Edible British Mushrooms

Agaricus Family
Field Mushroom
(Agaricus Campestris)

Field mushroom

Agaricus Campestris

Found: As the name suggests, in fields normally after a rainy, warm summer.
Description: Has a round cap that expands to 10cm in diameter, the colour of which is white at first, but then becomes cream/brown. The gills are dark brown and the stem is thick and short (no more than 8cm tall).
Note: Do not confused with the Yellow Stainer mushroom (Xanthodermus) which becomes yellow when touched.

Horse Mushroom
(Agaricus Arvensis)

Horse Mushroom

Agaricus Arvensis

Found: Near stables in early summer to late autumn.
Description: Similar to that of the Field Mushroom, but slightly bigger. Cap can grow to 20cm in diameter and stem to 10cm in length. The flesh has a scent similar to aniseed.
Note: Do not confused with the Yellow Stainer mushroom (Xanthodermus) which becomes yellow when touched.

Button, Chestnut and Portobello Mushroom
(Agaricus Bisporus)

Chestnut, button and Portobello mushroom

Agaricus Bisporus

Found: In manure heaps, roadsides and garden waste from late spring to autumn.
Description: When very young it has a white, closed cap (button mushroom). As it develops the flesh becomes darker and the cap opens slightly (chestnut mushroom). Finally, when it matures fully the cap opens and it becomes much larger in size (portobello mushroom).


Armillaria Family
Honey Fungus
(Armillaria Mellea)

Honey Fungus

Armillaria Mellea

Found: Mid-summer to late autumn. Grows on stumps and at the base of trees such as beech, willow, poplar and mulberry.
Description: Cap is round, but flattens out with age and dips towards the middle. Pale honey-yellow to dark brown in colour and measures 3–20cm in diameter. Stem is tall and thin and can reach 20cm in height. The stem is white in colour at first, but becomes yellow with age.
Note: Do not eat raw.

Pholiota Mutabilis

Pholiota Mutabilis

Pholiota Mutabilis

Found: All year round, but mostly in the summer. Grows on tree stumps in large groups.
Description: The cap is round and varies from a creamy-brown to to a dark brown. Usually will be darker on the outside of the cap and a lighter colour towards the centre. Measures from 4–8cm in diameter. Gills are close together and pale yellow. The stem is off white towards the cap and becomes darker towards the root. It also has small, brown scales towards the bottom.
Note: Do not eat raw. Do not confuse with Hypholoma Fasciculare, which have sulphur yellow gills that turn green with age.

Poplar Mushroom
(Agrocybe Cylindrica)

Poplar Mushroom

Agrocybe Cylindrica

Found: Mostly on trees such as mulberry, elder, elm and poplar during spring and autumn.
Description: Caps are rounder at first, but then flatten out as they mature and can measure between 1–10cm in diameter. Tend to be darker in the middle of the cap and lighter on the outside. Gills are tight and small. The stem is relatively tall and can measure up to 15cm. Flesh has a scent similar to flour and is white/cream in colour.
Note: Do not eat raw.

Sheathed Woodtuft
(Pholiota Mutabilis)

Sheathed Woodtuft

Pholiota Mutabilis

Found: All year round but most common in summer. Grow mainly on tree stumps in large groups.
Description: Cap is cinnamon brown in colour and measures 4–8cm in diameter. Gills are tight and slightly yellow in colour. Stem is up to 6cm in length.
Note: Do not confuse with the poisonous Hypoloma Fasciculare.


Auricularia Family
Jew’s Ear
(Auricularia Judae)

Jew's EarJew's Ear

Auricularia Judae

Found: Grows all year round, as long as there is enough rain. Usually grows on stumps and branches of elder trees in groups.
Description: As the name suggests, looks similar to a human ear with sections inside an oblong shape. The colour can vary from maroon to golden brown. They can grow to 3mm thick and 10cm in diameter.


Boletus Family
Bay Bolete
(Boletus Badius)

Bay Bolete

Boletus Badius

Found: From mid-summer to late autumn. Grow singly in soil and in groups in dense woodland.
Description: The cap is bay in colour, which was the source of the name and has a leathery feel. At first the cap is very spherical, but as it matures it flattens out. Measures between 12–14cm in diameter. The stem is normally much paler in colour than the cap and can become thicker at the base in maturity.

Peppery Bolete
(Boletus Piper)

Peppery Bolete

Boletus Piperatus

Found: From late summer to autumn on sandy soil amongst conifers, beach and oak trees.
Description: The cap is 3–6cm in diameter and rust-coloured. Stem is 3–6cm in length and of a similar colour to the cap. Instead of gills, it has pores. These are a slightly darker colour than the cap.

