37 Types of Common Mushrooms in Georgia (Edible & Non-Edible)

Georgia’s diverse landscape harbors a rich array of mushrooms, a world both alluring and risky. Knowing these mushrooms matters—it’s about the flavors they offer, their medicinal potential, and, most importantly, staying safe. Misidentifying them can turn an innocent exploration into a hazardous mistake. Welcome to a world where understanding these fungi isn’t just curiosity—it’s essential for culinary delights, health benefits, and safeguarding against nature’s potential dangers.

How To Identify Yellow Mushrooms

How To Identify Red Mushrooms

List of Edible Mushrooms in Georgia

1. Chanterelle

Golden-orange and funnel-shaped, Chanterelle mushrooms thrive in forest environments. They’re commonly found nestled under hardwoods or conifers. With smooth caps and wrinkled edges, these mushrooms possess false gills that set them apart. Culinary enthusiasts prize them for their fruity flavor, often using them in sautés, pasta dishes, or as a flavorful addition to sauces. For instance, a delectable Chanterelle Risotto can be prepared by sautéing them with shallots, adding rice, and simmering the ingredients together. When foraging, it’s crucial to pick mature specimens and avoid unidentified mushrooms to ensure safety.

2. Morel

Honeycomb-shaped and varying in brown to black colors, Morel mushrooms thrive in wooded areas. They prefer habitats around decaying or dead trees, making their presence known in these environments. Featuring hollow stems and deeply pitted caps, Morels possess a distinct appearance. These mushrooms are highly sought after for their nutty taste, often sautéed or used in soups to enhance their flavors. For instance, a Morel Cream Sauce can be crafted by sautéing these mushrooms and adding cream, thyme, and seasoning for a luxurious taste. Caution is advised in identification as false Morels can be toxic, emphasizing the importance of accurate differentiation.

3. Porcini

Large and brown-capped, Porcini mushrooms thrive in coniferous forests, particularly near pine trees. Their broad, round caps boast a distinctive white underside with visible pores. Ideal for various culinary creations, these mushrooms offer a meaty flavor perfect for risottos, soups, or grilling. For example, Grilled Porcini can be prepared by brushing them with oil, grilling until tender, and seasoning with herbs. Careful identification is essential as look-alikes exist.

4. Shiitake

Shiitake mushrooms, characterized by their dark-brown, umbrella-shaped appearance and wide, smooth caps atop thin, curved stems, thrive on decaying hardwood trees or cultivated logs. Their rich, savory taste makes them a favorite in diverse dishes such as stir-fries, soups, or even as a meat substitute. Their versatility allows for culinary creativity; for example, they can be used in a flavorful Shiitake Stir-Fry by sautéing them with vegetables, soy sauce, and ginger. When uncertain about foraging, purchasing Shiitake from trusted sources ensures their safe consumption.

5. Oyster Mushroom

Shell-shaped with varying colors, Oyster mushrooms flourish on dead or dying hardwood trees. Their fan-shaped caps, often white to gray, come with short or absent stems, giving them a unique appearance. These mushrooms are favored for their mild taste, perfect for stir-fries, soups, or grilling. For instance, Oyster Mushroom Tacos can be prepared by sautéing them with spices and using them as flavorful taco fillings. It’s crucial to verify their source and avoid those growing on toxic trees for safe consumption.

6. Lion’s Mane

Cascading and white with a shaggy appearance, Lion’s Mane mushrooms grow on hardwood trees resembling a lion’s mane. They lack caps or stems and form icicle-like spines in clusters. Known for their seafood-like taste, they’re often cooked with butter, added to salads, or used as a meat substitute. For instance, creating Lion’s Mane Scallops involves searing slices in butter for a seafood-inspired dish.

7. Maitake (Hen of the Woods)

Clustered and fan-shaped, Maitake mushrooms grow at the base of oak, elm, or maple trees. They have a soft, flowery texture with overlapping caps. These mushrooms offer an earthy taste, ideal for stir-fries, soups, or stews. For instance, preparing Maitake Tempura involves dipping clusters in batter and frying them until crispy. Harvesting young specimens and avoiding old or decayed ones ensures a pleasant culinary experience.

