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Red mushrooms can seem to appear in your backyard or lawn from nowhere. These red-colored fungi can grow overnight, creating small clusters of dark orange, deep red, or bright red spongy growths. And red mushrooms or toadstools are some of the most fascinating fungi due to their striking red colors and unusual shapes.
Although they may look attractive, many varieties of red mushrooms in your yard can be highly poisonous. For example, a vibrantly colored mushroom with a red cap and white spots is the fly agaric (Amanita muscaria). This iconic red and white toadstool contains toxins that cause serious health complications when ingested.
Even though many red cap mushrooms are toxic, some species of red mushrooms are edible. For example, red chanterelles (Cantharellus cinnabarinus) and the ox tongue mushroom (Fistulina hepatica) are two types of red mushrooms that you can eat.
It’s important to note that the purpose of this article is purely informative. It only provides a visual guide to species of red mushrooms. The article does not suggest if any of these species of red mushrooms are edible or not, nor does it intend to teach you how to cook them. Eating any type of mushroom is dangerous without correctly identifying its species.
This article is a guide to help identify types of mushrooms that are primarily red. Some of them you will find in your yard growing in grass, others are more common in forests and woodlands.Red Mushrooms in the Lawn
Red mushrooms are easy to spot growing among the grass on your lawn. The red shades stand out against the dark green blades of grass. Common red mushrooms that grow in lawns are the basket stinkhorn (Clathrus ruber), the red starfish stinkhorn (Aseroe rubra), and the Octopus stinkhorn (Clathrus archeri).
However, it is more common to find white mushrooms in lawns, yards, and cultivated soil. You are more likely to find red mushrooms in lawns around the edges, especially in areas of grass under trees or shrubs with dense foliage. If you discover red mushrooms in your lawn, it’s best to identify the species before deciding what to do with it.Why Mushrooms Grow in the Yard
Like all mushrooms, red mushrooms grow in yards when conditions are ideal. Mushrooms grow in organically-rich matter when conditions are damp and humid, and there is plenty of shade. Therefore, you are most likely to find red mushrooms in your yard during late summers and the fall after heavy rainfall and when temperatures are warm.
Finding red mushrooms growing in your front or backyard is nothing to worry about. Mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of fungus in your soil. Because mushrooms only start growing in organically-rich soil, backyard mushrooms are typically a sign of healthy ground. This means that your shrubs, plants, turfgrass, and trees have enough nutrients.How to Identify Red Mushrooms
Red mushrooms have several identifying features. These include their size, shade of red color, scales on the cap, and shape of the stem and cap. Under the cap, you can identify mushrooms by their gills, teeth, or pores. Some mushrooms also have an identifiable earthy, musty odor.
Many types of edible mushrooms have common identifiable traits. These include brown or tan gills, smooth, scaleless caps, and stems without a ring around them. Unfortunately, many types of red mushrooms are inedible. Therefore, never go mushroom picking without an experienced expert. Mushroom poisoning can happen if you mistake a poisonous mushroom for a similar-looking edible species.
According to the Indiana Department of Health, “proper identification of wild mushroom species requires advanced studies in the field of mycology, in addition to considerable foraging and identification experience in the field.”Types of Red Mushrooms (With Pictures) – Identification Guide
Let’s look in more detail at common varieties of mushrooms that have red, reddish-brown, orange-red, or pinkish-red colors. You are likely to find some of these varieties growing in your lawn or backyard.Fly Agaric — Red Mushroom With White Spots (Amanita muscaria)
The poisonous fly Agaric mushroom (also called fly amanita) is identified by a red cup with white specs
Also called the fly amanita, the fly agaric is an iconic mushroom with white speckle-like growths on the red cap. This poisonous mushroom is easy to identify due to its short white stem, white gills, white flesh, and oval or round dark orange to red cap with whitish warts.
