Are you a mushroom enthusiast? Do you know the different types of mushrooms and their seasons? If not, stay tuned. We will introduce you to all the different types of mushrooms and learn how they grow in various regions across the world and when is a good time for harvesting them.
There are many different types of mushrooms that can be found in any season, but some are more common during certain times of the year. Whether you are looking for a delicious addition to your next meal or want to know what kind of mushroom you just picked up at the store, this article will help guide you through the world of fungi.
It further discusses which ones are more often found during specific seasons and what each type looks like so you can identify them. But before then, it is essential to note that you can grow mushrooms at home from spores. The process is relatively simple as long as you get spores from a reputed seller like SporeBaby.com
Now back to mushrooms and their seasons. Here we go;
Once winter has hit its stride, many mushroom hunters set out for wild foraging to find fungi that are hidden beneath the surface all year long. The season runs from early December to late February. True morels are an example of what people love to collect during this time of year. These unique mushrooms are easy to identify and can be found near dead elm trees.
Snow morels (Morchella deliciosa) can be found in the more northern regions of America, where the ground is covered in snow. They are scarce and mostly appear from late February. These mushrooms are more commonly found on the West Coast throughout winter.
Blue milk mushrooms (Lactarius indigo) are also available during winter. They have a distinct bluish color that becomes darker when the weather is wet. You can find them in winter habitats such as redwood forests from December through February.
The matsutake mushroom (Tricholoma magnivelare) fruits around this time, although its appearance varies depending on where it grows. For example, it could appear in coniferous forests with oaks or birches, so it is essential to do your research before attempting to collect them.
Although many kinds of fungi grow during the winter months, you will encounter a whole new ecosystem that primarily consists of mushrooms by searching for them during this time.
Morel mushrooms extend from winter to spring. They are often one of the first fungi to appear during springtime due to their unique way of growing. Unlike other types, they grow from a single spore and usually take around 7-10 days before appearing after it rains.
Be sure to look for them in damp areas that have been soaked with water a few days prior since they love growing near decaying plant matter.
When the temperatures get warmer, more and more of these mushrooms will begin to fruit. Once they do, you will be able to find them in a variety of habitats. Below are examples of mushrooms to look for during spring.
Psilocybe cubensis is one of the mushrooms that you can find literally anytime. However, you can easily find them during spring. They are popular because of their high psilocybin content.
Typically, in the north hemisphere, they begin appearing late February before becoming more available in spring. They are easily spotted on cow dung and rich pasture soil.
The gray morel (Morchella importuna) grows around the same time as other species and has a gray-black color. However, it is unique because gray morel prefers growing at a lower level. It usually takes around five days after rain for it to appear.
The green morel (Morchella esculenta) has a yellow-green color that fades as it gets older and prefers growing in grassy areas. It is also one of the most sought-after types since they’re known to grow across North America.
The black morel (Morchella Elata) is quite popular with hunters due to its delicious taste. It can be found near hardwood trees or in forests containing cottonwoods, ash, willows, or tulip poplar trees.
This species typically takes longer than other kinds of morels to emerge, so you will need patience if you want them.
The half-free morel (Morchella semilibera) is relatively new to hunters since it was discovered in 1993. It has a yellow-brown color and loves growing in areas where the soil is rich with nutrients.
When collecting morel mushrooms, you will encounter many of them that are damaged or infested by insect larvae. We recommend
snipping off the unwanted parts to avoid infecting the rest of your fungi if this happens.
Although it is usually tricky to find mushrooms that grow exclusively in the summertime, some types fruit during this season. Many of these mushrooms that thrive during this season also grow during other times of the year. Here are some examples of mushrooms that thrive during the summer.
The lobster mushrooms (Hypomyces lactifluorum) are popular during the summer but they only appear when temperatures rise above 70° Fahrenheit and usually take a few days to mature. Once it has reached full size, they are ready to be collected and cooked into delicious dishes.
Chanterelles (Cantharellus cibarius) are another example of famous mushrooms you will come across in the warmer regions of America. These vary greatly depending on where they grow and can either be yellow or white.
Candy caps (Lactarius rubidus) have a sweet smell that some claim smells like maple syrup or anise (like fennel), and can also be found during the summer. They’re well-known for their fruity flavor and are often mixed with other mushrooms to enhance their taste.
Many types of puffballs (Lycoperdon spp) grow in warmer climates, such as Calvatia gigantea. These can easily be mistaken for golf balls on the surface of the ground. However, unlike a real golf ball, they can’t move or even bounce. As if that weren’t strange enough already. Like many other kinds of mushrooms, they have very unique flavors.
Other than those examples mentioned above, you can find just about any mushroom species growing in the warmer regions of America during the summer months. There are so many different kinds that it would be impossible to list them all here.
During the fall season, many types of mushrooms are hidden underground until heavier rains arrive. They’re usually found in damp areas where leaves have gathered together.
The late summer months before welcoming fall are another good time for finding them since they love growing near decaying plant matter that is currently being broken down by fungi and bacteria. Even though some types emerge earlier than others, it is best to look for them during autumn or after a particularly wet day when the ground is soft enough to dig into. Let’s get started with some examples of mushrooms that do well during fall.
The oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus) are popular among wild foragers because they can be eaten raw, sauteed, or grilled. In addition to their taste, they are also easy to spot because of their white stem with a brown cap that becomes flat as it gets older.
The birch bolete (Leccinum scabrum) is often seen growing near birch trees and gets black spots on its pores when it is ready to harvest. On average, you will be able to find it in late August or September since they take around four days to mature.
The beefsteak fungus (Fistulina hepatica) has a unique way of growing because it loves living inside decaying trees such as the Japanese larch. It takes about 10-20 days for this species to fully develop, so take note if you spot one.
The turkey tail mushroom (Trametes Versicolor) is also known as the solus Versicolor and can be identified by its dark brown color. Thanks to the medicinal benefits, this species typically has a tough texture and is a favorite among foragers.
Shaggy manes (Coprinus comatus) are typically one of the first fungi to appear since they can tolerate colder temperatures than other species. They usually appear in grassy areas and don’t grow too tall, so it is easy to spot them.
Ear-like polypores (Phellinus spp) are another popular type of fungus that often emerges during this season. If you’re wondering where to find these mushrooms, their favorite habitats include dead tree stumps or hardwood logs that have fallen over. These are some of the most accessible types to identify due to their ear-like shape.
When it comes to mushrooms, there are plenty of ways to enjoy them. From soups and stews in the winter to grilled burgers on a summer evening, you’ll find that these fungi can be used all year round. Also remember that you can germinate spores at home and get exactly the mushroom you want.
Wild foraging is a great way to spend time outdoors, get exercise and discover your culinary side. Hopefully, this article has given you some ideas on where mushrooms grow in the wild, what types of fungi are available at different times of the year. Get out there and explore nature; you never know what you will find or how it will change your life.