Please remember that I am not an expert on mushrooms and that you should always find additional sources of identification before eating any mushroom listed on gohiking.
The Admirable Boletus Mushroom is also known as the velvet top mushroom. It has a semi-sweet, spicy aroma and a slightly milder taste than the king or red cap boletus mushroom. This mushroom grows all over Vancouver Island. Sometimes in the hundreds. It’s quite amazing to see them growing in such abundance, and to take some home for the frying pan is wonderful. Read More….
Agaricus Augustus is one of my favorite edible fungi, it truly deserves the title Prince of Mushrooms! I usually find it growing in small groups in forests of conifer trees and grasslands. The Prince is very easily recognizable from a distance but if you are ever in any doubt, give it a smell test, if it smells like bitter almonds, you have found one. Read More….
Albatrellus Flettii Mushroom
There are two North American Albatrellus species that are blue, the eastern Albatrellus Caeruleoporus Mushroom and the western Albatrellus Flettii Mushroom. There are 12 Albatrellus species in North America. This mushroom’s beautiful blue color is only around for a short while and after the first few days, it quite often turns into a rather plain-looking mushroom. Read More….
Angel Wing Mushroom
Angel Wing Mushrooms are a white fan-shaped mushroom that grows shelf-like. It is a very thin fleshed mushroom that feels dry and smooth to the touch, they could be hairy to the touch on top. The gills are quite crowded, narrow, and range in color from white to cream, the spore print is white. Angel wings are one of my favorite wild mushrooms, if only for their beauty alone. Read More….
Apricot Jelly Mushroom
The Apricot Jelly Mushroom is a beautiful little gem that is very easily recognized. It’s the color of salmon flesh and looks a bit like a human tongue sticking out of the ground. You will find it growing on well-rotted wood in conifer forests, it is quite common on Vancouver Island. It can grow up to 15 cm high but is usually smaller than that, it is funnel-shaped but always has a slot down one side. Read More….
Although it is quite often referred to as the Blue Chanterelle Mushroom, this wild mushroom is not a chanterelle at all. Mycologists have placed it into the genus Polyozellus, a member of the Thelephoraceae family. It is a mushroom of the lowland forests, it grows best in the wet spruce and fir forests of the BC coastal region. I have seen these in large groups a few times, but have mostly seen them as single mushrooms. Read More….
The Boletus Edulis is a delicious, and meaty mushroom that grows all over the world. It has many names such as king, cep, porcini, steinpilz, penny bun, and many others. This mushroom is a favorite subject that is drawn, painted, or sculpted by artists. The Boletus Edulis is often very large with a thick club-like stem, thick cap, it is a very beautiful mushroom. Read More….
Brittle Cinder affects a vast array of tree species, infection usually occurs through wounds in the bark. This can result in significant strength loss, so careful consideration should be taken if this fungus is located on a tree. If this were to attack trees growing upwind from a structure, it could cause the trees to blow down in a wind storm. Brittle Cinder is an edible but not very choice, I would look for better eating mushrooms before eating this one. Read More….
The cauliflower mushroom is a wild edible mushroom that grows all over the Pacific Northwest in the fall. They are an incredible mushrooms to look at and are very tasty. They are connected to their growing areas by a system of mycelium that is kinda like a root system. When you harvest mushrooms, you should be careful not to damage the mycelium, if undamaged, they will fruit over and over again. Read More….
Unlike the soft bodies of mushrooms, Chaga is hard and dense, almost as hard as the wood it is growing in. It is a mushroom that normally grows on birch trees across the Northern Hemisphere. When you first see it, you would see a rough-looking growth on the side of a tree, not looking like something you would like to ingest, but this mushroom is a hidden wonder of the natural world. Read More….
The yellow chanterelle is harvested all over the BC coastal region. Harvesting of yellow chanterelles begins in September and continues until November or December on the outer islands and the BC coast. White chanterelles are also harvested from the region. Harvesting of chanterelles is something we have done for years. When dried, the white chanterelle turns yellow. Looking a lot like yellow ones. Read More….
Chicken Of The Woods
Chicken Of The Woods Mushrooms is found all over the Pacific Northwest. They can be harvested from August through October or later but are sometimes found as early as June. This mushroom will surprise you with its size. It is noticeable from a long distance because of its size and its very bright colors. It grows on many types of dead or mature trees with hardwoods such as Garry Oak, Red Alder, and Conifers. Read More….
