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Free Images of Fabulous Fungi

Did you know... 

that it is estimated that there are over a million species of fungi in the world, most of which are microscopic?!

While most fungi are widely distributed, there are some that are found in only certain regions.  Until I have the opportunity to travel and photograph fungi in other parts of the world, most of the images presented here are of fungi in North America.  I will also concentrate on only those that can be seen with the eye, those known as "Macrofungi".

The Fungi Kingdom is made up of several major groups (divisions) which include Slime Moulds, Sac Fungi and Basdimycota.  Each of these is next divided into "classes" which are further broken down into "orders" and "families".

When identifying a fungus, it is important to first link the specimen with a fungi group, then identify the genus and finally the species.  

Mycologists have traditionally identified fungi as either Gilled or Non-Gilled.  Gilled Fungi include only species of the Division Basidiomycota with gills.  Gill fungi are the largest group of Macrofungi and are usually further subdivided into groupings according to the colour of their spores which may be dark-coloured, light-coloured, pink or brown.

Non-Gilled fungi include all species of Slime Moulds, Sac Fungi, and all species of  Basidiomycota without gills which include Puffballs, Jelly Fungi, Coral Fungi, Tooth Fungi, Bracket Fungi and Boletes.

May I next suggest reading - 

What is the difference between a Fungus & a Mushroom?




Note:  Identification of any fungus is challenging in the absence of all growth stages and mature spore mass microscopic examination.

How to Identify Mushrooms

Two mushrooms may appear exactly alike with only very slight differences.  One may have a slight indentation in its cap, the spores of two similar ones may be different in pattern or colour, one may emit a white latex from its gills.  Some species look like another except for the different colour of flesh inside its cap.  Some species have toxic look-alikes.  Most mushrooms require microscopic examination of their spores and the cells that produce the spores in order to be properly identified.

Quite often mycologists will make spore prints.  This entails cutting off the stalk of the mushroom, placing the cap on a sheet of clear plastic, and covering it with a bowl overnight.  By morning, the cap will have released its spores onto the plastic and you will see a pattern.  Remember, a mushroom's spores are microscopic and you would not be able to see them, except for the fact that the mushroom releases millions of them.  The pattern and colour of the print that is produced is from many millions of spores!

Did you know... 

that some mushrooms are SO TOXIC that they can even poison other mushrooms that they touch?  The toxic effects of some mushrooms can be so slow that symptoms only arise after your health has been seriously hurt and damaged up to days or weeks after ingestion. Dangers run from gastric upset to organ failure resulting in death.   While some species have in the past been categorized as safe to eat, there are now growing concerns.  Read more at:  Wild Mushroom Warning

A recently found this interesting and telling warning.  The author is unknown: 

"There are old mushroom pickers and there are bold mushroom pickers, 
but there are NO old, bold mushroom pickers."


*** Warning ***

I wrestled with the option of whether or not to try to identify and place names to my fungus images.  The study of fungi is done by specialists known as a "mycologists" who have many years of education and specialize in identification.  There are many techniques used to identify a mushroom and it simply cannot be done by visual inspection alone.  Incorrectly identifying a mushroom can have deadly consequences if eaten.

While I have tried to link images with fungus names, I am but a lay person and have used books and images to try to look up, categorize and name the species.  My identification should in no way be relied upon and may be completely inaccurate!

There are many toxic mushroom "look-alikes"  that resemble edible ones.  You should UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES  rely up on any of these images to identify edible, toxic or medicinal organisms/plants.  Some mushrooms and fungi are DEADLY  poisonous and their effects do not show up until it is too late to save yourself.  YOU alone are responsible for properly identifying any mushrooms that you may be interested in.  I have attached names to images which I merely THINK resemble the species.

I am grateful for corrections to taxonomic determinations, please contact me at FreeTiiuPix 





Fabulous Fungi

What's the difference between a mushroom & a fungus?

