieces of paper.

Crowded Parchment is commonly found on dead oak trees. This inedible mushroom in Louisiana helps with breaking down dead trees. It’s easily recognized by the way it resembles crumpled paper.

However, despite being easy to find, this is one mushroom you’ll want to leave alone. While it isn’t considered poisonous, Crowded Parchment is often found near jelly fungus or algae, which can harm humans.

Instead of handling this mushroom, take photos to appreciate its complex structure.


#5. Pear-shaped Puffball

  • Apioperdon pyriforme

Identifying Characteristics:

  • The cap portion is 1.5-4.5 cm (0.6-1.8 in) wide by 2-4.5 cm (0.8-1.8 in) tall.
  • Their coloring is off-white with brown spots that are dense toward the middle of the cap and spread out at the edges.
  • Most specimens are pear-shaped, but they are often spherical as well. They grow in clusters of 4-10 caps.

Look for these mushrooms in Louisiana on rotting logs.

Pear-shaped Puffballs are commonly found during their long fruiting season, which lasts from July to November. They are nonpoisonous.

However, Pear-shaped Puffballs look similar to several dangerous species of poisonous mushrooms. For example, a lookalike called the Earthball mushroom can cause gastrointestinal distress, fever, and eye infections.

It’s better to purchase Pear-shaped Puffballs from an expert or forage with someone who knows what they’re doing. If not, you may end up sick.


#6. Violet-toothed Polypore

  • Trichaptum biforme

Identifying Characteristics:

  • The caps are 1-7.5 cm (0.4-3 in) wide.
  • Their shape is an irregular semicircle, similar to a seashell.
  • The coloring of this fungus is shades of brown with violet, purple, or lavender rings near the edges.

If you spot a mushroom in Louisiana that looks like a clamshell, it’s likely a Violet-toothed Polypore! This species can be identified by its shell-like shape and striped purple coloring. It grows in stacked clusters on rotting logs.

Interestingly, Violet-toothed Polypore is known to only grow on decaying aspen and poplar trees. So, if you live near a forest with those species, you’ll likely find this mushroom!

Keep pets away from this species, as it’s particularly poisonous for dogs. It can cause stomach problems and dehydration. Violet-toothed Polypore is also inedible to humans.


#7. Green-spored Parasol

  • Chlorophyllum molybdites

Identifying Characteristics:

  • The caps are 8-30 cm (3-12 in) in diameter.
  • This mushroom is white or off-white with irregular brown spots and warts.
  • The gills are visible around the edges of the top and very prominent on the underside.

This is the most frequently eaten poisonous mushroom in Louisiana!

Green-spored Parasols bear an unfortunate resemblance to several edible fungi, which means it’s often eaten by mistake. In addition, this fungus causes severe stomach symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and colic.

Unfortunately, this mushroom is common on lawns and in pastures, which puts children and pets are at greater risk for poisoning. Please keep them away from these mushrooms!

Green-spored Parasols grow directly from the ground instead of from tree logs or other decaying wood. We recently had a cluster pop up after we had new mulch put down. The spores are often present in soil or mulch and can remain dormant until the next fruiting season.


#8. Oyster Mushrooms

  • Pleurotus ostreatus

Identifying Characteristics:

  • The caps are 2–30 cm (0.8–12 in) wide.
  • They are fan-shaped with thick stalks and grow in a stacked pattern or irregular clusters.
  • Their coloring is often white or off-white, sometimes with a light purple or gray wash.

You can find Oyster Mushrooms in Louisiana both in the wild and on farms.

These mushrooms are often used as food and are commercially farmed worldwide. In fact, they were first cultivated in Germany during World War I to mitigate hunger because of rationing. As a result, you can find these mushrooms in most grocery stores, so eat those instead of a wild variety!

Something most people don’t know is that Oyster Mushrooms are carnivorous! This species eats nematodes that you might know as roundworms. They paralyze and consume the nematodes as a source of protein and nitrogen. Additionally, Oyster Mushrooms help to decay dead trees.

Pearl Oyster Mushrooms are also dried and used as a leather-like material or compressed into a wood substitute to make furniture. Mycelium, which is the fiber that gives Oyster Mushrooms their structure, is incredibly strong and resilient. Check out this page for more info!


#9. Ringless Honey Mushroom

  • Desarmillaria caespitosa
By Antonio Abbatiello – via Wikipedia

Identifying Characteristics:

  • The caps are 2.5-10 cm (1–4 in) wide.
  • Their coloring is light brown to pale yellow with white stalks.
  • These mushrooms often grow in large clusters.

Ringless Honey Mushrooms in Louisiana are often confused with other species.

For example, they look similar to Honey Mushrooms (Armillaria mellea), except they don’t have a dark ring around the stalk. Unfortunately, they also imitate the Galerina Mushroom, which is deadly if ingested.

Ringless Honey Mushrooms are parasitic to the trees on which they grow. Eventually, the tree will stop producing leaves and die due to the fungal infection. They will infect various trees, from conifers to broad-leafed hardwood trees.


#10. False Turkey-tail

  • Stereum ostrea

Identifying Characteristics:

  • The caps are 1–7 cm (0.4–2.8 in) wide.
  • Their coloring is a mix of brown and red shades.
  • These mushrooms have a shell-shaped cap that grows in stacked clusters.

If this mushroom in Louisiana reminds you of others you’ve seen, you aren’t alone! False Turkey-tail gets its name from its resemblance to Turkey-tail Mushrooms, another widespread variety. But, despite their similar appearance, they don’t have much in common.

