What kind of mushrooms are these that appeared on my lawn?

(NOTE: Don’t worry, nobody is going to try eating these if we can help it.)


We’re concerned one of our cats might eat one if we’re not vigilant about picking them up. If anyone can identify them, are they dangerous? By “dangerous” I mean not only actually poisonous but also psychoactive. We don’t want Mia, Molly, or Tootsie going on any unscheduled trips and freaking out, man.

They appeared in the mulch border next to our lawn presumably a day or two ago, just after several days of rain, and we are in Eugene Oregon.

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First things first: I Am Not A Mycologist. Perhaps one will arrive presently.

Having said that: Those don’t resemble any of the psychoactive mushrooms I’ve seen, and I’ve seen pretty much all of the common ones. :cool: They’re definitely not Psilocybe cubensis, and they’re definitely not from the Amanita (AKA “Angel of Death,” and for good reason) family.

Poisonous, who knows. Let’s hope a mycologist shows up soon. But the rule of thumb with mushrooms is “If you don’t know it’s safe, don’t take any chances.”

Now, this guy is a mycologist, of a sort. Unfortunately, I don’t see any slam-dunk pics on that page (Lactarius rubidus, the “Candy Cap,” might be closest, but I don’t think that’s it), and equally unfortunately, identifying mushroom solely by webpics is a mug’s game.

The good news is: most mushrooms aren’t poisonous, and hardly any are psychoactive.
The bad news is: most mushrooms aren’t edible, either.

I wouldn’t panic about cats nibbling on those, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if nibbling on those led a cat learning not to nibble on those again, possibly with some messy consequences.

Messy consequences are always best avoided.

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I should add: despite the thread title, they didn’t appear in the grass, but in the adjacent mulch border. I assumed they had been growing in the grass when I submitted the OP. (It was my wife who picked them.)

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Maybe a Gymnopus? Doesn’t have to be that exact species necessarily and that one doesn’t quite match up I don’t think, but there are a bunch of them. The problem is that unless it is a really common, really obvious species an awful lot of mushrooms can’t be definitively keyed to species or sometimes even genus with a photo. Taste, smell, habit, microscopic features, spore prints, reaction to certain chemical agents - they all can come into play.

ETA: Here, you can try using this online key for the Pacific Northwest.

To my non- expert eye they look like a type of Oyster/ Pleurotus mushroom which often grow on rotting wood and are really tasty grilled with lemon and oil.
It seems that there are also several look-a likes, some of which are poisonous.
No idea if the originals or the look-a likes grow in your part of the world so this is just a guess, maybe a starting point if you are interested in searching a specialized website.

My first guess was an oyster as well, but the growing-in-the-grass bit threw me.

Even though you’ve clarified they were growing in wood, I wouldn’t be confident enough to advise you eat them without an expert eye, but they are lovely if that’s what you’ve got.

They look somewhat fibrous to me. Possibly some species from the genus Inocybe? I wouldn’t dare to try them!

I’ve never seen cats show the slightest interest in mushrooms though, so they’re probably safe!

FTR I don’t think it was rotting wood like an old log, but just a layer of commercially sold wood chips. They were there when we moved in; strangely, I’ve never noticed any indication of rot.

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I don’t think those are oysters; oyster mushrooms usually have an asymmetric stem that curves off to one side.