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16 Types of Yellow Mushrooms (with Pictures)

The vibrant yellow hues of these fungi make them unmistakable in nature. While some yellow mushrooms are prized edibles, others can be toxic or hallucinogenic. This guide will help you identify over 17 common and unique yellow mushroom varieties found throughout the United States.

Each entry includes a clear image, a brief description of the mushroom, bulleted key identifying features, and additional details about its characteristics, habitat, potential look-alikes, and edibility. Whether you’re an avid mushroom forager or simply curious about fungi in your area, this guide is a valuable resource.

Let’s dive into the colorful world of yellow mushrooms!

1. Golden Chanterelle

Golden-Chanterelle-1024x1024 16 Types of Yellow Mushrooms (with Pictures)

Golden yellow mushrooms with ruffled caps and funnel-shaped stems.

Key Features:

  • Egg-yolk yellow caps
  • Wavy, irregular cap edges
  • Funnel-shaped hollow stems
  • Fruity, apricot aroma

Details: One of the most coveted edible mushrooms, golden chanterelles have a distinctive bright egg-yolk color and wavy caps. They have a fruity apricot smell and firm, slightly peppered flavor. Found in forests across western and eastern North America during summer and fall.

Caution: While delicious, they can cause GI issues for some. Never consume if alcohol has been consumed recently. Also, take care to avoid the inedible jack-o-lantern look-alike.

2. Chicken of the Woods

Chicken-of-the-Woods 16 Types of Yellow Mushrooms (with Pictures)

Bright yellow/orange clustered brackets with pinkish-orange pores.

Key Features:

  • Clusters of overlapping, bracket-shaped caps
  • Deep yellow/orange color
  • Textured undersurface with reddish-orange pores
  • Sulfur smell when fresh

Details: This sulfur shelf mushroom gets its name from its chicken-like texture and taste when young and tender. It grows in clusters on oak and other hardwood trees, developing a leathery texture as it ages. Found throughout the U.S., it’s an edible delicacy when harvested at peak condition in late spring to early summer.

Need to slice an edge – if yellow moisture oozes out, it’s too old to consume safely.

3. Golden Oyster Mushrooms

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Bright yellow clusters of fan-shaped mushroom caps.

Key Features:

  • Vivid golden-yellow color
  • Smooth, fan or oyster-shaped caps
  • Off-white or yellow gills on underside
  • Short, off-centered stems

Details: One of the most striking cultivated mushrooms, golden oysters grow in dense yellow clusters. They have a light, velvety texture and subtle flavor. Easy to grow on logs or straw, their eye-catching yellow hues make them a favorite for cooking.

Caution: While edible when cooked, they may cause digestive issues if eaten raw. Always cook oyster mushrooms thoroughly.

4. Yellow Morel

Yellow-Morel-1024x1024 16 Types of Yellow Mushrooms (with Pictures)

Distinct honeycomb-pitted caps on hollow, white stems.

Key Features:

  • Honeycomb appearance on caps
  • Hollow white stems
  • Tan to yellow cap color
  • Found in early spring

Details: Highly prized for their rich, nutty flavor, yellow morels are a beloved edible mushroom found across North America each spring. Look for them popping up in old apple orchards, burned areas, and around dead elms. Be sure of your ID – false morels can be toxic.

Pro Tip: Gently slice the hollow stem to look for a white milky substance – this confirms it’s the real deal!

5. Witches’ Butter

Witches-Butter-1024x1024 16 Types of Yellow Mushrooms (with Pictures)

Bright yellow or orange gelatinous fungal “blobs.”

Key Features:

  • Jelly-like, trembling appearance
  • Vivid yellow to orange coloring
  • Found on rotting logs or wood
  • Capable of appearing to “move”

Details: While not a true mushroom, this bizarre fungus-like organism is likely to catch your eye when out exploring! Witches’ butter is actually a slime mold that oozes over decaying wood and bark after rains. It tends to drip and pulsate, seeming to move.