Cep
(Boletus Edulis)

Cep

Boletus Edulis

Found: From early summer to mid-autumn. Normally grow in mixed woodlands close to trees, in fields and are also common on golf courses. Mostly grow singly, but occasionally in groups of two or three.
Description: Cap is off-white in colour and can vary in size between 8–30cm in diameter. Quite round in shape to start with, but becomes flatter in maturity. Stem is broad at the base and lighter than the cap in colour. The pores are closely packed together, off-white in colour at first, but turn dark yellow in maturity.
Note: Do not confuse with Tylopilus Felleus, which has bitter flesh.


Cantharellus Family
Chanterelle
(Cantharellus Cibarius)

Chanterelle

Cantharellus Cibarius

Found: In summer. Can usually be found growing singly in mixed woodlands amongst moss, or in groups on soil.
Description: Cap can be round and bright yellow in younger specimens, but tends to become funnel shaped and faded yellow in maturity. Gills are spaced out and run quite far down the stem. The stem is fairly thick (2–3cm in diameter) and can reach 6cm tall. Smells slightly like apricots.

Horn of Plenty
(Craterellus Cornucopioides)

Horn of Plenty

Craterellus Cornucopioides

Found: From late summer to late autumn. Grow close to oak trees, normally in or near piles of leaves. Can normally be found in the same spot every year.
Description: Younger specimens are pale brown in colour, but become blacker as they mature. Similar shape to a trumpet, with curved edges. Cap measures 8–10cm in diameter. Tend not to have gills or pores. Stem is hollow and can grow up to 12cm tall.

Shaggy Mane
(Coprinus Comatus)

Shaggy mane

Coprinus Comatus

Found: Late summer to late autumn. Grows in large groups wherever soil has been disturbed, places such as country lanes and bridleways.
Description: Cap begins as a rounded cylinder shape, but in maturity opens up to a bell shape. Normally covered in white scales with brown tips. Cap measures 1–6cm in diameter. Stem is thin, hollow and white in colour. Can reach 25cm in height.
Note: Can only be used while the gills are still white. Mature specimens will become black and inedible.


Polypore Family
Ox Tongue
(Fistulina Hepatica)

Ox Tongue

Fistulina Hepatica

Found: Late summer to late autumn. Can be found growing on trees or stumps, normally oak.
Description: Reddish brown in colour and resembles a piece of raw meat. The cap can reach 35cm in diameter and is normally around 6–7cm thick. Stem is normally barely visible and is very small but thick.


Hydnum Family
Hedgehog Fungus
(Hydnum Repandum)

Hedgehog fungus

Hydnum Repandum

Found: Mid-summer to late autumn. Can normally be found growing under trees in groups.
Description: Cap is irregular but normally fairly flat. Can reach up to 15cm in diameter. Ranging from off-white to orange in colour. Does not have gills, but spines. These are very close together and grow on the underside of the cap, reaching 6mm in length. Stem is large and thicker towards the base, similar in colour to the cap and can reach 7cm tall.


Laccaria Family
Amethyst Deceiver
(Laccaria Amethystea)

Amethyst Deceiver

Laccaria Amethystea

Found: Late summer to early winter. Grow in woods, normally close to beech in small groups.
Description: Bright purple in colour, but fades to a pale lilac in maturity. Cap is small and measures from 1–8cm in diameter. Stem is the same colour as the cap and can reach 8cm tall.


Lactarius Family
Saffron Milk Cap
(Lactarius Deliciosus)

Saffron Milk Cap

Lactarius Deliciosus

Found: Late summer to late autumn. Grows amongst conifers, usually in pine needles in groups.
Description: Cap is smooth, orange in colour and can reach 12cm in diameter. In younger specimens, cap is round with a small dip in the centre, but becomes deeper as it matures and becomes funnel-shaped.
Note: Do not confuse with the poisonous Lactarius Torminosus, which has a wooly, fluffy cap.


Laetiporus Family
Chicken of the Woods
(Laetiporus Sulphureus)

Chicken of the Woods

Laetiporus Sulphureus

Found: Late spring to autumn. Grows on trees such as oak, willow, wild cherry and yew. Grows singly and in small groups.
Description: As the name suggests, cap is sulphur yellow in colour and can reach 70cm in diameter, although they would be too tough to eat at this stage. Texture is similar to suede in younger specimens, but becomes leathery in maturity.
Note: Always cut away the base, as it can sometimes contain splinters of the bark of the tree.


