What Are Some Common Michigan Fall Mushrooms?

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Some common Michigan fall mushrooms are honey mushrooms, chicken of the woods, oyster mushrooms, lobster mushrooms and porcini. Some species such as chanterelles have a long season that extends to mid-autumn.

Mushroom hunters prize chanterelle, an orange trumpet-shaped fungus that boasts an airy apricot scent. However, poisonous jack-o-lanterns resemble chanterelles with the exception of gill-like ridges underneath their caps. Chicken of the woods mushrooms, another common fall variety, have a bright orange or yellow color with darker fringe found on hardwood trees. Like chicken of the woods, oyster mushrooms are also a shelf fungus, meaning that they usually grow on tree trunks rather than at the bases of trees. Unlike chicken of the woods, oyster mushrooms are much more palatable for cooking and eating.

Puffballs are common not only in the fall, but throughout the year as well. Different varieties grow to sizes from small marbles to large balloons. While puffballs are edible, death caps are poisonous, although resembling puffballs while young. True to the name, corals are coral-looking mushrooms generally found amidst hummus-rich earth or rotting wood on forest floors. Lobster mushrooms are one of the most difficult to find fungi in Michigan, although they are not technically mushrooms. It is a mold or fungus that takes over a mushroom, turning it a bright red.