A mushroom's life cycle. 
7 images

Fungi that cause tree heart rot.
6 images


Boletes look like your typical mushroom, but instead of having gills beneath the caps, there is a layer of downward-pointing tubes.  Upon close inspection of what may at first glance look like a solid mass beneath the cap, what you will actually find are many fine open ends of tubes.  Some have compared the tubes to looking like the holes of a fine sponge.

Boletus badius 
(syn. Xerocomus badius)
[Bay Bolete]
7 images

Leccinum scabrum
[Birch Bolete, Rough-stemmed Bolete or "Scaber Stalk]
3 images

Strobilomyces strobilaceus
(Old Man of the Woods)
8 images

Suillus americanus
[White Pine Bolete, 
American Slippery Jack, American Suillus or C
hicken Fat Mushroom.
11 images

Suillus brevipes
[Short-Stalked Bolete,
Stubby Stalk,
Short-Stemmed Slippery Jack]
7 images

Suillus granulatus
[Granular Dotted Bolete]
7 images

Tylopilus felleus
[Bitter Bolete]
10 images

Unidentified Boletes
8 images





Bracket Fungi

Bracket fungi, or polypores, are also sometimes called "shelf" or "conk" mushrooms that grow on or from wood.

Cerrena unicolor
[Mossy Maze Polypore]
11 images

Daedalea quercina
[Oak Polypore or Oak Mazegill]
6 images

Fomes fomentarius
[Tinder Polypore-Conk, 
Hoof Fungus]
6 images

Ganoderma applanatum
[Artist's Conk]
 32 images

Heterobasidion annosum ?
[Annosum Root Rot]
3 images 

Inonotus radiatus?
5 images

Irpex lacteus 
[Milk-white Toothed Polypore]
8 images

Ischnoderma resinosum 
[Late Fall Polypore, Resinous Polypore, Benzoin Bracket]
7 images

Oxyporus populinus
[Mossy Maple Polypore, Mossy Cap Poloypre, Pappelporling, Poplar Bracket]
6 images

Phellinus igniarius
[Tinder Box Fungus, 
Willow Bracket]
21 images

Phellinus pini
[Red Ring Rot]
5 images

Phlebia tremellosa?
Phlebia radiata?
7 images

Polyporus alveolaris
[Polyporus mori, 
Favolous alveolaris
12 images

Polyporus leptocephalus
[Blackfoot Polypore]
8 images

Polyporus squamosus
[Dryad's Saddle]
14 images

Trametes series
[Turkey Tail & Others]
18 images

Trametes pubescens
9 images

Learn About + Unidentified Bracket Fungi
2 images




Chanterelles & Related Fungi

The gills of chanterelles are different than regular gilled mushrooms.  They are blunt, forked and cross-veined.  


Cantharellus cibarius
[Chanterelle Mushrooms]
13 images


Coral Fungi

Basidiomycota - Hymenomycetes.  The fruiting bodies within this type of fungi classification grow upwards as either single stalks or branches.  Coral fungi look like marine coral.  Some look like fingers.  Note:  there are also "false" coral specimens.

Clavicorona pyxidata
[Crown Coral]
11 images

Clavulina cristata

[Cockscomb Coral]
13 images


Cup, Sac & Disk Fungi

These fungi are disk or cup-shaped.  Some have stalks while others do not.  While most are small, others are several centimeters in width.  

Bisporella citrina
[Yellow Fairy Cups or Lemon Discos or Drops]
3 images

Daldinia concentrica
[Coal Fungus, Carbon/Cramp Balls, King Alfred's Cakes]
6 images

Hypomyces lactifluorum 
[Lobster Mushroom]
4 images

Hypoxylon multiforme 
[Birch Hypoxylon]
4 images

Pachyella clypeata
[Copper Penny]
7 images

Scutellinia scutellata
[Eyelash Cup]
12 images

Xylaria longipes
[Stalked Xylaria & 
Dead Moll's Fingers] 
12 images

Xylaria polymorpha
[Dead Man's Fingers] 
12 images





Gilled Fungi - Agarics

Most gilled mushrooms have caps that are supported by a stalk.  What differentiates this group of fungi are the gills that radiate from the stalk to the edge of the cap.  Mushrooms in this grouping range from those with very tiny caps to ones with truly large ones.  Most agarics grow on the ground, but there are some species that grow on wood with either small or no stalks.

