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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Wild Food Foraging
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Cantharellus cibarius

Golden Chanterelle.

Every few years we have a really nice wet July and August here in southwestern Pennsylvania.
If you like eating wild mushrooms then you love it when it's hot and wet.
There is nothing quite as peaceful, quiet and mycociting ( mushroom excitment ) as walking in the wet dim woods in the early morning that time of year.
You just know that there will be many mushroom varieties out-and-about to choose from and identify. And you can bet your bippy that while walking about in that dimness you will see little orange beacons in the leaf duff in patches here and there. More than likely those will be Golden Chanterelles, one of the more premier of the edible wild mushrooms.

World famous.

Here is enough for a good omelette - lol.
Photo of a bowl of Golden Chanterelles - Cantharellus cibarius

Golden Chanterelles grow mostly in deciduous woods in our area. On occasion they can be found in pine woods but if I was going to go look for them in new areas pines would not be my first choice. The best woods for these have a lot of oak and beech trees.

They are commonly called Golden Chanterelles because they are often a gold color. However they are just as often more of an orange color, like a hunter's suit, especially when young and fresh.

Just about always they have a wavy margin. And when very young that margin is enrolled a bit.
They can be described as having a depressed center, sometimes so depressed that they can take on a musical 'Horn-like' appearance or funnel shape.

Here is a nice group being held.
Photo of three Chanterelles being held - Cantharellus cibarius

There are other mushrooms, some quite bad, that are close in color and size so it is important to carefully check the spore bearing surface underneath. Golden Chanterelles will NOT have gills.
They will have ridges.
Sometimes the ridges are very blunt and other times a bit sharp and defined but if closely looked at it will become apparent that they are not gills - if it is a chanterelle.
Often you will see cross veining in between those ridges.

Here is a close-up of the spore bearing surface. Note the cross veining.
Photo of cross veining of the gill-like ridges - Cantharellus cibarius

Once you find a patch of these make sure you never forget it. They grow every year in the same area - as long as the weather conditions cooperate. You can pick these every few days from July through the end of August in our area of southwestern Pa.

Here is an example of a group in prime condition. Note that the margins are enrolled on these specimens meaning they are not overly mature.
Photo of a group of freshly picked Chanterelles - Cantharellus cibarius

I especially like picking Golden Chanterelles in mossy areas.
They have a tendency to be cleaner there, a real bonus.
Also, much more often, they will be less tunnel riddled ( evidence of where mushroom fly larvae have eaten their fill ) than those growing on leaf duff.
In addition, because moss tends to grow in areas that are moist, you will find that the season for picking is extended a bit.

Look at the photo below. The mushrooms are the exact same ones as depicted above but the stems have been cut for two reasons:   to remove the dirt;   to check for larva infestation.
When you can see that the cut shows a very clean, undisturbed surface area you will have prime edibles to put in your basket.

I do not put mushrooms in my bag or basket that are not clean and perfect.
The extra time spent in cleaning them afield saves so much time when you get them home.

Photo of a freshly picked group of Chanterelles cleaned of dirt and checked for larva infestation

Best practice:
    Mark the locations where patches of Chanterelles are found in a log. Record the dates yearly.
    Keep track of the weather and after several days of rain in July start checking your locations.
    Preferably find areas in deciduous woods where there are mossy areas, like along streams, brooks, creeks, and spring seeps.
    Get rid of as much dirt as possible and check for bug infestation. No sense bringing home mushrooms that you will throw out during the at home cleaning process.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~On occasion, careless pickers~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
will gather the poisonous Jack-O-Lantern ( Omphalotus olearius ) mushroom which also can have a bright golden color, a depressed cap center making it appear horn shaped and often grows in the same season.
However, the Jack-O-Lantern is a definite grower on wood, either trunks, stumps or twigs under the surface AND has definite gills contrary to Chanterelles. Get these characteristics ingrained and there should be no mistaken pickings.

Cantharellus cibarius - A/K/A - Golden Chanterelles.
DATE - June 25, July 12, 15 and 22, August 7, 2010.
FOUND - 'Laurel Hill State Park, Forbes State Forest near Kregar, Pa. and Stahlstown, Pa. area.
Growing in mixed hardwoods with mostly beech and oak.

Weather conditions were dry for several days. Generally the season has been dry during the end of July and early August. This particular area however is very damp on most occasions, even in dry weather.

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