There are so many different types of mushrooms, in fact, there are 50,000 species of mushrooms. Some mushrooms have been used for centuries both medicinally and for food. They are used to replace meat in vegan and vegetarian diets, they have even been used as a leather alternative. Most mushrooms are edible but around 2% are poisonous.
List of Mushrooms
List of mushrooms in English:
- Blue Mushroom
- Button Mushroom
- Chicken of the Woods
- Death Cap
- Destroying Angels
- Fly Agaric
- Giant Puffball
- Golden Chanterelle
- Hedgehog Mushroom
- Hen of the Woods
- Lion’s Mane
- Lobster Mushroom
- Oyster Mushroom
- Paddy Straw Mushroom
- Podostroma Cornu-damae
- Psilocybin Mushroom
- Shaggy Mane
- Snow Fungus
- Turkey Tail
- White Button Mushroom
- Wood Ear
- Yellowfoot Mushroom
- Zeller’s Bolete
Types of Mushrooms
Edible Types of Mushrooms
Let’s look at edible types of mushrooms:
This mushroom has a very strong “umami” flavor and is often used to flavor soups or stocks in Korean, Chinese, or Japanese cooking. They have been used medicinally for centuries.
A very popular medicinal mushroom grown on birch trees in colder regions. Chaga boosts immunity, lowers blood sugar, reduces inflammation, and even slows cancer cell growth.
White Button Mushroom
The most commonly consumed mushroom worldwide due to its mild flavor. They contain vitamin D and B12 which makes them an important staple in a plant-based diet.
Like the shiitake, this is a favorite in Japanese cooking to add to soups and ramens. Due to their delicate appearance and flavor, they also work well in salads.
With a beautiful fan-like appearance you can find chanterelle in Italian and French pasta dishes. It is impossible to cultivate chanterelle mushrooms so they must have foraged, this can make them more expensive than more common mushrooms.
We all have seen and probably tasted the delicious Portobello mushrooms, but let’s talk more about them. They are one of the most popular types of edible mushrooms and are known for their large size and meaty texture. These mushrooms are the mature form of the common white button mushroom, Agaricus bisporus. What makes them unique is their large size, which makes them perfect for stuffing or grilling. They also have an earthy flavor and can be easily found in grocery stores.
Portobellos offer many nutritional benefits, such as being a source of important vitamins like B and D, minerals like potassium, and dietary fiber. They are also low in calories and fat, making them a healthy option to include in your diet.
Oyster mushrooms, scientifically known as Pleurotus ostreatus, are another popular type of edible mushrooms. They get their name from their oyster-shaped caps and can be found in various colors like gray, brown, or even blue. These mushrooms have a slightly sweet and mild taste, which makes them highly versatile in different recipes.
What’s great about Oyster mushrooms is that they are packed with health benefits. They are known to be rich in antioxidants, have anti-inflammatory properties, and even help lower cholesterol levels. Not to mention, they make for a delicious addition to stir-fries, soups, and pasta dishes.
Last but not least, let’s dive into the world of Cremini mushrooms. These mushrooms, also called baby bella or brown mushrooms, belong to the same Agaricus bisporus family as the Portobello and white button mushrooms. Cremini mushrooms tend to have a darker brown color, slightly firmer texture, and a more robust flavor compared to their white counterparts.
Adding Cremini mushrooms to your meals not only brings delightful flavors but also boosts the nutritional content. They are rich in vitamins, such as niacin and riboflavin, minerals like selenium and potassium, and also provide some essential amino acids.
Dangerous Types of Mushrooms
Following are 5 inedible types of mushrooms.
As gruesome as it sounds, the death cap starts destroying cells within 12 hours of being consumed. Its powerful toxins can withstand high cooking temperatures. Unfortunately, more than 50% of death cap poisoning incidents result in death.
These mushrooms look similar to many edible varieties so are often foraged by mistake. Their poison is slow acting usually taking up to 24 hours before symptoms start to show meaning it is often too late by the time anyone realizes the error.
A bright red mushroom can cause the skin to peel and hair to fall out if consumed. If left untreated eating these mushrooms often results in death.
Upon consumption, psilocybin causes a strong hallucinogenic reaction, for this reason, they have long been used in ancient rituals. Psilocybin mushrooms are now illegal in many countries due to their recreational uses. Although considered inedible they are not considered deadly, physical symptoms include vomiting and stomach cramps.