Aminata, Russula and Lactarius all belong to this group.  What's the same?  different?

ALL three are difficult to identify!  There are many species of each which are difficult to identify for both the beginner and expert fungus enthusiast. 

Typical Amanita characteristics include:  large colourful specimens, pale gills (with some exceptions) free from stem; white spore prints; evidence of universal veil that creates a volva (cup at the base); dry caps.  Some species also have warts and patches on their caps and a ring on the stem.

Amanita look very much like the fungi in the Limacella genus and they have much the same characteristics except that the caps of Limacella are slimy.  Remember though, that the caps of old species may dry up!

The Lactarius and Russula genera are medium-sized to large mushrooms that are common and widespread.   I'm not going to even attempt identification here and have included all large gilled mushrooms in this section.

Lactarius are called “milk” mushrooms since when a young specimen is cut, they “bleed” a latex-like fluid.  Russula spp. are related to Lactarius and are very similar except that they do not bleed.  

Agaricus arvensis
[The Horse Mushroom]
20 images

Agrocybe molesta 
4 images

Amanita bisporigera 
[Destroying Angel, Deadly Amanita, White Death Cap, 
Angel of Death]
15 images

Amanita fulva 
[Tawny Grisette]
3 images

Amanita gemmata
[Gem-studded Amanita]
11 images

Amanita - 
Hypomyces hyalinus

10 images

 Amanita muscaria 
var. formosa

[Fly Agaric]
14 images

Amanita rubescens
[The Blusher]
9 images

Amanita Learn About + unidentified species.
50 images

Armillaria mellea
[Honey Mushroom or 
Bootlace Fungus]
37 images

4 images

[Flat Crep + more]
5 images

Flammulina velutipes
[Velvet Foot, Enokitake
Winter Mushroom]
10 images

[Deadly Galerina ?]
4 images

Gymnopilus luteofolius
[Yellow-Gilled Gymnopilus]
6 images

Hygrophorus pustulatus
4 images

Inocybe lacera 
[Torn Fibrecap]
3 images

  Lactarius vs Russula Mushrooms  Unidentified
12 images

Lactarius subvellereus
3 images

Marasmius oreades 
[Fairy Ring Fungus]
11 images

Marasmius rotula 
[Pinwheel Mushroom, Little Wheel, Collared Parachute, Horse Hair Fungus]
9 images

Mycena leaiana 
[Orange Mycena,
 Lea's Mycena]
12 images

Mycena polygramma 
[Grooved Bonnet]
5 images

Panaeolina foenisecii 
[Haymaker's Mushroom, Brown Mottlegill, 
Mower's Mushroom]
7 images

Panellus stipticus 
[Luminescent Panellus 
& Bitter Oysterling]
10 images

Pholiota squarrosoides
[Scaly Pholiota or 
Sharp-scaly Pholiota]
10 images

Pleurotus dryinus
[Kummer Cap]
9 images

Pluteus atricapillus
[Deer Mushroom]
8 images

Russula brevipes  
[Short-stemmed Russula or Stubby Brittlegill]
21 images

Russula emetica ?
[Sickener, Emetic or 
Vomiting Russula]
11 images

Russula - Unidentifed
Russula densifolia?
R. amoenolens?
R. nigricans?

5 images

Tapinella atrotomentosa
[Velvet Rollrim or 
Velvet-footed Pax]
6 images

Learn About + Unidentified Gilled Mushrooms

39 images


Gilled - Wax Cap Mushrooms

Hygrocybe coccinea
[Scarlet Hood]
4 images

Hygrophorus flavescens
[Wax Cap Mushroom]
8 images

Wax Cap Learn About + Misc.
1 image

Jelly Fungi

Jelly fungi are gelatinous in appearance.  During dry periods, these fungi shrivel and almost disappear, only to reabsorb water during rainy weather.  The fruiting bodies of these species return to their normal shape quickly to continue their spore production. 

