While we can’t go over every single different type of mushroom that’s growing out there in the world currently, we can give you a list of some of the most common and interesting toadstools. Fungi grow in a variety of conditions, from simple to symbiotic. With prevalence in cuisine, media, and medicine, mushrooms have an exciting history and come in many forms.
In this article, we’ll go over a brief list of some of the different types of mushrooms, including poisonous and edible varieties. Let’s talk about some of the different mushroom orders and species before diving into our list of some of the different types of mushrooms! Let’s get started now.
How Many Different Types of Mushrooms Are There?
With hundreds of new fungi species being discovered each and every year, it shouldn’t be surprising to hear that there are over 10,000 different types of mushrooms. In fact, there are very nearly 15,000 mushrooms found around the world, and in a variety of environments and ecosystems. Many species are edible and a great deal more are poisonous; some are bioluminescent and some simply smell really bad.
Some of the most common mushroom botanical orders, classes, and groups include:
Again, there are a dizzying amount of different types of mushrooms, primarily divided into categories based on their uses and toxicity. While poisonous mushrooms should be avoided, there are a great number of edible and delicious culinary mushrooms to consider. Just make sure you only eat mushrooms from your local grocer or that you forage with an expert mushroom hunter!
15+ Different Types of Mushrooms
Curious to learn more about the wild and mystical world of fungi? Here are more than a dozen different types of mushrooms, including the deadly and delicious!
Some of the most prized mushrooms on the planet have to be morel mushrooms. Commonly classified as Morchella esculenta, morels make up a million-dollar industry given their prized culinary status. Only in the recent past have morels been manufactured commercially rather than harvested in a natural environment. Morels struggle to grow in a sterilized setting, often forming symbiotic relationships with the ecosystem around them. However, learning how to grow them commercially will mean a lower price tag if you want to try cooking with morels in your own home!
2. Destroying Angels
Full of amatoxins, the destroying angels are mushrooms that are aptly named. They are poisonous and deadly if only half of a single cap is consumed. The name “destroying angels” actually applies to a few different mushroom species. Depending on where you live, you may be dealing with Amanita bisporigera, A. ocreata, or A. virosa. However, most destroying angel mushrooms are pure white from their caps to their stalks, giving you some key for identifying them!
3. Oyster Mushrooms
Belonging to the Pleurotaceae family, oyster mushrooms are a must-try if you are looking for a new culinary mushroom to add to your kitchen. These clustered and gilled fungi are some of the most common specialty mushrooms ever cultivated. They are delicate enough to shred, making them an excellent texture for a number of dishes!
Another prized culinary mushroom has to be the bolete mushroom species. Belonging to the Boletales order, boletes are a great type of mushroom to consider hunting for initially, as most toxic species are red or white in color. This leads to easy identification, and most other boletes are edible and delicious! Some of the most prized bolete species include B. aereus and B. pinophilus.
5. Death Caps
The Amanita genus contains most of the most poisonous mushroom species in the world, including the notorious death cap mushroom. There are a few different mushrooms referred to as death caps, depending on where you live. However, the most common and deadly species around has to be the Amanita phalloides. With a greenish hue, the death cap can cause kidney failure in fully grown adults if you consume as little as half a cap!
6. Porcini Mushrooms
Technically a bolete mushroom, porcini mushrooms are a mushroom name you might recognize. Delicious and versatile, porcini mushrooms are one of the most common mushroom varieties used for risotto. Similar to morels, porcinis are difficult to grow in a sterile, commercial setting, which makes the wild harvest of porcini mushrooms key in areas where they grow well, such as Europe and North America.
Making up over 700 different species, the russula mushroom genus contains edible and poisonous varieties. With brightly colored caps and large gilled characteristics, identifying russula mushrooms is a good place to start if you want to become an expert forager! Most poisonous varieties of russulas contain the word “sickener” somewhere in their name, so keep an eye out.
Almost as delicious as morels, chanterelles are edible and typically golden or white in color. Rather than having gills, most chanterelle species have uniquely folded undersides, giving them an artistic and fluid appearance. They have a bowl or cup shape to their caps and their flavor is uniquely fruity and peppery, making them delicious in just about any dish!
9. False Morels
Not to be confused with proper morels, false morels are classified in the Pezizales order. These fungi may be distantly related to true morels but false morels contain high levels of gyromitrin. This chemical transforms inside the human body and affects the central nervous system. Gyromitrin causes gastrointestinal issues, coma, and even death if these mushrooms are consumed in large quantities.
10. Enoki Mushrooms
Growing in large clusters, Flammulina filiformis is commonly known in the culinary world as the enoki mushroom. Native to Japan, China, and Korea, enoki mushrooms are small, narrow fungi with a uniquely crisp texture. They are fairly easy to cultivate indoors or commercially and commonly eaten in soups or other Asian dishes.
11. Jack-o’-Lantern Mushrooms
There are a few different species of Jack-o’-lantern mushrooms, subtly different depending on where you live. However, one of the most distinguishing features of Jack-o’-lantern mushrooms is the fact that they have bioluminescent properties. This means that they have a subtle glow to them, but don’t let this entice you. All Jack-o’-lantern mushrooms are poisonous and can cause severe intestinal upset if consumed.
12. Puffball Mushrooms
There are multiple types of puffball mushrooms across a variety of genera. However, you can distinguish a puffball mushroom from the way that it behaves, erupting in a puff of spores if disturbed. While it may seem strange, some species of puffball mushrooms are edible, including the giant puffball. Giant puffball mushrooms can reach over a foot and a half in diameter and they don’t taste like much, making them valuable in The Culinary world for their ability to absorb flavors!
You can also call webcap mushrooms Orellani mushrooms due to their close relation and botanical classifications. The most common poisonous webcaps are the fool’s webcap and the deadly webcap. One of the main reasons these mushrooms are so poisonous is that they are commonly misidentified as edible species. This is another reason why you should always be careful if you are foraging for mushrooms, as poisonous options frequently take on the appearance of edible options!
14. Button Mushrooms
Referred to as common mushrooms, button mushrooms are the number one mushroom sold in North America. Scientifically classified as Agaricus bisporus, button mushrooms are typically white or brown in color. They have rounded caps and a fairly neutral flavor, making them ideal in a variety of recipes and culinary situations. They are also called baby bellas and crimini mushrooms.
15. Fly Agarics
Botanically classified as Amanita muscaria, the fly agaric mushroom is probably what you picture when anyone says “toadstool”. With a wide cap that comes in yellow or red colors and white spots, fly agaric mushrooms are not edible and may even have some psychoactive qualities. While they are technically poisonous, deaths are rare with this particular mushroom. However, it’s best to leave these toadstools alone and observe them for their aesthetic qualities rather than their culinary ones!
16. Shiitake Mushrooms
Documented as an edible mushroom as early as the 1200s, shiitake mushrooms are delicious and extremely popular. Commonly eaten in a variety of Asian cuisines, you can find shiitake mushrooms dried or fresh. They are botanically classified as Lentinula edodes, and you should be able to readily find these mushrooms in any grocery store!
Please note: A-Z Animals does not recommend plants or herbs for medicinal or health use. We present the following information for academic and historical purposes only.