While Turkey-tail is often used as an herbal supplement, False Turkey-tail is completely inedible. In addition, it can cause stomach pain and cramping.

They’re also part of completely different classes within the Fungi kingdom, with almost no genetic relation. For example, False Turkey-tail is a plant pathogen that infects live trees and grows from their bark. Eventually, this fungus weakens the tree to the point of falling over. Then, the mushroom will completely decompose the dead wood.

Like any wild mushroom, you should avoid handling or ingesting False Turkey-tail. It can cause fungal infections and stomach discomfort, and if you misidentify it, you may come in contact with an even more dangerous variety.


#11. Witch’s Butter

  • Tremella mesenterica

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Fruiting bodies can be up to 7.5 cm (3 in) in diameter.
  • The shape is irregular, gelatinous, and brain-like.
  • This fungus is typically bright lemon-yellow.

This is one of the WEIRDEST mushrooms in Louisiana!

Witch’s Butter, which gets its name from its unusual shape and color, completely differs from what most people picture in a mushroom. It has an irregular, ridged appearance that looks like brains and a jelly-like texture that trembles and vibrates if disturbed. Additionally, its coloring is bright yellow, unlike most mushrooms that blend in with their environment.

If the appearance of Witch’s Butter wasn’t strange enough, it also has fascinating properties that set it apart. During dry weather, this fungus dries and shrivels into a leathery mass. Then, when it rains, it fully revives back into its original state!

Look for this strange fungus on dead tree limbs that are still attached to trees or recently fallen branches. It will grow on any deciduous tree but is most prevalent on red alder.


#12. Dyer’s Polypore

  • Phaeolus schweinitzii

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Caps can grow up to 25 cm (10 in) across.
  • Their coloring varies by specimen: yellow, green, orange, brown, and red are all common. Usually, concentric rings of different colors decorate the tops.
  • This mushroom grows as a stack of irregular flat disks.

Look for this mushroom in Louisiana near conifer trees.

Even though it’s a tree pathogen, Dyer’s Polypore often looks like it’s sprouting right out of the ground. This is because it often grows from the root system of a tree instead of its bark. It sort of looks like a stack of badly made pancakes. 🙂

Dyer’s Polypore gets its name because this mushroom is an excellent source of natural dyes! Its coloring varies significantly by the specimen, and it can be used to create green, yellow, gold, or brown dyes.

Although it’s useful as a dye source, this mushroom should never be eaten. Use caution when handling these fungi to avoid eye and skin irritation.


#13. Deer Mushroom

  • Pluteus cervinus

Identifying Characteristics:

  • The caps range from 3–12 cm (1-4.8 in) in diameter
  • They have a typical mushroom shape, with a round, umbrella-like cap, and a short, thin stalk. As this mushroom matures, its cap expands and becomes convex.
  • The coloring is most commonly medium brown but can range from off-white to dark brown.

Look for Deer Mushrooms in Louisiana on rotten logs, roots, and tree stumps. It’s a common variety in most forests. This fungus got its name from its typical coloring, similar to that of a white-tailed deer. It has a velvety-looking texture, like a deer’s fur as well.

Although this species is technically nonpoisonous, it’s not commonly gathered for eating. It has a bitter taste and an unpleasant rubbery texture. You’re better off with grocery-store mushrooms instead!


#14. Red Chanterelle

  • Cantharellus cinnabarinus

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Caps are 1-4 cm (0.4-1.6 in) wide.
  • The coloring is typically bright pink to red.
  • Their shape is similar to an umbrella that’s been blown up by the wind. A long stalk leads to a wide cap that’s slightly convex.

Look for Red Chanterelle mushrooms in mixed forests.

Thanks to their bright coloring and unique shape, they aren’t difficult to find! These mushrooms are prized for their beautiful red hue.

However, be cautious with these, as well as any wild mushroom. Because they can be easily confused with poisonous species, you should check with an expert before handling any mushroom you come across.

Red Chanterelles are similar to the more common Chanterelle mushroom but usually more delicate and slightly smaller. You’ll likely find both species growing together since they favor the same environment.


#15. Summer Oyster Mushroom

  • Pleurotus pulmonarius

Identifying Characteristics:

  • The caps are 5-20 cm (2-8 in) wide.
  • They are white or off-white, with a smooth appearance above and orderly gills below.
  • These mushrooms grow in stacked clusters that look like shelves on the trunks of trees.

This is the most-cultivated type of oyster mushroom in Louisiana.

It grows particularly well in warmer climates, which allows for a better growing season than other mushroom varieties. Because there is less need for climate control to keep these mushrooms fresh and growing well, you’ll often find them in the grocery store or at farmer’s markets!

However, it’s best to stick to the supermarket instead of eating wild specimens. Oyster Mushrooms are incredibly easy to misidentify, and it only takes one poisonous mushroom to cause horrible discomfort or death.


#16. Yellow Patches

  • Amanita flavoconia

Identifying Characteristics:

  • The caps are 5.5-11.5 cm (2.2-4.5 in) long.
  • Their coloring is bright orange to yellow, with a yellow and white stem.
  • This mushroom typically erupts as a single toadstool-shaped growth.

If you come across a yellow mushroom that looks more like a cartoon, you might have found this variety! Yellow Patches are large toadstool-like mushrooms with bright orange or yellow caps. They have prominent yellow warts.

Although its toxicity hasn’t been confirmed, it’s assumed to be poisonous because this mushroom is a part of the Amanita family. Therefore, it shouldn’t be handled or consumed. Instead, take a picture and impress your friends with your knowledge of common fungi!


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