Mushrooms of Texas
The purpose of this project is to enhance our understanding of the distribution of mushrooms and other fungi in Texas. Our highest priority is to collect information on the ecological and commercial value of our native edible species. However, we hope this project will lead to a better understanding of the distribution of all species in Texas and we encourage others to use this data for research and conservation purposes.
We created a project on the iNaturalist that will help keep track of the observations. You can download the app on your phone and use it while foraging for mushrooms. The iNaturalist app has the advantage of being very user friendly and therefore it is relatively easy to open it on your phone, make a new observation, snap a photo, write a few notes about the specimen, and upload to the project database.
We hope that the app's ease of use will encourage community participation and citizen science.
A large variety of mushrooms are well adapted to the climate of Central Texas. Among these the Texas Star mushroom (below) seems to be the best example of a localized and unique mushroom to our area. Choriactis geaster, or Kirinomitake in Japanese, is a very rare mushroom that fruits only in Texas and in parts of Japan. This and many of the mushrooms that have not yet been recorded have the potential of being a source of potent nutritional or medicinal benefits. By keeping track of these species in our area we are increasing the bulk of information available to scientists looking to conduct valuable research.