8. Chicken of the Woods

Vibrantly orange-yellow in shelf-like clusters, Chicken of the Woods mushrooms thrive on dead or mature trees, notably oak or yew. Smooth-textured without gills, they grow in clusters and offer a mild chicken-like taste. They’re versatile for various dishes; for example, a Chicken of the Woods Piccata involves sautéing slices and adding lemon, capers, and butter for a tangy dish. Caution is advised to avoid old specimens that may cause gastric upset.

9. Enoki

Long, slender, and white with small caps, Enoki mushrooms are commonly cultivated on dead trees or commercially grown in clusters. Delicate and crisp, they’re often used raw in salads or added to soups for their mild taste. For instance, an Enoki Mushroom Salad can be created by tossing them with greens, sesame dressing, and nuts for a refreshing dish.

10. Giant Puffball

Large, white, and spherical in shape, Giant Puffball mushrooms are typically found in meadows, fields, or on decaying wood. They possess a smooth texture with no gills or stems, making them distinct. These mushrooms are often sliced, fried, and used in various dishes due to their mild taste. For example, crafting a Puffball Pizza involves slicing them, adding toppings, and baking for a unique pizza base. Harvesting when young and pure white is advised to avoid bitterness in taste.

11. Wood Ear

Dark, ear-shaped mushrooms with a crinkled appearance, Wood Ear mushrooms thrive on dead or decaying wood, particularly elder trees. They offer a soft, gelatinous texture with a distinctive crunch. Popular in Asian cuisine, they’re added to soups or stir-fries for their unique texture. For instance, a Wood Ear Stir-Fry can be made by combining them with veggies and soy sauce for an authentic dish. Thoroughly cooking them softens their texture and helps avoid potential allergens.

12. Velvet Shank

Slim and brownish-orange, Velvet Shank mushrooms feature a velvety cap and are commonly found on dead or decaying wood, especially elder trees. With slim stems and small, umbrella-shaped caps, they are used for sautéing or added to soups for their mild taste. For example, preparing Velvet Shank Pasta involves sautéing them with garlic, tossing with pasta, and adding Parmesan. It’s advisable to pick them when young and fresh to avoid bitterness in taste.

13. Cauliflower Mushroom

Resembling a cauliflower head and yellowish in color, Cauliflower Mushrooms are often found on the ground near conifers or hardwoods. They possess a ruffled appearance with a spongy texture. Sliced and added to stir-fries, soups, or pasta dishes, they contribute to diverse culinary creations. Crafting a Cauliflower Mushroom Stir-Fry involves combining them with veggies, soy sauce, and ginger for an umami-packed dish.

14. Black Trumpet

Black and funnel-shaped, Black Trumpet mushrooms thrive near beech or oak trees in forests. They boast thin, delicate textures with a distinct smoky flavor. Ideal for sauces, soups, or added to risottos, these mushrooms add depth to various dishes. Crafting a Black Trumpet Risotto involves cooking them with Arborio rice, mushrooms, and Parmesan for a luxurious dish. Thoroughly cleaning them before use is essential due to potential debris trapped in their trumpet shape.

15. Onion-stalk parasol

The Onion-stalk Parasol, scientifically termed Leucocoprinus cepistipes, is a mushroom with a unique appearance. It features a slender stalk with a bulbous base resembling an onion, topped by a delicate, white cap. Found in grassy areas or lawns, it’s distinctive due to its onion-like base. While not commonly consumed due to its small size and taste, it’s essential to exercise caution in identification, as some mushrooms may resemble it but could be toxic.

16. Candy Cap

Light-colored mushrooms emitting a sweet aroma, Candy Cap mushrooms are often found in forests, growing on dead or decaying wood. They feature smooth caps with varying shades of brown. These mushrooms are used in desserts for their unique maple syrup-like flavor. Utilizing them in Candy Cap Cookies involves adding powdered Candy Caps to cookie dough for a distinct sweet treat.

17. Saffron Milk Cap

Bright orange-capped mushrooms that exude saffron-colored milk, Saffron Milk Caps are commonly found in coniferous forests, particularly near pine trees. Their distinctive orange caps and bright milk when cut make them easily identifiable. Suitable for sautéing or adding to stews, these mushrooms contribute to rich flavors. Crafting a Saffron Milk Cap Soup involves simmering them with broth, veggies, and herbs for a flavorful dish. Harvesting young specimens and avoiding overconsumption is advised due to potential gastrointestinal upset.