The fly agaric grows 2.7” to 7” (7 – 18 cm) tall, and its cap is 2.7” to 8.2” (7 – 21 cm) across. You’ll typically find the poisonous red mushroom in woodlands near conifers and birch trees.Red mushroom identification
The fly agaric mushroom is a common mushroom identified by its rounded or oval red cap covered in small, cottony white growths.Ringless False Fly Amanita Mushroom (Amanita parcivolvata)
The ringless false fly amanita mushroom has a red or dark orange cap with few white specs and can be similar to the fly Agaric mushroom
The ringless false fly amanita has a deep orange to red rounded or oval cap with several whiteish warts on its cap. Compared to the red and white fly agaric toadstool, this red and white mushroom has a slenderer white stem. Under the reddish-orange cap are pale yellow gills.
This red mushroom grows 1.5” to 4.7” (4 – 12 cm) with a slender cylindrical white stem. Its convex or flat reddish cap is 1.1” to 2.7” (3 to 7 cm) in diameter.
The identification features of the ringless false fly amanita are its orangey-red cap and pure white slender stem.The Sickener Mushroom (Russula emetica)
The sickener mushroom can be identified by its red sticky cap and white stem and can be found in forests or near coniferous trees
The sickener mushroom has a red, oval, flattened cap with a sticky surface. Beneath the red cap are evenly spaced white gills, and the rounded convex cap is supported on a cylindrical thick white stem. This inedible mushroom typically grows at the foot of coniferous trees and in mixed forests.
As its name suggests, the red sickener mushroom causes gastrointestinal upset if you eat it. It’s also called the vomiting russula or emetic russula.Red mushroom identification
The sickener mushroom is identified by its smooth, sticky red cap, white stem, and gills. It grows 1.0” to 3.3” (2.5 – 8.5 cm) wide and 1.8” to 4.1” (4.5 – 10.5 cm) tall.Basket Stinkhorn Mushroom (Clathrus ruber)
The unusual red basket stinkhorn mushroom can be found in lawns or yards and has a spherical latticed look
The basket stinkhorn is an unusual red mushroom found in lawns, backyards, and near woody debris.
The unmistakable shape of the mushroom is like a round ball covered in large holes. Initially, the basket-like mushroom appears as a whitish egg. Then it opens into a bright red to pink fungus consisting of a network of spongy arms.
The basket stinkhorn measures up to 2.4” (6 cm) in diameter and has a roughly spherical shape.Red mushroom identification
The easily identifiable basket stinkhorn is a roundish red mushroom consisting of spongy latticed arms.Starfish Fungus (Aseroe rubra)
The unique-looking starfish fungus has red tentacles and can be found in garden lawns or on mulch
A red mushroom in the shape of a star is the unusual starfish or sea anemone fungus. Like all types of stinkhorn mushrooms, this red species emerges as a white knobby egg. First, a pinkish-white stem appears, and then the top develops into red, pink, or orange-colored tentacle-like spongy arms.
The strange-looking red mushroom grows 4” (10 cm) tall, and the arms of the star-like growth measure up to 1.5” (4 cm) long.Red mushroom identification
Also called the anemone stinkhorn, the starfish fungus looks like a red star-shaped structure growing on a pinkish-white stem. Like all stinkhorns, this red species is slimy and gives off a foul aroma.Octopus Stinkhorn Mushroom (Clathrus archeri)
The garden mushroom octopus stinkhorn is identified by its red arms and foul smell
The octopus stinkhorn is another reddish fungus you can find in backyards and lawns. The octopus stinkhorn is characterized by its deep red arm-like structures emerging from a white egg. This gives the bizarre red mushroom the appearance of a red and white octopus. It’s also covered in stinky goo.
Also called devil’s fingers, the foul-smelling octopus stinkhorn grows up to 4” (10 cm) tall, with four to six fruiting red arms emerging from a whitish egg.Red mushroom identification
The octopus stinkhorn is easily recognizable in lawns or gardens due to its black-spotted red tentacle-like structures.Jackson’s Slender Amanita Mushroom (Amanita jacksonii)
The Jackson’s slender amanita mushroom has a red cup and yellowish stem
The Jackson’s slender amanita is a tall, slender mushroom with a rounded brilliant red or deep orange convex cap. Older mushrooms have a more distinct orange shading around the edges. The slender stems are yellow, and the gills under the red cap are orange-yellow. It’s often found near oaks and pine trees in late summer and fall.
