Edible & Medicinal Mushrooms of South Dakota

In 2020 I ate my first wild mushroom after two friends told me they were “pretty sure” we found an oyster mushroom growing from a dead tree. Fortunately I’m still alive. Rule #1 is never eat a mushroom unless you are 100% positive of the ID. Rule #2 is never eat mushrooms with white gills if you are new to mushroom hunting. Rule #3 is always use a guide book written by a respectable mycologist (in other words, NOT ME!)

If you are trying to ID a wild mushroom please start with our guide:

Edible Mushrooms

Auricularia auricula
Wood Ear
Nearly impossible to mis-identify! I boil it for 7-10 minutes then add to Asian stir-fries. It doesn’t have much taste but the texture is wild.

Boletinellus Merulioides
Ash Bolete
The only edible bolete that I have found near Sioux Falls. Use it the same way you cook with store-bought mushrooms. I think they are tasty and very easy to ID due to the veiny pores.

Coprinellus micaceus
Mica Caps
Grows EVERYWHERE from spring to fall. Not the tastiest mushroom but I fry them up with onions and put in shredded potatoes or on hot beet sandwiches.

Coprinus comatus
Shaggy mane
One of my favorites. Cook them quickly before they deliquesce! I cook them the same as morels: fried with vegi-butter, onions, and garlic.

Laetiporus Sulphureus
Chicken of the Woods
I’ve found this at five different parks near Sioux Falls, SD all were Aug-Sept. In 2022 I probably ate 10 pounds of this! Bread them like chicken and fry them for 12 minutes.

Morchella Esculenta
Damnit are these good. Fry up in vegetable butter with garlic and chopped onions. DON’T WASH IT! Brush it off or blow out the dirt so that it doesn’t cook all mushy.

Phallus Impudicus
Stinkhorn Egg
Lol, don’t do it! But if you are gonna do it peel off the slimy “shell”, fry up the egg, the swallow it whole. Trust me, don’t chew it.

Polyporus Squamosus
Dryads Saddle
This grows EVERYWHERE. I once ran into three guys carrying over 50lbs of this in garbage bags. Through broken English I learned a few awesome recipes from them. If you bend the cap edge and it doesn’t snap it is too old and chewey IMO. Get the young caps, fry them in oil and add to soups.


Trametes Versicolor
Turkey Tail
Some pretty epic research is being done about the anti-cancer benefits of this mushroom. But I’m not a doctor so check out some of the literature for yourself!