Fascinating Fungi – Mushrooms of Ohio!

Bear's Head Tooth, Bedford Reservation, Cleveland Metroparks
Bear’s Head Tooth (Hericium coralloides), Bedford Reservation, Cleveland Metroparks

Many local nature photographers have enjoyed photographing icicles in the gorges of northeast Ohio during the past few weeks, and you could be forgiven for mistaking the photograph shown above for an ivory sculpture of hanging ice. In fact, it is a close-up of the spore-bearing spines of an edible mushroom, Hericium corralloides, commonly known as the bear’s head tooth, photographed in late fall on the trunk of a maple tree at Bedford Reservation, one of the gems in Cleveland’s “emerald necklace” of metroparks.

Winter mushrooms (flammulina velutipes), Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Winter Mushrooms (Flammulina velutipes), Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Most mushrooms appear in spring, summer, and fall, but clusters of honey-colored winter mushrooms (Flammulina velutipes) are often found in the colder months of winter, fruiting on dead elm trees. A pale,  long-stemmed cultivar of this mushroom is prized in East Asia, where it is known as enokitake or enoki.

Scarlet Cups, Hampton Hills, Summit Metroparks
Scarlet Cups (Sarcoscypha austriaca), Hampton Hills, Summit Metroparks

In a few more weeks, as early as the middle of March, a hike through a beech-maple forest in northern Ohio will often reveal groups of deep red scarlet cups (Sarcoscypha austriaca), which grow on decaying hardwood branches or buried wood.

More than 2,000 species of mushrooms can be found in the Buckeye State, and I have spent hundreds of hours over the past four decades seeking out and photographing many of Ohio’s fascinating fungi. Join us on Sunday, February 14, from 2-4 pm, at The Holden Arboretum in Lake County, for my slide program, Mushrooms of Ohio, part of Holden’s Fireside Lecture series. After the program, I will be signing copies of my new books, A Photographer’s Guide to Ohio (Volumes 1 and 2) and Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens – Centennial Edition. Later this year, in the summer, we plan to schedule a one-day workshop on identifying and photographing mushrooms, also at The Holden Arboretum.

Register Now

To register for Mushrooms of Ohio, visit The Holden Arboretum’s website.

Mushroom Photography Tips

For some tips on mushroom photography, check out the following links to a two-part article I wrote for the Ohio Mushroom Society’s newsletter:

Part 1 of Newsletter

Part 2 of Newsletter

More Mushrooms

Find out more about a “Sulfur Shelf” mushroom. You just have to see it!
Read more





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