Although considered edible, the mushroom is easily confused with the highly toxic fly amanita. It grows 3.5” to 6” (9 – 15 cm) tall, and its rounded cap is 2” to 4.7” (5 – 12 cm) in diameter.Red mushroom identification
The Jackson’s slender amanita fungus is a red mushroom with a red, sticky cap, orange-yellow gills, and a slender yellowish stem.Stinky Squid Mushroom (Pseudocolus fusiformis)
The stinky squid mushroom has reddish joined arms emerging from white puffy stem and can be found in gardens, lawns and woodlands
The stinky squid is a small stinkhorn mushroom, identified by three or four tapered orange to pale red arms emerging from a whitish, pear-shaped puffball. The interesting feature of this orangey-red mushroom is how the tapered fruiting bodies join at the top. The stink emitting from the squid mushroom is compared to pig manure.
The putrid-smelling, stinky squid mushroom measures 1.2” to 2.4” (3 to 6 cm) tall. You can find this stinking red mushroom in lawns, gardens, and woodlands.Red mushroom identification
The stinky squid mushroom has three or four orange-red arm-like structures growing upward and joining at the tapered end.Red Chanterelle (Cantharellus cinnabarinus)
Red chanterelles have flat caps with curved margins and a central depression
The red chanterelle mushroom is identified by its distinctive bright red, orange, or flamingo-pink colors. Typically found in broadleaf or mixed forests, this brightly colored red mushroom has a broadly flat cap with a slight depression in the center. The reddish-orange stem is typically slightly crooked, with false gills under the cap.
Red chanterelles are a species of small, edible red mushrooms growing 0.4” to 1.5” (1 – 4 cm) tall. The smooth cap with curved margins measures up to 1.5” (4 cm) wide.Red mushroom identification
Small red chanterelle mushrooms are bright red, distinguishing them from the related yellow or golden yellow variety of chanterelle mushrooms.Ox Tongue Mushroom (Fistulina Hepatica)
The large ox tongue mushroom has a flat bright red cap and grows on tree trunks
The ox tongue mushroom is a large type of flat, red mushroom that grows on trees. This mushroom looks like an oversized tongue and has a meaty texture. Hence, the common names are mushroom tongue, ox poor man’s steak, and beefsteak fungus. It contains red liquid resembling blood.
Fistuline hepatica is a type of parasitic fungus found growing on rotting tree stumps or chestnut or oak trees. The large bright red to reddish-brown cap measures 2.7” to 8” (7 – 20 cm) across and up to 5.5” (14 cm) deep.Red mushroom identification
The ox tongue mushroom is an edible species, easy to identify due to its large, flat, thick cap that is attached to deciduous tree trunks.Boletus pseudosensibilis
Boletus pseudosensibilis mushroom has a pale red or brownish cap with yellowish stem and can be found near oak trees
A large mushroom with a reddish cap is the identifying feature of the Boletus pseudosensibilis. The boletus mushrooms have a red to reddish-brown rounded cap, thick yellowish smooth stem, and yellow flesh in the cap and stem. Boletus pseudosensibilis measures 2.3” to 4” (6 – 10 cm) tall with a cap 1.5” to 6” (4 – 16 cm) in diameter.
This reddish-brown mushroom is commonly found near oak trees in upland hardwood forests.Red mushroom identification
The identifying features of Boletus pseudosensibilis are its rusty-red or red-brown cap and yellowish meaty stem.Two-Colored Bolete Mushroom (Boletus bicolor)
The two-colored bolete mushroom has a pink-reddish cap with yellow underside and can be found in hardwood forests
The vibrantly colored two-colored bolete mushroomhas a contrasting pink-reddish cap and stem with a spongy yellow underside. The large, edible, colorful mushroom has a broadly convex smooth cap that can be bright red to brown. Its thick, spongy stem is also pinkish-red or brown. However, cutting the mushroom open reveals yellowish flesh.
