The 9 common mushrooms found in Oregon are the morel, chanterelle, king bolete, red cracked bolete, oyster mushroom, honey mushroom, lactarius mushrooms, puffballs, and coral mushrooms.
Morels are a highly sought-after edible mushroom that pops up in the springtime. They have a distinct honeycomb appearance and nutty, earthy flavor.
Morels thrive in burned or disturbed forests and require precise temperature and moisture conditions to fruit.
Due to their short seasonal availability, morels are a specialty ingredient that command high prices.
Foraging for morels takes patience, persistence, and proper identification skills.
[Related Post: Best Places to Find Morel Mushrooms in Oregon]
Chanterelles are a popular edible mushroom found in the Pacific Northwest in the fall. They have a fruity fragrance and rich umami flavor.
Chanterelles have a vase-shaped cap that tapers down to a thin stem. Colors range from golden yellow to orange.
They grow singly or in clusters on the forest floor, especially under conifers.
Chanterelles are great sautéed in butter or cream. Novice mushroom hunters should be cautious not to confuse them with the poisonous jack-o-lantern mushrooms.
[Related Post: Prime Chanterelle Hunting Regions in Oregon]
Boletes refer to a large group of mushrooms that have spongy caps and pores instead of gills on the underside.
Some boletes are sought-after edible varieties while others are mildly poisonous.
Two of the most common boletes found in Oregon are the king bolete and the red cracked bolete.
King boletes have fat white stems and brown caps.
Red cracked boletes have reddish-brown caps that appear cracked on top. Both species have mild, savory flavors and firm texture.
Proper identification is key, as some boletes can cause gastrointestinal distress.
[Related Post: Where to Find King Boletes in Oregon]
4. Oyster Mushrooms
As the name implies, oyster mushrooms have the shape of an oyster shell. They grow in dense clusters on decaying hardwood logs and stumps.
Oyster mushrooms have whitish-gray caps that fade to yellowish in the center as they mature. They have a mild seafood-like flavor and meaty texture.
Oyster mushrooms are one of the easiest wild mushrooms for beginners to identify.
They are versatile to cook with and great for vegetarian and vegan diets as a meat substitute.
5. Honey Mushrooms
Honey mushrooms are opportunistic fungi that parasitize tree roots and cause rot. They are edible but not highly sought after due to their reputation for growing on diseased or dead trees.
Honey mushrooms have brown caps with creamy white gills.
They fruit in large clusters at the base of infected trees. Removing the mushrooms does not cure the infected tree.
Some folks avoid eating honey mushrooms due to reports of gastrointestinal upset.
However, any mushroom should be thoroughly cooked to break down toxins before eating.
6. Lactarius Mushrooms
Lactarius is a large genus of edible mushrooms nicknamed “milk caps.” When their gills are damaged or exposed to air, they “bleed” a milky latex substance.
This liquid contains a bitter resin that protects the mushrooms from insects and other predators.
Popular edible species include the candy cap, which smells like maple syrup, and the fishy-smelling salmon milk cap.
While most lactarius mushrooms are non-toxic, the latex makes some varieties unpleasant to eat.
7. Amanita Mushromes
The Amanita genus contains some of the most toxic mushrooms. They are also responsible for some choice edible species.
Amanitas have a distinct sack-like universal veil surrounding the base when young.
Two deadly Oregon species are the destroying angel and the death cap.
Safely edible Oregon amanitas include the prince, grisette, and blusher. Extreme caution is urged with amanitas – positive ID and expert advice are critical.
As the name implies, puffballs are round mushrooms that start out firm and solid.
As they mature, the internal flesh liquefies into a powdery spore mass, then the outer skin splits open to release the spores in a “puff.” Young puffballs can be sliced and sautéed like bread.
Larger mature puffballs are inedible. Be 100% certain you have an edible puffball variety, as some immature gilled mushrooms resemble puffballs when young.
9. Coral Mushrooms
Coral mushrooms get their name from the branched clusters that resemble ocean coral. Most coral varieties in Oregon are non-toxic.
The edible species present in a range of colors like yellow, orange, pink, purple, or white. They grow on rotting wood in forests and wooded areas.
Older specimens develop a bitter taste and tough texture. Coral mushrooms are best eaten when the clusters are young and tender.
They have a mild, slightly nutty flavor.
[Related Post: Oregon’s Largest Mushroom]