Leccinum Family
Orange Birch Bolete
(Leccinum Versipelle/Boletus Versipellus)

Orange Birch Bolete

Leccinum Versipelle

Found: Early summer to end of autumn. Grow among rich vegetation, normally found singly near birch and oak trees.
Description: Cap is deep orange in colour and can reach 30cm in diameter. Stem is off-white in colour and is covered in black or brown scales. It is quite thick and can grow up to 25cm tall.

Parasol Mushroom
(Lepiota Procera/Macrolepiota Procera)

Parasol Mushroom

Lepiota Procera/Macrolepiota Procera

Found: Mid-summer to autumn. Grow mostly solitary, but occasionally in small groups. Can be found in fields, gardens and hedgerows.
Description: In younger specimens the cap is round and attached to the stem by a seal, the cap opens in maturity. The cap is off-white and has brown scales. Can reach 25cm in diameter. The stem is thin in comparison to the cap, but can reach 30cm in height.


Lepista Family
Wood Blewit
(Lepista Nuda)

Wood Blewit

Lepista Nuda/Tricholoma Nudum

Found: Autumn to early winter, even through frosts. Grows in woodlands, hedgerows, fields and gardens.
Description: Younger specimens have a violet colour which becomes greyer with age. The cap is rounded, but curls at the edges in maturity, which exposes the gills. Cap can reach 12cm in diameter. Stem is slightly lighter than the cap in colour an can reach 10cm tall.


Lycoperdon Family
Giant Puffball
(Lycoperdon Giganteum/Calvatia Gigantea)

Giant puffball

Lycoperdon Giganteum/Calvatia Gigantea

Found: Late summer to late autumn. Grows in fields, hedgerows, gardens and parks in sparse groups.
Description: Doesn’t technically have a cap, gills or a stem, but is a bulbous growth attached to a small root which eventually breaks. The skin is white and has a leathery texture. Can grow to 80cm in diameter.

Pear-Shaped Puffball
(Lycoperdon Pyriforme)

Pear-shaped puffball

Lycoperdon pyriforme

Found: Mid-summer to autumn. Grows on rotting tree trunks in compact groups.
Description: A smaller version of the giant puffball, but only reaches 3–5cm in diameter. Has a slightly rougher skin than the giant puffball and is light brown in colour. Gives off a scent similar to latex.
Note: Is only edible when young.

Pearl Puffball
(Lycoperdon Perlatum)

Pearl puffball

Lycoperdon Perlatum

Found: Summer to early autumn. Grows in woodlands and fields.
Description: Thick set and has a shape similar to a club. White in colour and covered in small spines.
Note: Do not eat raw and only eat when still white.


Marasmius Family
Fairy Ring Champignon
(Marasmius Oreades)

Fairy ring champignon

Marasmius Oreades

Found: Spring to autumn. Grow in grass such as parks, fields and gardens. Get their name from growing in perfect half or full circles, said to be where the fairies dance.
Description: Colour is a creamy-brown and cap is quite round in shape. Measures from 1–6cm in diameter. Stem is very thin and can reach 6cm tall but is inedible.
Note: Do not confuse with Clitocybe Rivulosa, which grow in irregular circles or half circles.


Morchella Family
Morel
(Morchella Elata)

Morel

Morchella Elata

Found: Will appear from March to May if there has been a cold winter, followed by a warm spring. Grow on sandy soil and ground that has been burned. Can be found in woodlands, banks, orchards and wastelands.
Description: The cap is made up of small gaps which contain sacs in which the spores are produced. It is cone shaped and dark brown, which gets darker with age. The cap can reach 5cm in diameter and 10cm in height. The stem is off-white and thick but thicker towards the root. This can reach 5cm tall.
Note: Do not confuse with Gyromitra Esculenta which has a more lobed and contorted cap.

Morchella Esculenta

Morchella Esculenta

Morchella Esculenta

Found: Will appear from March to May if there has been a cold winter, followed by a warm spring. Grow on sandy soil and ground that has been burned. Can be found in woodlands, banks, orchards and wastelands.
Description: The cap is made up of small gaps which contain sacs in which the spores are produced. It is a rounded cone shape and a creamy yellow in colour, which darkens to a light brown with age. The cap can reach 15cm in height. The stem is off-white and thick but thicker towards the root. This can reach 9cm tall.


Pleurotus Family
Oyster Mushroom
(Pleurotus Ostreatus)

oyster mushroom

Pleurotus Ostreatus

Found: Early summer to early winter. Grow on rotting trees, mostly beech and normally hidden by grass or nettles.
Description: Ranges from a greyish-blue to cream in colour. The cap shape is round and quite flat and can reach 16cm in diameter. The gills are quite spaced out and are cream in colour. The stem is not normally visible and merges into the gills.
Note: Always cut away the base, as it can sometimes contain splinters of the bark of the tree.