Two-colored bolete mushroom measures 2” to 6” (5 – 15 cm) tall, and its round, convex red cap is 1.5” to 6.2” (4 – 16 cm) wide.Red mushroom identification
The two-colored bolete mushroommushroom is easy to identify due to its vibrant red cap with a yellow underside lacking gills.Frost’s Bolete Mushroom (Butyriboletus frostii)
Frost’s bolete mushroom is identified by its deep red cap and textured red stem and are commonly found near oak trees
The pure red cap of Frost’s bolete is easy to recognize growing on woodland floors. This spectacular red mushroom has a slightly rounded, oval red cap with a smooth, sticky surface. It is also easy to identify due to the coarsely reticulate stems with network-like patterns like morel mushrooms. Slicing through the deep red mushroom reveals a whitish to yellowish flesh.
Frost’s bolete mushroom measures 1.5” to 3.1” (4 – 8 cm) tall, and its disc-shaped cap is 1.3” to 3.1” (3.5 – 8 cm) in diameter.Red mushroom identification
The Frost’s bolete is easy to distinguish from other types of boletes because its shade of color is deep red, not reddish-brown or rusty red.Crepidotus cinnabarinus
The small Crepidotus cinnabarinus is a unique-looking orange-red fan shaped mushroom with pronounced gills
The unusual orange-red Crepidotus cinnabarinus mushroom has a recognizable fan shape that looks like a red shell. The conspicuous orangish-red mushroom has a fuzzy feel when young, and becomes pitted and dry as it ages. The pronounced gills of this mushroom species are red-orange. This small mushroom measures 0.07” to 0.7” (0.2 to 1.8 cm).Red mushroom identification
The small red Crepidotus cinnabarinus is easy to identify due to its shell shape. They look like small reddish-orange fans growing on decaying deadwood.Cortinarius marylandensis
Cortinarius marylandensis is a relatively small red mushroom found in eastern North America
The stunning Cortinarius marylandensis is a red mushroom with blood-red gills. This species of fungi features a rusty-red stem, a relatively small convex or bell-shaped red cap, and a cylindrical stem. The deep red colored mushroom grows 0.78” to 2” (2 – 5 cm) tall, and its bell-shaped cap is 0.39” to 1.5” (1 – 4 cm) in diameter.Red mushroom identification
The Cortinarius marylandensis is a small bright red mushroom with a broadly oval bell-like cap. It’s found in hardwood woodlands throughout eastern North America.Scarlet Elf Cup (Sarcoscypha coccinea)
The scarlet elf cup is a small red mushroom with an unusual cap that turns upward around the edges
The scarlet elf cup fungus is one of the most reddish mushrooms that grows on trees. This commonly found red mushroom has a saucer-shaped cap that turns upward around the edges. The center of the mushroom is deep red, and its underside is usually pale pink. The small red mushrooms grow up to 1.5” (4 cm) across.
The scarlet elf cup mushroom grows on decaying branches in damp forest floors, or can be found buried under fallen leaves inthe soil.Red mushroom identification
The identifying features of the scarlet elf cup are its bowl shape with a vibrantly colored red center and pink outer side.Scarlet Waxcap (Hygrocybe Coccinea)
The scarlet waxcap is a completely deep red mushroom with no spots that grows on forest floors
The scarlet waxcap is a bright red gilled mushroom with a convex vibrant red cap, stems, and deep pink colored notched gills. The medium-sized red mushroom is found in various woodland ecosystems in North America. You can easily spot this blood-red fungus growing on the forest floor.
The scarlet waxcap grows 0.78” to 2.3” (2 – 6 cm) tall, and its smooth, crimson-red cap is similar in size. The gills underneath the cap are pinkish-red, and the mushroom has reddish flesh.Red mushroom identification
The scarlet waxcap is identified by its waxy, sticky scarlet-red cap, bright red stem, and red flesh.
Types of Edible MushroomsTypes of Red Mushrooms (With Pictures) – Identification Guide was last modified: November 8th, 2022 by no_name12Read Next14 Plants That Repel Mosquitoes (With Pictures) - Identification GuideGayfeather (Liatris Spicata): Care, Growing Guide and Types (With Pictures)The Best Flowers For Winter - Plants that Flower in Winter (With Pictures)The Best Florida Shade Plants - Pictures and Identification Guide Email Pinterest Facebook Twitter Linkedin