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Above are some Yellow Morels foraged in Payne County, Oklahoma. They are yellow morels (Morchella esculenta ). Morel's are an excellent edible and one of the eaiser mushrooms to ID. In Oklahoma, locals say it is time for the morels when the Red Bud trees start to bloom. I have found them in our hard wood forests and also under cedar trees. They love to plant theirselves in the middle of large briar patches! Morel hunters do not share their spots with you in Oklahoma. Some families have foraged the same spots for generations.
I have come upon many shaggy manes while walking through creek beds in Oklahoma. I have also found them growing in yards in town. These are a mushroom, I eat only fresh. I tried to saute them and freeze, I ended up with a mess. When they are way past their prime they melt away. When you see that they are starting to turn black inside it is too late. I have found these growing in spring and fall here.
You should always cut this mushroom in half and make sure there is only white flesh. If you see any lines or shading inside that looks like a shape of a mushroom, discard it. I have seen these mushrooms cover the fields when the conditions are just right. They also can be found in our hardwood forests.
Oyster Mushrooms may be found from early fall to spring in North Central Oklahoma. This is a favorite. We like to use it making mock oyster stew. It is often found on dead oak trees and stumps here. I am use to the oyster mushrooms in this area being very large. One of our members sent in a picture which I did not ID right because of the small size, it also was an oyster mushroom, however it was a rare one for Oklahoma. Depending on the growing conditions you will find your oysters in many different shades. This is why it is so important to have help in your ID from an expert. Get that expert!
LOOK_A_LIKE Pigskin Poison Puffball
Thank you to Fungi 4 Schools for use of this picture.
I find these here every other year or so. When I do find them I usually have a few pounds. They are easy to see them in our hardwood forests. They range from a light yellow to a dark orange. During the last couple of years we have had a drought and they are scarce. This is Jess Fussel with her find!
This Hen of the Woods was found in September by Don Nguyen. You will find them in the Ozarks and in Eastern Oklahoma. I have never found one in Central Oklahoma.
Chanterelle's grow mainly in the eastern half of Oklahoma. They are a prize for many Oklahoma mushroom hunters. It has a peppery taste, sometimes fairly strong and sometimes not. Many say it smells like apricots.
Caution: there is a look alike for this mushroom. It is the jack-o'-lantern mushroom. The Chanterelle has forked gills and the jack-o'-lantern does not. The chanterelle is a egg yoke yellowish, however the flesh is white unlike the jack-o'-lantern with its orange yellow color which goes through the flesh.
Wood Ear mushrooms are found in Oklahoma hard wood forests, however you may find them on a wood pile. Not as abundant as they were in past years before the drought. Not only edible but were used medicinally in history. I use them for stir fry and the taste is like what ever you cook them with.
Also known as Reishi, Ganoderma Lucidum has been used in Chinese medicine. The use of this mushroom requires a level of knowledge about its medicinaal properties in order to use it.
These are found in the East two thirds of the state. They are not as common as some edible mushrooms. These need to be eaten before the bugs get to them like many wild mushrooms.
This Indiago Milky Cap is beautiful in the wild. It will bleed blue all over when handled. It is listed as an edible mushroom.
This Aminita was found in Kevin Gant's yard in OKC. The inset above shows the outline inside a aminita button which have been mistaken for a puff ball mushroom!!
These were found by Jess Fussel in New York State. They do however grow here.
These pink oyster mushrooms were found by Megan Brady. Speaking with Dr. Conway (Mycologist) from OSU he explained that there is some cross breeding of the oyster mushroom that can produce a pink oyster and it is recommended that you do not eat them. What Megan found so different than our edible oysters is the fine hair all over this pink oyster. There are tropical Pink Oyster mushrooms that grow in the tropics, however this is not one.