Pleurotus Cornucopiae

Pleurotus Cornucopiae

Pleurotus Cornucopiae

Found: Early summer to early winter. Grow on rotting trees, mainly oak and elm.
Description: Colour varies from white to light brown. The cap is similar in shape to a funnel and the stem is more prominent than the oyster mushroom.
Note: Always cut away the base, as it can sometimes contain splinters of the bark of the tree.


Polyporus Family
Giant Polypore
(Polyporus Giganteus)

Giant polypore

Polyporus Giganteus

Found: Mid-summer to early autumn. Grows on tree stumps such as beech and oak, in clusters.
Description: The cap grows in irregular flat sections, similar to petals. Colour is irregular, normally golden with darker brown stripes or patches, tends to be lighter towards the edges. The stem is usually not visible and is inedible.
Note: Can only be eaten when young, when a brown liquid leaks from the mushroom when cut. Always cut away the base, as it can sometimes contain splinters of the bark of the tree.

Dryad’s Saddle
(Polyporus Squamosus)

Dryad's Saddle

Polyporus Squamosus

Found: Spring to summer. Grows on a variety of dead or rotting trees.
Description: The flesh varies from dark yellow to cream and has dark brown scales. The cap has a shallow concave shape and can reach 60cm in diameter. The stem is very short and dark in colour and is normally hidden by the cap.
Note: Should not be eaten raw. Can only be eaten when young, when the underside of the cap is cream in colour. Always cut away the base, as it can sometimes contain splinters of the bark of the tree.


Russula Family
Green-Cracked Russula
(Russula Virescens)

Green Cracked Russula

Russula Virescens

Found: Late spring to autumn. Grows near trees, mainly chestnut and oak.
Description: Cap is quite thick and round in shape, with a dip in the centre and has greyish-green scales. Ranges from 5–15cm in diameter. Stem is thick but soft and ranges from white to brown in colour.

The Charcoal Burner
(Russula Cyanoxantha)

Charcoal Burner

Russula Cyanoxantha

Found: Summer to late autumn. Grows under trees with larger leaves such as birch, elm and oak.
Description: Colour of the cap is normally dark and can range from green, to blue, to purple. Can measure from 5–12cm in diameter. The stem is pure white and around 7cm tall.


Sparassis Crispa
Cauliflower Fungus
(Sparassis Crispa)

Cauliflower Fungus

Sparassis Crispa

Found: Late summer to late autumn. Grows singly in woods, normally at the base of conifers and on stumps.
Description: The body is a collection of small frills, similar to seaweed and is cream in colour. It can range from 20–50cm in diameter.


Suillus Family
Slippery Jack
(Suillus Luteus)

Slippery Jack

Suillus Luteus

Found: Summer to late autumn. Grow singly and sometimes in small groups. Only found under larch trees.
Description: Younger species have a closed cap, but it flattens out with age. Can grow up to 10–12cm in diameter. They have a shiny, slippery cuticle which is where they get their name from. The cap is yellow-orange in colour when young and becomes paler with age. The stem is tall and quite thick, reaching 10cm in height. It is dark yellow in colour with brown patterns most of the way up.


Tricholoma Family
St George’s Mushrooms
(Tricholoma Gambosum)

St George's Mushroom

Tricholoma Gambosum

Found: As the name suggests, can be found around St George’s Day (23rd April), but best to pick them a week later. Tends to grow in circles and can be found in grassy places, where the grass has not been disturbed.
Description: Cap is off-white in colour, round and thick, but tends to split around the edges. Cap can measure up to 5–15cm in diameter. Stem is thicker towards the root and thinner towards the cap. Reaches 4cm in height.
Note: Do not confuse with Inocybe Patouillardii, which has a slightly redder cap and grows in woods around the same time of year as St George’s.


Truffle Family
Summer Truffle
(Tuber Aestivum)

Summer Truffle

Tuber Aestivum

Found: From summer to early winter. Grows on chalky soils, normally around beech trees in the sun. Part of the truffle is normally visible above ground, so is relatively easy to find.
Description: Very round in shape with rough, dark brown skin covered in pointy warts. Measures around 3–4cm in diameter. When cut, the flesh inside is light brown in colour and has white veins.

Burgundy Truffle
(Tuber Uncinatum)

Burgundy Truffle

Tuber Uncinatum

Found: autumn to winter, but take around 8 months to mature fully. Grows in chalky soil in the shade.
Description: Less round than the summer truffle and slightly irregular in shape. Measures between 2–9cm in diameter. Dark brown to burgundy in colour, with pointed warts that are slightly smaller than the summer truffle. When cut, the flesh is chocolate brown in colour with white veins.

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