Clustered Coral Mushroom
Ramaria botrytis, more commonly known as the clustered coral, pink-tipped coral mushroom, or cauliflower coral, is an edible species of coral fungus. Its robust fruit body can grow up to 15 cm in diameter and 20 cm tall, and really does resemble a marine coral. It has dense branches that grow from a stout base, the tips are swollen and divided into several small branchlets. Read More….
Comb Tooth Fungus
The comb tooth fungus or as it is commonly called, coral hedgehog, is a large and mostly white fungus with numerous toothed branches. Comb Tooth Fungus can grow up to 40 cm wide and can reach heights of 20 cm high. The branches are toothy structures found on both sides of the branch. These toothy growths are about 1 cm in length. Read More….
The Conifer Coral Mushroom is found in the late summer and fall. We find them at higher elevations here on the BC coast. They are most common in wooded areas, especially conifer forests, and are usually found on the ground or on stumps and fallen logs. Some grow in open fields. They are not common but always a welcome sight as they are a very delicious mushroom. Read More….
Coprinpsis Atramentaria more commonly known as, (the ink cap, or the alcohol inky cap) is found throughout the northern hemisphere, look for it growing in fields, alongside trails and roadsides during the spring and fall. It gets its name, ink cap, because shortly after it appears the gills start to decompose into a black ink-like goo. In fact, it’s possible to make ink from these mushrooms. Read More….
Although these mushrooms are edible, Cortinarius Violaceas are quite bitter after cooking so I would say just enjoy their beauty and let them stay in the ground when you see them. There are studies going on now as to the quality of medicine contained in these mushrooms. It would seem that in tests done on white mice, there are anti-cancer qualities. More test needs to be done yet. Read More….
The crested coral fungus is probably the most commonly encountered of the many coral-like fungi in the Pacific Northwest, it is easily spotted when it grows along woodland trails. Common and widespread in woods and occasionally in grassland here on the coast, as indeed it is in other parts of the pacific northwest, It is also recorded in many other temperate parts of the world. It’s a common mushroom. Read More….
The fawn mushroom is widely distributed and common in the Pacific Northwest. It is fairly easily recognized by its growth on wood, its free gills that begin whitish but soon become pink its brownish cap, and its medium size. It is not picky about what kind of wood it grows on, nor is it very picky about when it will fruit, appearing from spring to fall and even in winters here on the outer coast. Read More….
Fluted Back Helvella Saddle Mushroom
The Fluted Black Helvella Saddle Mushroom, also called the black elfin saddle grows on all of the Pacific Northwest and is quite common. It grows in small groups on the open ground beneath conifer trees. The cap is gray to black, saddle-shaped, and usually convoluted with either a smooth or wrinkled surface depending on age. The flesh is quite brittle. The underside is gray to black with a gray stalk that can turn black with age, it is convoluted to fluted with elongated holes. Read More….
Gem Studded Puffball
Gem-studded puffball mushrooms grow in a wide variety of areas throughout Vancouver Island. The specimens pictured here were growing trailside at the edge of a conifer forest. Unlike the sort of giant puffballs, the gem-studded puffballs are much smaller, tending to be no larger than 3 to 5 cm. Read More….
The Glistening Coprinus is another common species of mushrooms that can be easily identified. It commonly grows in large groups and clusters on hardwood stumps, roots, and other organic material. It fruits on Vancouver Island in the fall. It is smaller than the Common Inkcap and is brighter colored, with ochraceous to yellow-brown caps that usually are adorned with small glistening particles that after a heavy rain, can wash off. Read More….
The slimy, red to a brownish cap, along with the gills that run down the stem, the slime veil sheathing the stem, the blackish spore print, and the yellowing base define Gomphidius subroseus, which is found under the douglas fir forests of Vancouver Island. The cap can be up to 6 cm across and is rose-red to pale pink in color, it has a mild taste. Gomphidius subroseus, commonly known as the rosy spike cap or pink gomphidius, is a gilled mushroom found on all of Vancouver Island. Read More….
