Gulf States Mycological Society

Mushrooming in the Gulf Coast

The Gulf Coast region of the United States produces an outstanding variety of "mushrooms", including a large representation of the best edible Genera and species.

There are two "main" fruiting seasons that occur. One from late May to early September/October, and one from mid-November to early January/February, with some years seeing fungi occur continually, except for short periods near subfreezing temperatures. But as a rule the above holds true except for "morels", which start fruiting in late March where the southernmost reach of the Smoky Mountain's mountainous flora juts almost to the coast around St. Francisville, LA.

The frequent afternoon rains during the hot, humid summer months, plus the temperate late fall months, produce a very abundant and diverse mix of temperate to tropical species, ranging from the "beautiful tasting" Morchella esculenta L. ex Fr., to the "beautiful red capped" Phillpsia domingensis (Berk.)Berk. There are also what everyone wants large fruitings of edible species, such as the "Chanterelles" including, but not limited to Chantharellus cibarius, C. lateritius, C. tabernensis, C. cinnabarinus, C. minor; Craterellus odoratus, and C. fallax, and the "Boletes", such as Boletus pinophilus, B. projectellus, B. nobilis, Gyroporus castaneus, and Suillus decipiens. Other edibles can also be found at certain times/locations in plentiful supply, not limited to but including the species of "puffballs", Calvatia cyathiformis, Lycoperdon pyriforme, L. perlatum. The Lactarius species (L. volemus, L. corrugis, etc.) are plentiful with unknown species still to be found, which is also true with many Genera in the deep central coastal reagion. Other choice edibles such as the grouping of species around Pleurotus ostreatus ("oyster or "willow mushroom"), and species of Pluteus, Suillus, Auricularia, Hericium, Armillaria, Agaricus. etc., etc., etc. can be found in such profusion that the number of species fruiting at one time can boggle the mind.

The following mushrooms guidebooks, are highly recommended for our area

 

  • TEXAS MUSHROOMS, by Susan Metzler, Van Metzler, & Dr. Orson K. Miller, Jr., University of Texas Press. 1992, 2013
  • A FIELD GUIDE TO SOUTHERN MUSHROOMS, by Dr. Nancy Smith Weber & Dr. Alexander H. Smith, photographs by Dan Guravich, U. of Michigan Press, 1996.
  • THE AUDUBON SOCIETY FIELD GUIDE TO NORTH AMERICAN MUSHROOMS, by Gary Lincoff, Knopf, 1981.
  • COMMON FLORIDA MUSHROOMS, by Dr. James Kinbrough, U. FL Ext. I.F.A.S., 2000
  • MUSHROOMS OF NORTH AMERICA, by Roger Phillips, Little, Brown & Co., 1991
  • NORTH AMERICAN BOLETES, A COLOR GUIDE TO THE FLESHY PORED MUSHROOMS, by A.E. Bessette, W.C. Roody, & A.R. Bessette, Syracuse U. Press, 2000
  • MUSHROOMS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN UNITED STATES, by Alan E. Bessette, William C. Roody, Arleen R. Bessette & Dail L. Dunaway, Syracuse University Press, 2007
  • NORTH AMERICAN BOLETES, A Color Guide to the Fleshy Pored Mushrooms, by Alan E. Bessette, William C. Roody & Arleen R. Bessette, Syracuse University Press, 2000.
  • EDIBLE WILD MUSHROOMS OF NORTH AMERICA, A Field to Kitchen Guide, by David W. Fischer & Alan E. Bessette, University of Texas Press, 1992.