Caution: While intriguing to look at, witches’ butter is inedible and may cause stomach issues if consumed.

Next up, some adorably tiny yellow mushrooms…

6. Yellow Fairy Cup

Yellow-Fairy-Cup-1024x1024 16 Types of Yellow Mushrooms (with Pictures)

Miniature cup-shaped yellow fungi on stems.

Key Features:

  • Tiny yellow cup shapes
  • Grow in clusters on wood
  • Hairy stems and undersides
  • Measure just 0.5-1.5 inches tall

Details: These whimsical little fungi resemble miniature chalices or cups, growing in tight groups on rotting wood. Look closely on the forest floor during cool, damp weather to find the intricate hairy textures of yellow fairy cup mushrooms. While they are inedible, they are delightful photo subjects.

Moving along to some unique corals and clubs…

7. Yellow Stagshorn Fungus

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Clustered antler-like coral fungi in yellow tones.

Key Features:

  • Branching, antler-like shapes
  • Yellowish-white to golden-yellow coloring
  • Found on dead wood or stumps
  • Somewhat crustose or crust-like texture

Details: This fascinating fungus produces colonies of intricate, antler-shaped vertical projections that almost resemble miniature trees! The Yellow Stagshorn grows on decaying logs and stumps, developing an orangey-yellow or reddish crust over time. While inedible, it’s an incredible sight in nature.

8. Yellow Coral Fungus

Yellow-Coral-Fungus-1024x991 16 Types of Yellow Mushrooms (with Pictures)

Gelatinous branching fungi resembling yellow coral.

Key Features:

  • Soft, jelly-like branches/fingers
  • Bright yellow to dull yellow color
  • Found growing on trees or wood
  • Unique textural appearance

Details: True to its name, yellow coral fungi form delicate branching structures that look like miniature yellow coral polyps. These strange fungi have a very delicate, gelatinous texture that is sensitive to drying out. While inedible, they make for incredible photographic subjects!

Let’s take a look at some brightly-colored decomposer mushrooms…

9. Yellow Meadow Mushroom

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Light yellow mushrooms with scaly caps and skirt-like rings.

Key Features:

  • Pale yellow caps with brown scales
  • White stems with skirt-like rings
  • Found growing in grassy areas
  • Edible but may cause digestive upset

Details: Yellow meadow mushrooms are common “LBMs” (little brown mushrooms) found in lawns and grassy fields across most of North America. While technically edible with proper identification, their strong flavor and potential to cause GI issues make them less desirable. Still, their sunny hues add cheerful pops of color.

10. Sulfur Tuft

Sulfur-Tuft-1024x768 16 Types of Yellow Mushrooms (with Pictures)

Densely clustered tiny mushrooms in shades of yellow or green.

Key Features:

  • Vivid yellow to greenish-yellow caps
  • Grow in tightly overlapping clusters
  • Found growing on trees, stumps, logs
  • Strong sulfuric or cabbage-like odor

Details: The sulfur tuft is hard to miss with its striking yellow to greenish hues and distinct rotting cabbage smell. They grow in thick clusters decomposing dead wood across North America. While inedible, these common decomposers are still fascinating up close.

11. Golden Spindle Stem

Golden-Spindle-Stem 16 Types of Yellow Mushrooms (with Pictures)

Orange to yellow mushrooms with club-shaped stems.

Key Features:

  • Bright orange to golden yellow caps
  • Thickened club or spindle-like stems
  • White gills
  • Found growing in clusters on wood

Details: Golden spindle stems sprout in dense clusters on rotting stumps and logs. Their thickened, club-like yellow stems make them look like miniature mushroom lollipops or sea creatures! While inedible, their alien shapes and bright coloring make them fun to stumble across during forest walks.

Continuing on with some unique Amanita mushrooms…

12. Yellow Patches Amanita

Yellow-Patches-Amanita-845x1024 16 Types of Yellow Mushrooms (with Pictures)

Large white mushroom with patchy yellow cap and stem ring.