Dacrymyces palmatus 
[Orange Jelly]
17 images

Dacrypinax spathularia
[Fan-shaped Jelly Fungus]
5 images





Pleurotus & Similar Fungi

These mushrooms have features similar to Oyster Mushrooms.


Pleurotus ostreatus
[Oyster Mushroom]
19 images





Puffballs & Earthstars

As their name implies, Puffballs are circular in shape with spores that develop inside.  The spores are "puffed" out of a hole that dissolves on the top.  Puffing requires some kind of mechanical force, but something like falling rain will result in puffs of spores that look like smoke.  Puffballs are members of the class Gasteromycetes with literally means "stomach fungi".   Earthstars are puffballs with tissue radiating away from the spore case.

Lycoperdon perlatum
[Common, Warted, Gemm-studded Puffball]
9 images

Lycoperdon pusillum 
[White Puffball]
9 images

Lycoperdon pyriforme /
Morganella pyriformis

[Pear-shaped or 
Wolf's-fart Puffball]
10 images

Lycoperdon subincarnata
[Ruddy Puffball]
5 images

Scleroderma citrinum
12 images





Slime Moulds  (Myxomycota)

Technically slime moulds are not actually fungi, but are fungus-like.  These strange looking objects are often described as looking like "tapioca", "toothpaste" or "dog vomit" are slimy, gelatinous masses of protoplasm called a "plasmodium".  Slime moulds live in well-rotted organic matter and migrate to various sites.  When it is time for them to fruit, the plasmodium travels to an optimal site.  Slime moulds can be seen fruiting on living and dead plants, grasses, trees, stumps, etc.

Since they do produce spores like fungi, many mycologists continue to study them and include them when talking about fungi.  With names like "Scrambled Egg Slime Mould" and "Wolf's Milk", I find this species fascinating and quite beautiful.  Most slime moulds are very small, perhaps only a few centimeters, but some species can grow to be several meters in size.  To appreciate their delicate beauty, I suggest a microscope or at least a very good magnifying glass!

Arcyria cinerea 
7 images

Arcyria denudata 
[Carnival Candy Slime mould]
10 images

Brefeldia maxima
[Tapioca Slime Mould]
3 images

Ceratiomyxa fruitculosa var. porioides
[Coral Slime Mould]
5 images

Fluigo septica
[Dog Vomit Slime Mould]
14 images

[Calyculata or Clavata]
16 images

Lycogala epidendrum and
L. terrestre
[Toothpaste Slime] 
26 images

Mucilago crustacea

3 images

Stemonitis axifera 
[Chocolate Tube Slime Mould]
11 images


Tubifera ferruginosa
[Red Raspberry Slime]
2 images



Tooth Fungi

Tooth fungi are different from coral mushrooms since their "teeth" point down, while coral mushrooms have columns that grow upwards.

Hericium americanum
[Lion's Mane, Bear's Head Tooth Fungus, Monkey Head" or "The Icicle Mushroom]
5 images

Spongipellis pachyodon ?
[Soft Toothed Polypore 
& White Heart Rot]
6 images



Miscellaneous Other Fungi

This category includes those fungi that fall somewhere outside the above categories.  Also, I've included those that I have yet to identify.

Amanita - 
Hypomyces hyalinus

10 images

Kretzschmaria deusta
[Brittle Cinder 
or Carbon Cushion]
11 images

Phaeolus schweinitzii
[Dye Maker's Polypore]
16 images


Is this a fungi?


Monotropa uniflora
[Indian Pipe, Ghost Plant & Corpse Plant]
17 images












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Fabulous Fungi



"The world depends 
on fungi, 
because they are 
major players in the
cycling of materials 
and energy 
around the world."

~ E.O. Wilson ~




"I thought a forest 
was made up 
entirely of trees, 
but now I know 
that the foundation 
lies below ground,
in the fungi."

~ Derrick Jensen ~





"Falling in love 
is like 
eating mushrooms, 
you never know 
if it's the real thing 
until it's too late."

~ Bill Balance ~



















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