South Dakota Shelf Mushrooms

South Dakota is home to a huge variety of mushrooms, some are delicious and some painfully deadly! This page lists only shelf mushrooms. A shelf mushroom grows laterally from a tree or another object and may or may not have a stem. If you want to identify other types of mushrooms in SD such as spherical mushrooms, mushrooms with gills, mushrooms with atypical caps, etc. please start on the main mycology page:

Ganoderma Applanatum – Also known as “Artist’s Conk”. This absolute behemoth in the photo above was found while crawling through a pile of junk next to an overflow tunnel on a dead tree. These can be found all year long and apparently can be used for a “medicinal tea” per Mushrooms of the Upper Midwest.

Gloeophyllum Sepiarium – not edible but looks pretty darn cool. The spore surface is an odd mixture of veiny gills and the mushroom itself is hard and woody. Found 2022 at Good Earth, SD kids play area.

Laetiporus Sulphureus – commonly called chicken of the woods, this is a very popular edible mushroom. It is super easy to identify due to the bright orange and yellow fruiting body and it tastes absolutely delicious. We roll them in flour -> oat milk -> bread crumbs and then fry them up like chicken strips. I eat this mushroom by the POUNDS! Haha.

Unknown (possible Laetiporus Sulphureus or Pseudoinonotus Dryadeus) – This fungus was found in late august two days after a short rainfall. Initially I thought it was chicken of the woods but on close inspection some of the mushrooms had globular balls growing from the top of the mushroom. The colors were not as vibrant (could be an old specimen). It felt spongey, just like Laetiporus Sulphureus but I need to take more time for a better ID

Pleurotus Pulmonarius – The damn bugs ALWAYS beat me to these!!! I may have the wrong Pleurotus species but according to Marrone and Yerich there are three oyster mushrooms that are almost impossible to differentiate without microscopic work. I kept the spores from this specific mushroom for my own mushroom farm! Found 9/19/22 two days after three days of light rain and overcast weather. Cooked up with onion, garlic, and veggie butter. So delicious!

Polyporus Mori – These mushrooms pop up in the spring during morel season and they stick around all through summer. As they age, they begin to turn pale yellow. This is one of the most frequent mushrooms that I find in Sioux Falls, SD. They can be growing on twigs up in a dead tree or from sticks laying on the ground. Generally smaller than a few inches.

Polyporus Squamosis – This mushroom can get absolutely enormous and almost impossible to miss. If you find a young specimen (cap breaks in chunks instead of flexing like leather) then you found yourself a big meal! This is a shelf mushroom but I have found it growing straight up from the ground on a short black stem looking like a traditional GIANT mushroom. On 9/19/22 I ran across three guys (they spoke horrible English, haha) carrying over 50 pounds of this. After a lot of hand-gestures and laughing I learned that they make a spicy chilli with it. Check out my foraging video for identification and edibility tips:

Trametes Hirsuta – may be confused with T. Versicolor but has quite a fuzzy top, with a brownish outer band, and larger pores than T. versicolor.

Trametes Versicolor – well how embarrassing? I find this mushroom so frequently and in such impressively huge clusters that I just stopped taking photos of it. I’m sure I have some pics hiding deep in my computer but I have recently gained some interest in using this mushroom in teas due to the science coming out on its ability to help treat certain types of cancer.

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