Key Features:

  • White cap with bright yellow patches
  • Large ring on white stem
  • Found under hardwood trees
  • Potentially toxic

Details: This striking Amanita produces a large white mushroom cap decorated with vibrant yellow to orange patches. It has a skirt-like ring on its stem and grows under oaks, maples, and other hardwoods. While its color pattern is beautiful, all Amanitas should be treated as potentially toxic and avoided.

13. Yellow Fringed Amanita

Yellow-Fringed-Amanita-1024x1024 16 Types of Yellow Mushrooms (with Pictures)

Golden mushroom with scaly rings and patches on stem.

Key Features:

  • Rich yellow to orange-yellow cap
  • Yellow scales and rings on stem
  • White spore print
  • Lives symbiotically with trees

Details: You’ll find these golden yellow mushrooms growing at the base of oak and pine trees. Their yellow caps contrast beautifully against the fibrous rings and patches scattered up their stems. While they can cause digestive issues if eaten raw, some cultures do consume them parboiled or with treatment.

Last but not least, some unique Boletes and related species…

14. Yellow Staining Fungus

Yellow-Staining-Fungus 16 Types of Yellow Mushrooms (with Pictures)

Dull brown mushroom that stains yellow when cut or bruised.

Key Features:

  • Pale brown cap and stem
  • Bright yellow staining if bruised
  • Grows solitary on ground
  • Edible but poor flavor

Details: This LBM doesn’t look like much until sliced! Then its dull brown flesh instantly turns vivid yellow when exposed to air. This “bluing” reaction helps identify many species of Boletes. While technically edible, the yellow stainer has an unpleasant odor and bitter taste, so it’s mainly one to know for proper ID.

15. Admirable Bolete

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Large yellow bolete mushroom with red pores and reticulated stem.

Key Features:

  • Golden yellow cap color
  • Red pores instead of gills
  • Thick reticulated (netted) stem
  • Found in eastern hardwood forests

Details: Living up to its name, the admirable bolete is a real beauty with its bright yellow cap fading to orange near the red pore surface. It has a thick stem covered in a netlike reticulated pattern. A choice edible mushroom found in eastern U.S. hardwood forests.

Prized for its seafood-like taste and soft, spongy texture, this bolete is a favorite among mushroomers!

16. Butterscotch Bolete

Butterscotch-Bolete-1024x768 16 Types of Yellow Mushrooms (with Pictures)

Buttery yellow mushroom that stains blue and bruises reddish.

Key Features:

  • Rich yellow-orange color
  • Instantly bruises reddish-orange
  • Stains vivid blue when cut
  • Grows under pines out west

Details: The buttery butterscotch color of this western bolete makes it a standout. When cut, its flesh immediately turns a bold blue (oxidizing) and bruises a rusty reddish-orange. Found growing in pine forests, it has a pleasant taste when harvested young and firm.

With their unique staining reactions and rich hues, I just love all the colorful bolete varieties!

Closing Thoughts

From common woodland fungi to intricate, brightly colored coral mushrooms, the world of yellow mushrooms is truly fascinating! While some varieties are choice edibles, proper identification is crucial – many look-alikes exist or can cause digestive issues if misidentified.

I’d encourage beginners to join a local mushroom club for guidance before consuming wild mushrooms. Start building your ID skills by appreciating the beauty and diversity these fungi bring to nature. With a good field guide, close inspection, and a healthy dose of caution, the vibrant yellow hues will certainly brighten your outdoor adventures.

Whether you stumble upon golden oyster clusters, radiant yellow chanterelles, or bizarre witches’ butter slimes, each discovery is a small treasure. Keep exploring the incredible kingdom of fungi – you never know what incredible yellow mushroom might be awaiting just around the next bend on the trail!

Did any of the mushrooms featured pique your interest? Let me know if you need any other details or have additional mushroom identification questions.

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