Cornell University



Phylloporus, a gilled bolete

Phylloporus rhodoxanthus is a mushroom with gills, but here we reveal its secret allegiance with the tribe of boletes. Boletes are normally not gilled, but instead have pores or tubes that form a spongy layer beneath their caps. Sneaky Phylloporus.

deadly angels

The destroying angel

The destroying angel is a notorious mushroom, because it’s quite deadly. It’s also very handsome and stately. When you are learning mushrooms, this is a good one to learn early on. Spore print color, the annulus, the volva…all these things can help you tell it apart from friendlier mushrooms, if you know what to look for.

Grifola frondosa

Stalking the Hen of the Woods

A beautiful Fall find, the Hen of the Woods. It’s big, it tastes great, and it might just cure what ails you.


The world in your oyster

The oyster mushroom has many secrets. Yes, the one you can buy in the supermarket (or find in the woods). It is a predator of sorts, but don’t worry, it normally goes for lesser prey than you and I.


Eating the Chicken of the Woods

Chicken-of-the woods is hard to miss in the forest, being bright orange on top and yellow underneath. It’s a good beginner’s mushroom, has a texture like chicken, and apparently it makes a tasty omelet too.


Ganoderma lucidum and G. tsugae

Reishei mushrooms have long been respected and renowned for their healing powers. Despite their fame, you might be able to find them in your neck of the woods.

Daedaleopsis confragosa and the Minotaur

Mycologists are fond of naming things after mythological characters, like Daedalus, an engineer who built a maze to hold that ill-tempered Minotaur. Our fungus has a maze-like spore-bearing surface worthy of Daedalus. His later work on Icarus’ wings wasn’t as successful…

cantaloupe, puffball

Giant puffballs, Calvatia gigantea

Giant puffballs are seldom confused with anything but soccer balls, so they’re a good beginner mushroom. However, to me they taste a bit like styrofoam packing chips, but not everyone agrees with me…

brick caps

Hypholoma sublateritium–edible?

Brick caps have a mixed reputation, in terms of their edibility. Here one brave student reports on his experience eating Hypholoma sublateritium.


Most people don't pay much attention to fungi, which include things like mushrooms, molds, yeasts, and mildews. Here at Cornell we think they're pretty fascinating. In fact, even the most disgusting foot diseases and moldy strawberries are dear to our hearts. We'd like to talk to you about fungi, so that like us, you too can tell gross stories at the dinner table. Afterwards, maybe you'll notice some things you would have overlooked before, and we think this could be good for the planet.

Kathie T. Hodge, Editor

Beneath Notice, our book of borescopic mycology.


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