16 Common Mushrooms Found in Oklahoma! (2024)

What kind of mushroom did I find in Oklahoma?

Types of mushrooms in Oklahoma

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

Believe it or not, there are THOUSANDS of different types of mushrooms that live in Oklahoma. 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 Oklahoma:


#1. Turkey-tail Mushroom

  • Trametes versicolor

Types of mushrooms in Oklahoma

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 Oklahoma!

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 Oklahoma

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 Oklahoma. 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

Types of mushrooms in Oklahoma

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 Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma 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. 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 Oklahoma!

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.


#7. 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 Oklahoma 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!


#8. Shaggy Mane

  • Coprinus comatus

Identifying Characteristics:

  • The caps are 4–8 cm (1.63.1 in) wide and 6–20 cm (2.3–8 in) tall.
  • Their coloring is white when they first emerge, slowly turning black as their scales lift.
  • These mushrooms grow directly from the ground as single caps or clusters.

It’s easy to see how Shaggy Mane Mushrooms in Oklahoma got their name!

These tall, slender mushrooms have distinctive scales that make them look like they’re covered in shaggy hair. They often grow in suburban yards or fields straight from the ground.

Shaggy Manes definitely have some “yuck” factors. They’re called Ink Caps because their black gills liquefy and leak down the mushroom to release its spores. Additionally, the entire mushroom will “auto-decay,” digesting itself into a dark liquid within hours of being picked.

Shaggy Manes look very similar to poisonous mushrooms that are found in Oklahoma. Leave these mushrooms where you found them, and never eat them!


#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 Oklahoma 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. Hairy Curtain Crust

  • Stereum hirsutum

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Caps are 1–4 cm (0.4-1.6 in) wide.
  • The coloring is pale yellow to brown and sometimes green where lichen or algae forms.
  • This fungus grows as a series of crescent-shaped tiled caps from dead trees.

The aptly named Hairy Curtain Crust often appears as a crusty growth on dead trees. Its caps have short, spiky hairs that fall off as the fungus matures, leaving a wavy-edged cap that’s easy to identify.

Hairy Curtain Crust often forms “brackets” or semicircular growths from dead trees and branches. This fungus also infects live peach trees, although it’s much more common on dead trees.

It’s best to leave this fungus where you find it for several reasons. First, it isn’t edible. Hairy Curtain Crust can cause stomach issues and fever if ingested by humans or animals.

Second, this mushroom serves an important purpose in its natural environment – decay! Dead trees need to decay so that their nutrients can be returned to the forest soil, and this fungus speeds up that process significantly.


#11. 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 Oklahoma 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.


#12. 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 Oklahoma!

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.


#13. Mica Cap

  • Coprinellus micaceus

Identifying Characteristics:

  • The bell-shaped caps are 1–2.5 cm (.5–1 in) in diameter when new and expand up to 5 cm (2 in) as they open.
  • These mushrooms grow in dense clusters of bell-shaped caps with long, thin stems. The caps have grooves that run vertically, giving them the appearance of a head of straight hair.
  • Their coloring is grayish brown.

This unassuming mushroom has a creepy talent – it can self-destruct! Mica Cap autodigests within a few hours of being picked, meaning its flesh turns from a spongy white structure into an inky black liquid. Yuck!

Mica Cap is usually found in clusters at the base of deciduous trees in mature forests. This mushroom’s less-than-appetizing qualities are just one reason I recommend never eating wild mushrooms. Additionally, there’s a high likelihood of ingesting a poisonous mushroom by mistake.

If you see Mica Cap in the wild, it’s best to take a picture of the fascinating clusters and then leave it be. After all, if you pick it, you’re likely to be covered in gross black goo!


#14. 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 Oklahoma 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!


#15. 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.


#16. Candleflame Lichen

  • Candelaria concolor
By bjoerns – iNauralist, via Wikipedia

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Single lobes of this lichen are less than 1 cm (0.4 in) wide, but they can cover enormous surface areas, including entire trees.
  • The coloring is golden yellow to yellow-green.
  • This lichen has a branch-like appearance, similar in shape to coral.

Candleflame Lichen is technically NOT a mushroom in Oklahoma.

Instead, lichens are complex organisms that involve a symbiotic relationship between fungus and algae. The mutually beneficial relationship allows lichens to survive in habitats that would kill fungi and algae independently.

For example, Candleflame Lichen can be found anywhere from arid deserts to wet conifer forests. It’s one of the most widespread lichens in the world! Look for this lichen on trees, where it attaches to tree bark and slowly spreads.


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