Mushrooms are a popular food item all around the world, but they are especially popular in North Carolina.
In this article, we are going to go over 9 common mushrooms found in North Carolina.
Chanterelles are a common mushroom found in North Carolina.
These mushrooms have a distinctive shape, with a long, thin stem and a large, umbrella-like cap.
Chanterelles are usually yellow or orange in color, although they can also be white or brown.
These mushrooms grow best in moist, shady areas. You’re likely to find them growing near streams, rivers, or other bodies of water.
Chanterelles are often found in woods or forests.
Chanterelles are a popular ingredient in many dishes.
They can be sauteed, grilled, or roasted. They also make a great addition to soups and stews.
Chanterelles have a slightly nutty flavor that goes well with many different foods.
Morel mushrooms are a common sight in North Carolina woods in the spring. These edible fungi have a distinct, spongy appearance with a hollow stem.
Morels are a favorite of many mushroom hunters, as they are relatively easy to identify and have a unique flavor.
While morels are safe to eat, there are a few look-alikes that can be poisonous. The false morel has a similar shape but its surface is wrinkled rather than spongy.
Another poisonous mushroom, the verpa, looks like a mini morel with a cone-shaped cap.
When in doubt, it’s best to err on the side of caution and leave any questionable mushrooms for the experts to enjoy.
Morels can be cooked in many different ways, but one of the simplest and most delicious methods is to saute them in butter.
This brings out their natural flavor and makes for a tasty side dish or addition to any meal.
If you’re lucky enough to find Chicken-of-the-Woods mushrooms while out hiking, don’t pass them up!
These mushrooms are not only a delicious addition to any meal, but they’re also relatively easy to identify.
Chicken-of-the-Woods mushrooms get their name from their resemblance to chicken meat.
They have a white or cream-colored flesh with a texture that is similar to chicken breast.
These mushrooms can be found growing on trees, stumps, or logs and are usually found in the late summer or early fall.
When it comes to cooking Chicken-of-the-Woods mushrooms, the sky is the limit.
They can be grilled, baked, sauteed, or even added to soups or stews.
Just remember that since they are so porous, they will absorb whatever flavors you cook them with, so be sure to use seasonings that you love.
Maitake mushrooms are a common type of mushroom found in North Carolina.
These mushrooms typically have a dark brown or black cap with white spots on the underside.
Maitake mushrooms are known for their earthy flavor and their ability to add umami to dishes.
Maitake mushrooms can be found growing on the ground in forests or in fields. They typically grow in clusters and can be found near trees or logs.
When harvesting maitake mushrooms, be sure to only take a small number so that the population can continue to thrive.
Maitake mushrooms can be used in a variety of dishes.
They can be sauteed, grilled, or roasted. Maitake mushrooms are a great addition to pasta dishes, rice dishes, or soups.
5. Shaggy Mane
The Shaggy Mane is a common mushroom found in North Carolina.
This type of mushroom typically has a white or off-white cap, and a long, shaggy skirt that hangs down from the edge of the cap.
The gills on the underside of the cap are also white or off-white.
The Shaggy Mane gets its name from its shaggy appearance – the skirt is often described as looking like shaggy hair.
This type of mushroom is considered to be edible, although some people find it to be somewhat tough and rubbery in texture.
It’s best to cook the Shaggy Mane before eating it, as this will help to soften it up.
When cooked, the Shaggy Mane can be used in a variety of dishes – it’s often used as an ingredient in soups and stews, or simply sauteed and served as a side dish.
6. Destroying Angel
The Destroying Angel is a poisonous mushroom that is common in North Carolina.
This mushroom gets its name from the fact that it can kill you if you eat it.
The Destroying Angel contains a poison called amatoxin which can cause liver failure and death.
Symptoms of amatoxin poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and convulsions.
If you think you have eaten a Destroying Angel, seek medical help immediately!
7. Deadly Galerina
The Deadly Galerina is a poisonous mushroom that is common in North Carolina.
This mushroom can be deadly if ingested, and it is important to be able to identify it so that you can avoid it.
The Deadly Galerina is small and brown, and it often grows in clusters. It has a smooth cap with gills on the underside.
This mushroom can be found growing on wood or in areas where there has been recent deforestation.
If you come across this mushroom, do not touch it or ingest it. If you think you may have ingested some, seek medical attention immediately as it can be fatal.
The best way to avoid this mushroom is to familiarize yourself with its appearance and know where it commonly grows.
8. Jack O’Lantern
The Jack o’Lantern mushroom is one of the most common mushrooms found in North Carolina. This fungi gets its name from its orange color and spooky shape.
While it may look like a harmless Halloween decoration, the Jack o’Lantern mushroom is actually poisonous.
If you come across this mushroom while out hiking, it’s best to just leave it be. The Jack o’Lantern mushroom contains a poison called illudin.
This toxin can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and cramping.
In severe cases, it can even lead to liver damage. There is no cure for illudin poisoning, so the best thing to do is just avoid these mushrooms altogether.
While the Jack o’Lantern mushroom may be one of the most common fungi in North Carolina, that doesn’t mean it’s safe to eat.
9. False Parasol
The False Parasol mushroom is a poisonous mushroom that is common in North Carolina. This mushroom can be found growing on trees, stumps, or logs.
The false parasol mushroom has a white cap with brownish scales. The cap is attached to the stem by a thin stalk.
The False Parasol mushroom gets its name from its resemblance to an umbrella.
The False Parasol mushroom is poisonous and should not be eaten. If you think you have consumed this mushroom, seek medical attention immediately.
Symptoms of consuming this mushroom include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In severe cases, liver damage and death may occur.
If you are out hiking or camping in North Carolina, be sure to avoid this mushroom. If you see it, do not touch it or eat it.