Wild mushrooms, colorful mushrooms and even Morel mushrooms…there are many types of mushrooms in Arkansas. Just watch out for the poisonous mushrooms!
My husband and I bought 5 acres in the woods of Arkansas several years ago. Our woods are home to many things like beautiful Arkansas snakes, wildflowers, squirrels, and even unique Arkansas mushrooms.
Spotting a mushroom in the woods is like finding a long lost fairy garden. Something about it feels magical.
Arkansas mushrooms have such unusual and varied shapes and colors that make each one of them a unique find. (There are even red mushrooms in Arkansas!)
And they seem like they just pop up out of nowhere.
Arkansas Mushrooms and Fungi
There is a running joke in my house where I call my husband a Fungi. Get it? “Fun guy.”
I know. It’s not that original but it usually gets me a few eye rolls so it’s worth it.
But, it brings up something interesting. What are fungi and are mushrooms considered fungi?
Are Arkansas mushrooms fungi or fungus?
To get technical for a moment…
There are “true fungi” in Arkansas that belong to the kingdom Fungi and there are a lot of other fungus-like things.
So, “true fungi” are things like mushrooms, yeasts (like the yeast that causes the fermentation of grape juice into wine and the yeast that helps produce beer), sugar molds, etc.
The other “fungus-like stuff” (officially known as fungus-like protists) are gross things like slime molds and mildew. These things often look like Fungi but are actually imposters.
Some Arkansas mushrooms are Fungi – not fungus-like protists – but you might need an expert to know the difference.
No one likes fungi.
Let’s move on to something less mind-bending like Arkansas mushroom hunting.
Arkansas Mushroom Hunting
Hunting for mushrooms in Arkansas is an experience you will love.
Fall is the perfect time to hunt because the hot summer days have finally eased off, the nights are a little cooler, and there is typically more moisture.
However, if you’re wanting to hunt for morel mushrooms, you’ll want to do that in the Spring.
Morel Mushroom Season in Arkansas
Morel mushroom season in Arkansas is from mid-march through April.
There have even been reports of morels being spotted in early march and even lasting until late June.
“When there is a week or so with daytime temperatures in the 60’s and night time temperatures in the upper 40’s it is at this time the ground temperature reaches the low to mid 50’s which is the optimum growing condition for morels. Some rain to moisten the soil is required but it’s a myth that you need the sun to really “pop” them. Some of the most productive seasons have been cloudy, rainy Springs.”–source
Read more here: [PRO TIPS] Morel Mushrooms in Arkansas
Are there poisonous mushrooms in Arkansas?
Yes, there are poisonous mushrooms in Arkansas. It is important that you know the different between good mushrooms and poisonous mushrooms before you begin your hunt.
If possible, take an expert with you.
Common types of poisonous mushrooms in Arkansas
- Cortinarius rubellus – Deadly webcap
- Omphalotus illudens – “Jack O’Lantern Mushroom” –source
- Galerina marginata – funeral bell or the deadly skullcap
- Gyrometra esculenta – “brain mushroom,” “turban fungus,” elephant ears, or “beefsteak mushroom/morel” –source
- Psilocybe cubensis – shrooms, magic mushrooms, golden halos, cubes, or gold caps
Learn more here: [BEWARE] 8 Poisonous Mushrooms in Arkansas
Are there wild mushrooms in Arkansas?
Yes! There are wild mushrooms in Arkansas and lots of them.
Examples of wild mushrooms in Arkansas that people forage are:
- oyster mushrooms
- chicken of the woods mushrooms
See the full list here: 13 Common Types of Wild Mushrooms in Arkansas That People Forage
Where can I find wild mushrooms in Arkansas?
Wild Arkansas mushrooms are most commonly found in the woods. Our Ozark Mountains are a perfect place to look.
Where to find Morel mushrooms
Morels are a funny species that don’t tend to pop up in the same location as the year before. However, to make things easier, some people tend to look for a specific type of tree to assist in the hunt.
Some Arkansas mushroom hunters claim that morels like to grow near hickory, sycamore, or a few other varieties of trees.
Where to find Oyster mushrooms
Oyster mushrooms are a little different. They grow on dead or dying hardwood trees like beech and oak trees.
Knowing what type of tree your favorite mushroom prefers can make all the difference in a successful mushroom hunting trip or coming home empty handed.
Cautions About Arkansas Mushrooms
This article was written for entertainment purposes only. It is not to be considered as expert advice. We are not suggesting or implying what is or is not safe to consume. Everyone’s bodies and reactions are different. There are many variables when foraging. Only two examples are: 1. Some wild edibles must be processed to remove toxins. 2. Be aware that many wild edible plants in Arkansas also have toxic lookalikes.
Always seek expert help. Forage at your own risk.
you will also like: Arkansas Foraging Laws and Regulations