A mushroom can be colorful, glossy, poisonous, and edible and may look unusual in shape. See some species of
edible fungi with the most peculiar and unusual shapes.
1. Purple Coral (Alloclavaria purpurea)
Does it look like a vegetable? The Purple Coral’s fruiting body is made of numerous slender cylindrical spindles
that may grow to a height of 12 cm or 4.7 inches with individual spindles being 2–6 mm thick. Another common
name for this species is Purple Fairy Club.
2. Crown Coral (Clavicorona pyxidata)
This crown-shaped mushroom of North America is commonly called Crown Coral. Its most characteristic feature
is the crown-like shape of the tips of its branches. It is considered edible when cooked, although some people
may experience gastrointestinal upset, especially after eating a large quantity. The raw fruiting bodies have a
peppery taste which usually disappears when cooked. Another informal name of this species is Crown-tipped
3. European Solitary Lepidella (Amanita echinocephala)
This is not a golf ball on a tee to be hit by Tiger Woods. It is a mushroom commonly known as European Solitary,
a large, whitish or ivory-colored fungus. Its major features are its spiny or warty-looking cap. This rare and
protected mushroom that can be found in England is very drought tolerant.
4. King Trumpet Mushroom (Pleurotus eryngii)
King Trumpet Mushroom of the Mediterranean regions of Europe is the largest oyster mushroom. It can also be
found in the Middle East and North Africa grown in parts of Asia as well. It has a thick, meaty white stem and a
small tan cap and has little flavor or aroma when raw. When cooked, it develops typical mushroom umami flavors
with a texture similar to that of abalone. This species is also known as French Horn Mushroom, King Oyster
5. Digueñe (Cyttaria espinosae)
Digüeñe of Chile looks like a colored golf ball. It is usually consumed fresh in salads or fried with scrambled eggs.
Other local names of this uniquely shaped fungus are Lihueñe and Quideñe.
6. Pear-shaped Puffball (Lycoperdon pyriforme)
The Pear-shaped Puffball can be found anywhere else in the world. It is common and abundant on both
deciduous and coniferous decaying logs. This mushroom is considered a choice edible when still immature
and the inner flesh is white.
7. Hexagonal-pored Polypore (Polyporus alveolaris)
The Hexagonal-pored Polypore of North America can be found on sticks and decaying logs. The most remarkable
features of this species are its yellowish to orange scaly cap and hexagonal or diamond-shaped pores. Some
says it is edible but tough.
8. Dryad’s Saddle (Polyporus squamosus)
The edible Dryad’s Saddle is generally not prized as an edible unless the specimens are very young and tender.
Cookery books dealing with preparation generally recommend gathering these while young, slicing them into small
pieces, and cooking them over a low heat. This mushroom’s smell resembles watermelon rind and is very
pleasing. Another common name of this species is Pheasant’s Back Mushroom.
9. Lactarius resimus
This dirty-looking species of mushroom is considered a delicacy in Russia including other countries of Eastern
Europe. Although it is not held in high esteem elsewhere, it is highly regarded there as a food when pickled in salt.
10. False Hedgehog Mushroom (Pseudohydnum gelatinosum)
The False Hedgehog Mushroom is an edible fungus with an unusual shape that is common from Alaska to
northern California. Although bland, it can be candied or marinated. Other common names of this edible fungus
include Toothed Jelly Fungus and White Jelly Mushroom.
11. Umber-brown Puffball (Lycoperdon umbrinum)
The Umber-brown Puffball has a fruiting body that is shaped like a top or a pear. This species is said to be edible
when immature. The fruiting body is initially pale brown then reddish to blackish brown, and the outer wall has
slender, persistent spines up to 1 mm long.
12. Jelly Ear Mushroom (Auricularia auricula-judae)
Jelly Ear Mushroom is not just edible and unique in shape but it was also used by herbalists as a poultice to treat
inflammations of the eyes. When cooked, it is crispy and sultry like seaweed. This species is also known by the
common names like Judas’s Ear Fungus or Jew’s Ear
13. Mosaic Puffball (Handkea utriformis)
The large Mosaic Puffball that somehow resembles a skull is found frequently on pastures and sandy heaths
and is edible when young. It is said to be edible only when the spore bearing flesh is young, and white. Although
edible, this mushroom is said to lack texture.
14. Dune Stinkhorn (Phallus hadriani)
The Dune Stinkhorn is recognized not only by its phallic-shaped fruiting body but also by the pitted and ridged
cap which can range in color from olive brown to dark brown to black. It is edible in its immature egg-like stage.
This odd-looking fungus grows in public lawns, yards and gardens.
15. Wood Hedgehog (Hydnum repandum)
The Wood Hedgehog is an edible species that is notable for its spore-bearing structures which are shaped like
teeth rather than gills. This mushroom is widely distributed in North America and Europe. Although distinctive in
appearance, it is considered to be a good edible, having a sweet, nutty taste and a crunchy texture. Older
specimens may have a mildly bitter taste. It is also known by the name Hedgehog Mushroom.
16. White Coral Fungus (Clavulina cristata)
White Coral Fungus is an edible mushroom that occurs in temperate areas of Europe and the Americas. Although
it is edible, the flesh is tough and its insubstantial fruiting body is unappetizing for most individuals. It is also
informally called the Crested Coral Fungus.
17. Clavulina coralloides
Like the White Coral Fungus, this species of mushroom in the family Clavulinaceae is characterized by having
extensively branched fruiting bodies. It can be found in tropical regions in the world.
18. White Basket Fungus (Ileodictyon cibarium)
White Basket Fungus is native to New Zealand. Its common name was taken from its alluding fruiting bodies that
are shaped like a round or oval ball with interlaced or latticed branches. It is edible while it is immature. It is also
commonly known as the Basket Fungus.
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