8 Most Common Edible Mushrooms in Ohio

edible mushrooms in ohio
Ohio is home to more than 2,000 species of wild mushrooms. Among the wild edibles in Ohio are lion's mane, morels, giant puffballs, and chanterelles. 

Wild Mushrooms to Forage in Ohio

The most edible wild mushrooms in Ohio produce fruit in the spring, usually between mid-April and mid-May, but there are exceptions to this rule, so pay careful attention, fellow mushroom hunters!

For more info, consult The Ohio Mushroom Society.

Also, check out our video below on the 7 best tools to forage mushrooms.

1. Chanterelle (Cantharellus)

Its fruiting body is found from June through September under hardwood trees, particularly oak and hemlock trees. 

Cooking tips:

If you want them to get a little color, cook them a little, but do not cook them until they become tough and dry out.

They can also be used to prepare a decadent mushroom soup or cream sauce.

Recipes to try:

Watch our video on when and where to look for chanterelles.

Giant puffballs (Calvatia gigantea)

Located in parks, meadows, pastures, open woods, and urban areas from late August to early October; it has a diameter ranging from 8 to 24 inches. 

Cooking tips:

Great to saute’. Rinse the mushrooms under running water, but don’t let them soak (this will add excess moisture, which will affect the texture).

Cut the puffball mushrooms into cubes. The size of puffball mushrooms can vary a lot, so cut them into similar sizes to cook evenly. Cooked mushrooms shrink, so don’t chop them too small.

Recipes to try:

Calvatia gigantea
Giant puffball

3. Shaggy mane (Coprinus)

This is an example of an inky cap. You can find shaggy manes in grassy areas and hard-packed soil from late summer to early fall. It does not take long for the gills and cap to become inky. 

Cooking tips:

Cooks in the same manner as most other mushrooms.

Melt the butter or use oil, add the mushrooms, pepper, and salt, and cook covered for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. In this way, the water is brought to the surface.

Recipes to try:

Shaggy mane mushrooms (Coprinus comatus)
Shaggy mane mushrooms

4. Chicken of the Woods (Laetiporus sulphureus)

This fungus is a bracket fungus (fungi that grow on trees) found in Europe and North America. It grows as striking golden-yellow shelf-like structures on tree trunks and branches.

Crab-of-the-woods, sulfur polypore, sulfur shelf, and chicken-of-the-woods are some of its common names.

Do not consume chicken of the woods unless it has been harvested from a deciduous tree. It is possible for those growing on yews, conifers, or eucalyptus to absorb some of their oils, which may result in serious health problems. 

Cooking tips:

Since chicken of the woods has a similar texture to chicken when cooked, it’s a great meat substitute. You can saute’ them, especially if they’re young; make sure to keep a bit of wine nearby in case the pan dries out.

Recipes to try:

Chicken of the woods
Chicken of the woods,

5. Shaggy Parasol (Chlorophyllum rachodes)

This scaly-capped edible mushroom is commonly found in compost, mulch, and lawns, often near spruce trees. The spore print is white in color. Fruits in late summer, and often into the chill of fall. 

Cooking tips:

I want to remind you that shaggy parasols require thorough cooking, like morels, honey mushrooms, and other mushrooms. Otherwise, very straightforward preparation. 

Recipes to try:

Shaggy Parasol
Shaggy parasol

6. Morel mushroom (Morchella)

There are five morel species in Ohio from late March to mid-May. Edible. Check out the forest floor in a local Ohio state park. Their caps consist of ridges with pits that give them a honeycomb appearance. 

Cooking tips:

As with other mushrooms, morels should be seared in oil over high heat to brown them. Morels will soften and brown.

According to some recipes, morels should be cooked in butter from beginning to end, but I have found that the butter burns before the morels are sufficiently browned.

Note: be aware of false morels.

Recipes to try:

Watch our video to learn all about how to find, forage, and identify morel mushrooms!

7. Field mushroom (Agaricus campestris)

In grassy areas, you can find field mushrooms mushrooms in late summer and early fall. It features pink gills that become chocolate brown in color. 

Cooking tips:

You can use them anywhere you would use mushrooms. I think these are best butter-sautéed in a pan over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted, add the meadow mushroom, tossing to coat evenly with the butter.

Recipes to try:

Field mushrooms
Field mushrooms

8. Slippery jack (Suillus luteus)

This is a mushroom with fleshy pores. You can find it under two- and three-needle pines. It grows in autumn and summer. 

Cooking tips:

The brown sticky part of slippery jacks must be peeled off before eating them, as it is not very digestible. Then cook to your liking.

Recipes to try:

Slippery jacks
Slippery jacks

Poisonous mushrooms in Ohio

Below is a list of Ohio’s most common and dangerous mushrooms to look out for.

  • Fly Amanita (Amanita muscaria): Reddish-orange, orange to yellow caps with whitish warts. It’s under trees.
  • Russula mushroom (Russula sp.):. There are many species in Ohio, in colors like green, yellow, orange, purple, red, white, etc. They’re all woodland and mycorrhizal. There are some edibles and some poisonous ones. The red russulas tend to be poisonous.
  • False morels (Gyromitra esculenta): True morels are conical in shape, while false morels are flat. False morels should not be eaten. 
  • Jack-O-Lantern mushroom (Omphalotus olearius): It’s orange-yellow with gills. Found along stump bases, decaying tree roots.
  • Destroying angel (Amanita sp.): Common in mixed woods in Ohio. It is usually found from July to October. It is poisonous and deadly. 
  • Green-spored lepiota: It is often found in large fairy rings on lawns.

Check our video on the 7 most poisonous mushrooms growing in the US (mushroom details and ingestion symptoms included)!

Foraging tips

  • If you are new to the game, you may want to consider joining a state park group or a mushroom society dedicated to foraging mushrooms.
  • In Ohio, mid-April through May is prime mushroom season, and while several species of Ohio mushrooms are suitable for the dinner table, morels are the most passionately pursued.
  • Remember that the underground system from which they sprout is preserved by cutting the mushrooms rather than picking them. As a result, the mycological colony continues to produce fruit.


Ana has always been interested in all things nature and flora. With her expertise in home gardening and interest in foraging, she has been spending her weekends and free time looking for edible native plants, flowers, and fungi. One of her many hobbies includes testing new savory and sweet recipes, juices or teas made from freshly picked plants, wild fruits, or mushrooms.

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