The hedgehog mushroom which is also known as the sweet tooth and is closely related to another great tasting mushroom, the chanterelle, even the aroma is quite similar. These can often be found in profusion beginning from mid-summer right through late fall. This mushroom does not have a problem with bugs or maggots so it is a great mushroom that can be harvested in the late summer months. Read More….
Hericium Erinaceus (Lion’s Mane)
The Hericium Erinaceus mushroom is considered an important medicinal mushroom. The Chinese have used this mushroom for thousands of years for stomach problems and cancer of the digestive organs. These mushrooms also have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and they do a bang on job of boosting the immune system against certain types of cancers. Read More ….
Hygrocybe Miniata Mushroom
One of the smaller species of red waxcap fungi, the Hygrocybe Miniata Mushroom can occasionally be found in the Pacific Northwest, look for them in woodland clearings. The Hygrocybe Miniata Mushroom are notoriously difficult to separate on macroscopic characters alone, and so it is a great help when a species has one or more features shared with few or no other waxcaps. These waxcaps are scurfy rather than greasy. Read More….
When Laccaria Amethyst Mushrooms grow among moss, the caps of this beautiful mushroom stand out and are very easy to find. More often they grow among dark damp leaf litter and sometimes go unnoticed until the caps begin turning pale. Old caps become almost white in dry weather and could be confused with other small pale ocher or fawn mushrooms, some of which are poisonous. Read More….
Laccaria bicolor is a very common mushroom that can be found in the pacific northwest. It was formerly known as Laccaria laccata. This mushroom may just be edible and some say it’s good, I find it’s not very good so I would suggest you just enjoy seeing it and admiring how it has developed an ability to eat springtails, this species is an important mycorrhizal species for forest development. Read More….
Lactarius rubrilacteus has a carrot orange cap that is flat to vase-shaped but closed under when young. They grow up to 14 cm across, often with darker orange lines in the form of concentric circles. The cap is sticky when wet. It has crowded gills and a squat orange stem that is often hollow, up to 8 cm long, and up to 2 cm thick. This mushroom stains a deep green color when handled. When fresh, the mushroom exudes an orange-red latex or “milk” that does not change color. When this mushroom is old and has been wet, it will become a dark forest green in color. Read More….
The Leucopaxillius Gigantea or giant funnel mushroom of the Pacific Northwest is quite found growing in large fairy rings or arcs in woodland clearings. It can be found in the Pacific Northwest and all of Vancouver Island. I have always called them fairy ring mushrooms because they so often form them. Read More….
The lobster mushroom isn’t actually a true mushroom, it is a type of fungus which colonizes other mushrooms. When the fungus is left undisturbed, it will completely cover its host with a bright reddish to orange sheath which looks like a cooked lobster. As a result, people refer collectively to the host and the fungus as the lobster mushroom. Lobster mushrooms can be quite tasty, as a result of the unique combination of the host’s flavor and that of the colonizing fungus, and they are eaten in many parts of the world. Read More….
The Meadow Mushroom is a beautiful mushroom that is closely related to the cultivated button mushrooms that are sold in North American grocery stores. In most areas, it is a fall mushroom and as its common name suggests, it comes up in meadows, fields, and grassy areas, usually after it rains. It is easily recognized by its choice of habitat, its pinkish gills, which become chocolate brown as the mushroom matures, its quickly collapsing white ring, and the fact that it does not discolor when bruised. Read More….
The best time to begin looking for the Morel Mushroom is when daytime highs in your area reached 12 degrees for several days in a row, with nightly lows no colder than 4 degrees. Rain is important, too. Mushrooms like it warm and moist. If you have a dry spring, the crop will be sparse. If you have ample rain but not an unusually wet spring, the crop will be plentiful. Frosts and freezes, droughts, and heatwaves all can have adverse effects. It takes morels five years to grow. Read More….
Orange Jelly Belly Coral
Orange Jelly Belly Coral looks like something you might see while snorkeling in the warm southern seas. Coral mushrooms are also called deer antlers or doghair and they are of the family Clavariaceae. There are many species across North America, and they can grow quite large. Coral mushrooms are notoriously hard to identify. This has had me reluctant to post much about these beauties. Read More….
Shortly after the first rains of the season, the snow tan petal-like beginnings of the oyster mushroom can be found. The autumn forest is brightened with the beautiful young stemmed caps cascading shelf-like from the surface of dead alder trees. The cap is shell-shaped and has a delicate sweet and spicy aroma not usually found in oyster mushrooms grown commercially. Read More….
