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How to Identify Edible Mushrooms on Your Yard:

Updated on September 22, 2015
Branch Oyster Mushroom
Branch Oyster Mushroom

Mushrooms Grow Everywhere: Even in your Backyard!

Mushrooms are in the same family as mold, so it is not surprising that they end up growing mostly everywhere.

If you have dead wood or wet wood near or on your yard, then you can surely spot mushrooms growing on your land.

This article serves to let you know about three types of edible mushroom that are very common in yards, but if you aren't experienced in mushroom harvesting then take this article as a curiosity just to let you know if the mushroom you have there MAY be edible.

Remember, there are only two sure shot ways to guarantee you're eating edible mushrooms:

  • Buying them from sealed packages at reliable stores;
  • Growing them yourself from controlled samples

Having this in mind, you can read the rest, paying attention to the disclaimer.

This is Dangerous!
This is Dangerous!

Disclaimer: Don’t Eat Wild Mushrooms if You Aren’t Experienced!

I know it may seem obvious for some that you should never eat a wild mushroom based solely on an online article, but for those who can’t see the obvious – this is an article to help curious people in identifying local mushrooms just out of curiosity, not to help them eat them without prior knowledge!

Knowing your mushrooms isn’t an easy thing, and even experts get it wrong sometimes, so bear this in mind while you’re reading this article.

Eating a mushroom that isn’t edible can kill you or sicken you gravely, and you shouldn’t gamble with your life that easily.

While this article may be interested, don’t consider it a bible – far from that!

A Congregation of Puffballs
A Congregation of Puffballs

Puffball Mushroom:


The mushroom above is a pretty big one and it is a mushroom that is common in forests and edible, growing in the Fall and even during the late Summer.

They usually grow on wood that is moist or decaying and taste amazingly well when fried on a pan or deep frier.

However, these mushrooms can be quite similar to parasols in their young stages, so you should only risk it if you know what you’re doing because parasols are best left avoided.

See the Growing Pattern?
See the Growing Pattern?

The Oyster Mushroom: An Edible Beauty!

The Oyster mushroom is a type of fungi that is used in high profile dishes and gourmet restaurants. This edible mushroom is also one of the easiest to spot in the wild, or even to grow on your yard if you fancy yourself a mushroom farmer.

These fungi are white and soft, usually growing in tight groups and during the Summer months.

A Maitake Mushroom Cluster
A Maitake Mushroom Cluster

The Maitake Mushroom: Edible Feathers!

The Maitake edible mushroom is the safest bet on this list simply because it has no close lookalike toadstools, and nothing poisonous looks like it, so it is quite a safe pick (remember, even when this is true you shouldn’t harvest or eat mushrooms if you don’t know what you’re doing).

Their appearance is quite unique, being kind of rounded and looking with a bird with its feathers spruced up, giving them the alternate name of “Hen of the Woods”.

Their growth pattern is shown on the picture above, as they overlap one another in a tight formation. Don’t be fooled however, as they can grow to be quite big and heavy.

This mushroom is a food item that has the potential to feed you for days if you know how to prepare its various parts (it has parts both hard and soft).

Danger Meter:

Do you know of any Mushroom Expert that risked too much and ate the wrong mushroom?

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    • profile image

      mushident 22 months ago

      Nice pictures.. can you share them for our site about mushroms http://identification.growing-mushrooms.com ?

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 23 months ago from United Kingdom

      Very useful information. Thanks.