List of Non Edible Mushrooms in Georgia

18. Amanita Muscaria

Amanita Muscaria mushrooms, recognized by their red caps with white spots, are known for their hallucinogenic properties. Often found in coniferous or mixed woodlands, these mushrooms can be highly toxic if ingested. It’s crucial to avoid consuming them due to their potential risks.

19. Death Cap (Amanita phalloides)

The Death Cap, scientifically known as Amanita phalloides, is a mushroom characterized by its pale greenish cap, often mistaken for edible varieties. Typically found in woodlands, particularly around oak trees, this mushroom is extremely toxic and ingestion can lead to severe illness and death.

20. Destroying Angel (Amanita bisporigera)

The Destroying Angel, scientifically termed Amanita bisporigera, is a white, gilled mushroom resembling some edible species. Commonly found in woodlands near hardwood trees, this mushroom is highly toxic, capable of causing severe illness and even death upon ingestion.

21. Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria)

The Fly Agaric, scientifically known as Amanita muscaria, presents as red with white patches or yellow-orange in color. Often found in birch or pine forests, it’s known for its toxic and hallucinogenic properties. Consumption of this mushroom should be entirely avoided due to its poisonous nature.

22. Inky Cap (Coprinopsis atramentaria)

The Inky Cap, also referred to as Coprinopsis atramentaria, is a mushroom characterized by its grayish-brown color and tall stature. Typically found in grassy areas, often near wood debris, these mushrooms can cause adverse reactions if consumed alongside alcohol. It’s advised to avoid consuming alcohol within 24 hours of ingesting this mushroom to prevent potential health issues.

23. Entoloma hochstetteri

Entoloma hochstetteri is a mushroom with a striking bright blue appearance. Found in grassy or forested areas, this mushroom isn’t safe for consumption as it contains toxic compounds.

24. Cortinarius orellanus

Cortinarius orellanus is a brownish-yellow mushroom with fibrous scales on its cap. Typically found in woodlands near deciduous trees, this mushroom is highly toxic and ingestion can lead to kidney failure.

25. Gallerina marginata

Galerina marginata mushrooms are small, brown fungi with bell-shaped caps. Found on decaying wood like logs or stumps, these mushrooms are highly toxic and potentially lethal if ingested.

26. Entoloma lividum

Entoloma lividum is a small, purplish mushroom with a convex cap. Found in grassy areas or forests, this mushroom is toxic and not safe for consumption.

27. Chlorophyllum molybdites

Chlorophyllum molybdites, often mistaken for edible varieties due to its appearance, is a white to greenish mushroom found in grasslands or lawns. However, consuming this mushroom can lead to severe gastrointestinal upset.

List of Medicinal Mushrooms in Georgia

  1. Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum): Revered in traditional medicine, Reishi mushrooms are known for their immune-boosting properties and potential to reduce fatigue and stress.
  2. Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor): Recognized for its diverse health benefits, Turkey Tail is studied for its potential in supporting the immune system and combating infections.
  3. Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus): Besides its culinary uses, Lion’s Mane is investigated for its potential in improving cognitive functions and promoting nerve regeneration.
  4. Chaga (Inonotus obliquus): Rich in antioxidants, Chaga is hailed for its potential in combating oxidative stress and supporting immune health.
  5. Cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis): Traditionally used to enhance stamina and energy, Cordyceps is studied for its potential in boosting athletic performance and improving respiratory health.
  6. Maitake (Grifola frondosa): Alongside culinary uses, Maitake is explored for its potential in regulating blood sugar levels and supporting immune function.
  7. Shiitake (Lentinula edodes): Beyond its delicious taste, Shiitake is researched for its potential to support cardiovascular health and boost the immune system.
  8. Meshima (Phellinus linteus): Investigated for its potential in supporting immune health and exhibiting anti-inflammatory properties.
  9. Tremella (Tremella fuciformis): Known for its potential in promoting skin health and hydration due to its high polysaccharide content.
  10. Poria (Wolfiporia extensa): Traditionally used in Chinese medicine, Poria is studied for its potential in supporting digestive health and reducing inflammation.

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