Last Updated - 2.24.2015
Edible Wild Mushrooms Commonly Found In Pennsylvania And Personally Eaten Regularly
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Aborted Armillaria
Armillaria abortivum
Aborted entoloma

Almost Bluing
King Boletus

Boletus subcaerulescens

Artist's Conk
Ganoderma applanatum

Bear's Head Tooth
Hericium americanum

Birch Polypore
Piptoporus betulinus

Black Trumpets
Craterellus fallax

Clitocybe nuda

Brick Caps / Brick Tops
Hypholoma sublateritium

Cauliflower Mushroom
Sparassis spathulata

Chicken of the Woods
Laetiporus sulphureus

Inonotus obliquus

Comb Tooth
Hericium coralloides

Common Laccaria
Laccaria laccata

Corrugated Cap Milky
Lactarius corrugis

Dryad's Saddle
Polyporus squamosus

Giant Puffball
Langemannia gigantea

Golden Chanterelle
Cantharellus cibarius

Hedgehog Mushroom Big
Dentinum repandum

Hedgehog Little
Dentinum umbilicatum

Hen of the Woods
Grifola frondosa

Honey Mushrooms
Armilleria mellea

Horn of Plenty
Craterellus cornucopioides

Horse Mushroom
Agaricus arvensis

Hygrophorus Milky
Lactarius hygrophoroides

Lilac Bolete
Xanthoconium separans / Boletus separans

Lingzhi / Reishi
Ganoderma lucidum & G. tsugae

Lion's Mane / Old Man's Beard
Hericium erinaceus

Meadow Mushrooms / Pinkies
Agaricus compestris

Oyster Mushroom
Pleurotus ostreatus

Purple-gilled Laccaria
Laccaria ochropurpurea

Quilted Green Russula
Russula virescens

Red Chanterelle
Cantharellus cinnabarinus

Rooted Oudemansiella
Oudemansiella radicata

Shaggy Mane
Coprinus comatus

Smooth Chanterelle
Cantharellus lateritius

Tinder Fungus
Fomes fomentarius

Turkey Tail
Trametes versicolor / Coriolus versicolor / Polyporus versicolor

Two-colored Bolete
Boletus bicolor

Voluminous-latex Milky
Lactarius volemus

Winter Chanterelle
Cantharellus tubaeformis
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The Prince ? or Almond Mushroom ?
Agaricus augustus or A. subrufescens
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Langermannia gigantea

Giant Puffball

I love September and October, especially when wet. Others bemoan the weather but I am licking my chops. If you are a fanatic mushroom hunter, such as I am, you more than likely have the same sentiment about rainy days at that time of the year.

Those rainy days usually mean there are not too many people on the back roads and gives me an opportunity to drive along REAL slow, on any old back road, checking out all the open fields and woods edges.
If you keep your eyes sharp and binoculars handy this 'Road Hunt' can produce some great finds!
In addition to the Horse mushrooms ( Agaricus arvensis ) and pink bottoms ( other Agaricus species ) sticking out like sore thumbs there will also be a mushroom that is the equivalent of 2 or 3 sore thumbs - the Giant Puffball.

No the picture below does not show a soccer ball. Click it to see it closer.
Photo of a Giant Puffball near wood edge - Langermannia gigantea

When you find one of those you have plenty for several days of meals.They are not the tastiest mushrooms around ( nor is zucchini but loved and enjoyed nevertheless ) but they do make up for it in quantity and the assurance of unmistakability. The flavor is very mild/subtle so keep it simple. I really like them.
Here is one I am holding so you can get an idea of the sizes involved. They do get much bigger however than the one I'm holding. I prefer to find them the size I'm holding. Usually at this size the inside of the mushroom is still solid and fresh, not starting to change into a spore mass.
Photo of a Giant Puffball being held - Langermannia gigantea

When you find one cut it cleanly in half. Check the inside. It should be solid white and have the appearance of styrofoam. Additionally, when slicing it, keep your ears perked. It should squeak, again almost like slicing styrofoam - the squeak of freshness.
Photo of a Giant Puffball cut in half to check inside edibility - Langermannia gigantea

These mushroom grow in lawn type areas or woods edges. The usual growing season is late summer to fall. You will find other varieties of puffballs in the spring but the giant is a usual fall type mushroom.

Best practice when collecting any puffballs is to cut it in half from top to bottom - or if your left handed - from bottom to top - lol, to make sure that it is actually a puffball that you have. Of course with these giants you will more than likely not see the outline of a developing cap and stalk, but with smaller puffballs, an immature giant included, you could be surprised after the cut is made and see that you have a young regular mushroom - maybe a bad Amanita or Lepiota.

Here is one of the ways I like to eat these bountiful beautiful babies.

Use the Giant Puffball to obtain 'Mushroom Essence'.

Langermannia gigantea ( Calvatia gigantea and Calvatia maxima are other names ) - A/K/A Giant Puffball.
DATE - October 9, 2009.
FOUND - Hecla Sportsmen Club picnic area. Along the edge of the mowed lawn area right next to the woods - Hecla, Pennsylvania.

Weather conditions: Wet. The two weeks prior to finding this one our area was had intermittent rain, more on the rain side than dry. There was rain the night before and the day found.

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