The Pear Shaped Puffball is a yellowish-brown mushroom with a pore at the top. It grows in large clusters on decaying wood and can be found on all parts of Vancouver Island from July to November. The fruiting body is pear-shaped and a yellowish to brown color on the outside but inside it’s a pure white color when it is young and fresh. Its surface is covered with tiny warts. When mature, a pore opening at the top releases spores. The spore print is olive-brown. Read More….
Purple Fairy Club
Purple Fairy Club with its dull purple colors and densely packed, non-branching fruiting bodies is distinctive enough that you will probably not need to use a microscope or a DNA sequencer to identify the mushroom successfully. Traditionally presumed to be saprobic but new studies suggest the possibility that it is associated with mosses, I wonder whether it might be associated with spruces as I always see them growing in tight clusters in conifer forests that contain lots of spruce trees. Read More….
The beautiful Questionable Stropharia, also known as Stropharia Ambigua is an exquisitely beautiful mushroom to observe, when you see this mushroom growing amongst the moss in a dark forest setting, it can take your breath away. The pale yellow mushroom with the white stem and cottony hanging edge to the cap is an incredible vision to see. Read More….
The Hemlock Lacquered Polypore mushroom (Reishi Mushroom) itself is a fan-shaped shelf polypore and has a red to orange color that has a shiny top. It has a white underside when fresh. The white underside bruises quickly when touched, the bruising is a tan color. Only harvest the fresh mushrooms, if the underside is a brown or gray color, there could be potentially harmful molds present, you need to process these mushrooms as quickly as possible after picking them. Read More….
Scarlet Cup Fungus
The beautiful scarlet cup fungus is quite often found by hikers in the spring. It is widely distributed in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, found growing from rotting wood, it provides a bright contrast to the dull colors of the pre-spring forest floor. The true name of this mushroom is Sarcoscypha Coccinea. Found growing on decaying hardwood sticks and logs, but sometimes the wood is buried and the mushrooms appear terrestrial. Read More….
Shaggy Mane Mushroom
The Shaggy Mane, occasionally called the Lawyers Wig, is an easy to recognize mushroom. This beautiful and kind of edible mushroom likes to grow in tight groups. The Shaggy Mane has an elongated shaggy cap, with brownish scales at the apex of the cap and a white stem that is straight and very smooth. Look for them in late summer and fall in grass, here in Sayward, I tend to see them growing along trails and at the edge of old logging roads. Read More….
Shaggy Parasol Mushroom
The common shaggy parasol fruits in late summer, often into the chill of fall. It likes disturbed areas or under spruce, juniper or cedar. I find them growing out in the open, right in town. There is another mushroom called the vomiter (Chlorophyllum molybdites) that the shaggy parasol can look like them when young. The vomiter is properly named as you will vomit for hours if you consume it, on the other hand, the shaggy parasol is delicious. Read More….
Shingled Hedgehog Mushroom
Sarcodon imbricatus, commonly known as the shingled, bitter, hawkwing, or scaly hedgehog, is a tooth fungus in the order Thelephorales. They call this mushroom edible but as the name implies, it’s quite bitter to the taste. Look for a mushroom that has a large, dark cap with brown scales. This mushroom can reach up to 30cm wide. Look beneath to see the teeth, on this mushroom they have a grayish color. Read More….
Gomphidius glutinosus, also known as the slimy spike-cap can be found all over Vancouver Island. It has gills, but is a member of the order Boletales, along with the boletes that incidentally do not have gills. The mushrooms sprout in spruce forests here on the Island. Look for them in the fall months. This mushroom sort of looks like a child’s toy top, the mushroom has a dark purple to brownish cap up to 12 cm in diameter, and the whole mushroom is often covered with a slimy veil when young. The fungus breaks free of this veil as it grows, leaving some strands and an indistinct ring. Read More….
Fruit bodies of the Xylaria Hypoxylon are usually flattened but sometimes cylindrical with dimensions of up to 8 cm in height. The erect fruiting bodies are often twisted or bent, and typically sparsely branched, often in a shape resembling a stag’s antlers. Specimens found earlier in the season, in spring, it may be covered completely in asexual spores, which manifests itself as a white to grayish powdery deposit. Read More….
