Guide to Mushrooms of the Chicago Region

With information for the Upper Midwest and North America

Explore the main sections of this guide. See the Site Map for full outline of content.

Chicago Region History and Partners

The Chicago Region is rich with parks and many county forest preserves. Neighboring Indiana features Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and adjacent state park. The long history of mycological work documents a diverse mycoflora of well over a thousand species. This effort continues with the help of many participants.

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Kingdom Fungi

Here are description pages for the fungi arranged by taxonomic groups from phylum down to species. Most mushrooms are found in the Phylum Basidiomycota while morels, cup fungi, and most lichens belong to the Phylum Ascomycota.

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Methods in Mycology

Methods start with collection, note taking and photography. Permanent documentation is based on the preservation of dried and labeled specimens in a herbarium. Identification work is done on fresh or dried mushrooms with the help of websites, books, and other literature. A microscope is used to observe and measure spores, cystidia, and other structures.

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Resources for Mycology

There are many great mushroom clubs across the United States and Canada. Links are given for clubs in the Upper Midwest. See our recommended books and useful websites. Watch some videos or download checklists and other content.

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North America

Mushroom hunting is a great activity. There is no end to the new kinds you can discover, even new species. The North American Mycoflora Project has the goal of assembling a mushroom flora for North America. Related websites are listed here. Groups across the continent are documenting their local mushrooms with photos, specimens, and location data.

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