The Five Most Beautiful Mushrooms

One of the reasons many are interested in how to grow mushrooms is because they are beautiful, architectural organisms. Growing them is as satisfying as growing a pot of flowers; sometimes more so if you get to eat what was grown in the end! Here is a small look into some lovelier varieties and if you can grow them for yourself!

1. Fly Agaric (Amanita Muscaria)

A photograph of the mushroom 'Fly Agaric'.

This breathtaking red mushroom is what many think about when they think of mushrooms, as it is featured in many childhood fairytales. The one picture above is in its starting phases, but still features the distinguishing red  hue and textured white spots. The Fly Agaric is a toxic mushroom which has psychoactive features (meaning it will cause hallucinations) and so it is a mushroom for admiring only. I would love to plant in a pot for decorative purposes; unfortunately, I have not been able to find the spawn, which I assume is because this mushroom has hallucinogenic properties.

2. Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor) 

A turkey tail mushroom growing on a log.

So-called due to its resemblance to the birds back feathers, the Turkey Tail boasts a rainbow of autumn colours in a stunning disc display. Not just a pretty face, this mushroom has bioremediation potential as it able to degrade a wide variety of pollutants.  It is also used in traditional Chinese medicine as an anti-cancer medication, however scientific evidence towards its efficacy is limited. Although you are welcome to munch on this mushroom, it has a terrible taste, and so it is not generally categorized as an edible mushroom. Happily, can you can grow these at home, either in logs or in pots for decorative purposes.

3. Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus)

A photograph of the mushroom 'Lion's Mane'.

Lion’s Mane mushroom belongs to a the Hericium mushroom family, composed of other similarly-looking hairy species. These lovely mushrooms do indeed remind the onlooker of a Lion’s Mane, but for me it looks like a christmas ornament. The mushrooms are edible and delicious, with a chewy texture and a flavour reminiscent of lobster. It is widely used in Chinese cuisine to replace meat. Lion’s Mane is easily grown at home in sterilized sawdust. Post on this very soon!

4. Bioluminescent Mushrooms (Mycena chlorophos)

A photograph of a group of Bioluminescent mushrooms taken at night glowing.

In the sun, these mushrooms are definitely nothing special. However, turn the lights off, and these mushrooms are a real show. When these mushrooms emerge during the rainy season in Japan and Brazil, they will glow for up to 72 hours. The glow comes from the interaction of natural chemicals within the mushroom. Truly a feast for the eyes, however these mushrooms are inedible and very difficult to grow even in laboratory conditions.

5. Red Coral Fungi (Ramaria araiospora)

A small patch of red coral fungi mushrooms growing naturally in the forest.

Belonging to a species of mushrooms that look like coral you’d find under the sea, this pretty mushroom boasts a pink colour to make any girl (or guy) smile. Lucky for the admirers, this mushroom is edible, with a mild taste lending itself to a variety of flavourings. It does not seem to be easily cultivated, unfortunately, so no how to grow tutorials on this anytime soon!

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