As the name suggests these mushrooms are a beautiful bright blue colour. Native to New Zealand it can be found on stamps and $50 banknotes.
There are many new uses for mushrooms being discovered all the time. There is now an eco-friendly alternative to plastic packaging made from fungus. There are even mushroom based furniture, tiles and building materials available. The science of “bioprospecting” is all about finding new uses for mushrooms to create a more eco-friendly future. The interest in mushroom replacements is rapidly gaining popularity due to their zero carbon emissions, zero wastage, and super-rapid growth.
Soon mushrooms are going to have a lot more uses than stir-fries and stocks.
Medicinal Types of Mushrooms
Mushrooms have been used for their medicinal properties for thousands of years. In this section, we’ll explore the benefits and properties of three popular medicinal mushrooms: Reishi, Turkey Tail, and Cordyceps.
Reishi mushrooms, also known as Ganoderma lucidum, are packed with antioxidants and have multiple health benefits. Some of these benefits include:
- Immune system support: Reishi mushrooms contain beta-glucans, which can help boost our immune system.
- Stress relief: They are also known to have adaptogenic properties, allowing our body to better cope with stress.
- Anti-aging: Reishi mushrooms are rich in antioxidants that help combat free radicals and keep our skin looking young and healthy.
Turkey Tail Mushrooms
Turkey Tail mushrooms, or Trametes versicolor, are another type of medicinal mushroom with numerous health benefits, for example:
- Immune system support: They contain polysaccharopeptide (PSP) and polysaccharide-K (PSK), which help regulate the immune system.
- Antioxidant properties: Turkey Tail mushrooms are rich in antioxidants, which can protect our cells from damage caused by free radicals.
- Digestive health support: They are known for their prebiotic properties, promoting the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut.
Cordyceps mushrooms might be a bit unusual as they grow on insect larvae, but they have a wide range of health benefits:
- Energy and stamina: Cordyceps help improve energy levels and increase stamina by boosting our body’s production of ATP, the energy molecule.
- Antioxidant properties: They are also rich in antioxidants, helping protect our cells against oxidative stress.
- Anti-inflammatory benefits: Cordyceps contain a variety of bioactive compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation in the body.
In this article, we’ve covered the medicinal properties and benefits of three popular types of mushrooms: Reishi, Turkey Tail, and Cordyceps. By including these mushrooms in our diet, we can support our overall health and well-being.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some common edible mushrooms?
There are many types of edible mushrooms that we can enjoy. Some common ones include button mushrooms, which have a mild, slightly earthy flavor and a firm texture; Portobello mushrooms, large brown mushrooms with a meaty texture and rich flavor; and cremini mushrooms, brown mushrooms with a slightly stronger flavor than button mushrooms. Other popular varieties are shiitake, with their brown, umbrella-shaped appearance and earthy flavor, and enoki – long, thin mushrooms with a delicate flavor and crunchy texture.
How can you identify poisonous mushrooms?
Identifying poisonous mushrooms can be challenging, as there is no simple rule for distinguishing them from edible ones. We highly recommend not consuming wild mushrooms unless you’re an experienced forager or with an expert. Pay close attention to the characteristics of the cap, gills, stem, and spores, and consult a reliable guidebook or an expert in mycology. Remember, when in doubt, it’s best not to eat it!
What are popular mushrooms used in cooking?
Many mushrooms are used in cooking for their unique flavors and textures. Some popular ones include button mushrooms, which are the most common type used in cooking; shiitake mushrooms, prized for their meaty texture and earthy flavor; and oyster mushrooms, known for their tender, delicate flavor. Portobello and cremini mushrooms are also popular choices, as they have rich flavors and meaty textures that work well in a variety of dishes.
How many types of mushrooms exist?
There are an estimated 10,000 known species of mushrooms, but it’s believed that many more are yet to be discovered. These mushrooms vary in size, shape, color, and habitat, making the world of fungi an incredibly diverse and fascinating one. Scientists continue to discover new species regularly, adding to our understanding of this unique kingdom.
What is the scientific classification system for mushrooms?
Mushrooms are fungi and belong to their own kingdom, separate from plants and animals. The scientific classification system for mushrooms includes seven major groups, known as ‘phyla.’ These phyla are further divided into classes, orders, families, genera, and species. Some of the most common phyla include Ascomycota (including truffles and morels) and Basidiomycota (which encompasses many of the edible mushrooms we know and love).
Last Updated on November 8, 2023