Zellers Boletus Mushroom is an edible species of mushroom in the family Boletaceae. It can be found solely in western North America from British Columbia south to Mexico, they are prolific on Vancouver Island. The mushrooms are distinguishable by their dark reddish-brown to almost black caps with bumpy surfaces, the yellow pores that look like a sponge on the underside of the caps, and the red with yellow streaks on the stems. Read More….
Chicken Of The Woods Mushroom, Vancouver Island, BC, photo by Bud Logan
Going mushroom hunting in the fall for Edible Mushrooms is one of the things l love doing. The crisp fall air, sun shining through the mist. What more could a person want? Well, perhaps a big feed of these edible wonders. Some of the mushrooms listed here are not only edible and easy to identify but are truly delicious. Some of them are more geared to pros, learn the easy ones first, then move onto the more difficult ones. Learn about each mushroom one at a time and only eat the ones you know for sure are good to eat and the first time you try an edible mushroom, consume only a small amount.
Mushrooms are beautiful to behold and to see such wonders that seem to spring up overnight is just incredible. If you are just beginning to harvest mushrooms, you are in for a treat, as you learn how they grow and reproduce, you will be amazed. As you discover the great edible kinds, you will be hooked for life. I know I am.
A walk in the fall through the forest looking for mushrooms is good for you, good for your body, good for your spirit. It’s almost like meditation to me. You are surrounded by nature in all its glory. Most times, its either raining or has just rained ( best time to hunt mushrooms) and there are such sounds coming from the forest. The sounds of raindrops dripping from the trees, the sounds of babbling creeks made active by the rainfall. The sound of Insects that are starting to come out from hiding. Overall of this is the sounds of the various birds that are singing. This is such a wonderful way to spend the day.
When you are out there, keep your eyes open, you might see black bears, deer, elk, or any of the other forest creatures that live in the coastal rain forest, bring your camera with you and take home some memories.
These are very rare mushrooms and are a wondrous sight for the eyes. If you study the photo, they look like a mix between the more common yellow chanterelle and an oyster mushroom but painted black. Not very pretty to look at but when you see them in the wild they kind of take your breath away.
They are tough and a little bit woody to the feel and even when cooked retain some of these characteristics. These mushrooms have a very distinctive flavor and can be quite earthy, but you know, they are nice when mixed in with other mushrooms and stir-fried, adding that wild, dark blue color to the mix.
The Blue Chanterelle Mushrooms fruiting body has a funnel-shaped cap with a velvety texture that often grows stacked upon one another. The underside of the caps does not have visible gills, only wrinkles. They are dark bluish-purple to black in color. Blue chanterelles have a sweet earthy aroma with a mild, nutty flavor when cooked.
Although it is quite often referred to as the Blue Chanterelle Mushroom, this wild mushroom is not a chanterelle at all. Mycologists have placed it into the genus Polyozellus, a member of the ephoraceae family. It is a mushroom of the lowland forests, it grows best in the wet spruce and fir forests of the Pacific Northwest. I have seen these in large groups a few times, but have mostly seen them as single mushrooms.
A study published in 2014 showed that blue chanterelle has medical uses. The compounds found in the mushroom can be used as a treatment for stomach cancer and they also found in this study that these mushrooms could benefit people with diabetes because they inhibit glucosidase and this slows down the processing of carbohydrates in the sufferers of diabetes. More studies need to be done to unlock the secrets of these beautiful mushrooms.
They are not just a hearty meal though, king bolete mushrooms are immunostimulating and contain lots of vitamin B, thereby can help to maintain a balanced nervous system.
It grows in conifer forests where it just like all other mushrooms, it has an association with the roots of the trees, aiding them in absorbing nutrients while receiving sugars from the tree’ in return. There is much more going on here that we are just beginning to understand.
As with any mushroom, you must be absolutely sure what you’re harvesting, never eat a mushroom unless you can identify it with no mistakes because making a mistake when harvesting mushrooms could kill you. The King Bolete Mushroom (Boletus edulis) is fairly easy to identify, once you get the hang of it, although it has many variations in color and size, and shape. The stem of these mushrooms will have a pattern on them that looks like the skin patterns on a giraffe.