Comprehensive List of Wild Mushrooms in Yunnan, 35 Common Edible Wild Mushrooms

Yunnan, with its unique climate conditions and complex topography, has nurtured various types of forests, diverse soil types, and abundant species, becoming a treasure trove of biodiversity and a home to a wide variety of wild mushrooms. It has cultivated the richest wild edible mushroom resources in the world, with a wide range of species, extensive distribution, and large yields, renowned worldwide.

Wild mushrooms in Yunnan, born and thriving in the mountains and forests, are natural green foods. They are rich in vitamins, high-quality proteins, and other beneficial components for the human body, providing abundant nutrition. They possess unique flavors, and some edible mushrooms even have pharmacological effects in treating cancer and various diseases. Here is a comprehensive list of the most commonly consumed 35 wild mushrooms in Yunnan.The Wild Mushroom Gourmet Festival in Nanhua County, Chuxiong

Commonly Consumed 35 Wild Mushrooms

1、Ant fungus (蚂蚁孤堆菌)
Named for growing on ant mounds, it emerges after the spring rain at the end of each year. It is often harvested just as it emerges from the ground. It primarily feeds on the roots of fungi. It has a delicious taste, rich nutrition, and can be boiled in clear soup, boiled with eggs, or stir-fried.

2、Torch mushroom (火把鸡纵)

Named because it emerges during the Torch Festival (the 24th day of the sixth lunar month), the Torch mushroom comes out in clusters once it appears. It is abundant in quantity and has a delicious taste. It can be cooked in soup, stir-fried, and is commonly deep-fried. When made into oil, it can be preserved and enjoyed throughout the year. Oil-fried Torch mushrooms from Ganhe Village in Damogu Town are famous nationwide.

3、Yellow-skinned Jizong mushroom (黄皮鸡纵)

This variety typically appears later, usually from October to December. It has large, thick-fleshed yellow caps, and just one cap can make a large bowl of soup. With a delicious flavor, it can be cooked using the same methods as mentioned before.

4、Little Jizong mushroom (小鸡纵)

These mushrooms appear throughout the rainy season, growing in clusters with abundant quantities. They have small caps and are difficult to pick and clean. However, they have a delicious and tender flavor, and can be cooked using the same methods as mentioned before.

5、 Jizong mushroom flower (鸡纵花)

Even smaller than the little Jizong mushroom, these mushrooms grow in clusters with a high quantity. They have tiny caps and are difficult to pick and clean. However, they have a delicious and tender flavor, and can be cooked using the same methods as mentioned before.

6、 Water chicken mushroom (水鸡纵)

Resembling chicken mushrooms in shape, water chicken mushrooms have a similar taste but are not as sweet as chicken mushrooms; they are slightly milder. They can be cooked using the same methods as chicken mushrooms.

7、Boletus Edulis (大红菌)

The king bolete, also known as porcini, is a valuable wild edible fungus. Rich in amino acids, various vitamins, and other essential nutrients for the human body, it has calming and blood-enriching effects, making it particularly suitable for consumption by pregnant women and those with anemia. Its taste is sweeter, more delicious, and smoother compared to other mushroom species. The ideal specimen of king bolete is characterized by large caps and thick stems, with a deep red color being preferable. It can be cooked in various ways, including boiling in clear soup, stewing with chicken, frying, or braising. It’s crucial to ensure thorough cooking, especially when frying, by braising it. Small specimens with thin stems and a bitter or spicy taste are toxic and should not be consumed.

8、奶浆菌 (Lactarius)

Named for its milky white latex that oozes when cut. There are two main types: coarse-folded lactarius and fine-folded lactarius. This is also a relatively safe type of mushroom that can be eaten raw. It can be prepared in various ways, including boiling, frying, deep-frying, and pickling. It has a sweet and savory taste with a rich aroma, offering a unique flavor profile.

9、Russula virescens (青头菌)

Named for its greenish color, often with flecks of other colors, making it quite attractive. It has a mild and tender flavor with abundant nutrients. There are various ways to prepare it, including boiling, stir-frying, sautéing, and deep-frying.

10、Lactarius deliciosus (米汤菌)

With its light purple color, the taste of the Lactarius deliciosus is mild and smooth, offering rich nutrition. It can be prepared in various ways, including boiling, stewing, stir-frying, and deep-frying.

11、Yellow Boletus Mushroom (黄牛肝菌)

The Yellow Boletus Mushroom, a rare species, boasts a delicious taste and a unique aroma. Rich in protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, as well as minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and iron, it offers abundant nutrition and is a rare delicacy. It can be prepared in various ways, including stir-frying, boiling, and deep-frying.

12、Black Boletus Mushroom (黑牛肝菌)
The Black Boletus Mushroom, known for its exquisite taste, is one of the most flavorful varieties of boletus mushrooms. It is rich in nutrients, containing abundant protein and 18 amino acids. It is believed to have various health benefits, including anticancer, antitussive, and tonic effects. Additionally, it is considered a beneficial mushroom for weight loss and is believed to be effective against conditions such as hypertension, high cholesterol, and hyperlipidemia.

12-1、White Boletus Mushroom (白牛肝菌)
Among the various types of boletus mushrooms, the White Boletus Mushroom stands out for its appealing appearance. It features a brownish cap and a white stem adorned with a network-like pattern. Due to its relatively mild flavor compared to other varieties of boletus mushrooms, it is often more affordable in price. It is non-toxic and safe for consumption.

13、Green-stained Bolete (Touch of Green)/见手青(一抹绿)
Named for the appearance of blue-green coloration when the mushroom’s body is scratched, similar to boletus mushrooms, the Green-stained Bolete boasts a delicious and smooth flavor, rich in nutrients. It can be prepared in various ways, including boiling, frying, and deep-frying, but it’s crucial to ensure it is thoroughly cooked.

14、Sheep Liver Mushroom (羊肝菌)
Available in various shades of white, yellow, and purple, the Sheep Liver Mushroom has a flavor slightly inferior to that of boletus mushrooms and Green-stained Boletes. However, it is still rich in nutrients and can be prepared in the same ways as boletus mushrooms.

15、Yellow Leccinum (黄赖头)

Named for its yellow color and its cap’s rough surface, Yellow Leccinum is considered one of the most delicious mushrooms of its kind, boasting a smooth, fresh, and tasty flavor. It can be prepared in various ways, including frying and boiling.

16、Horse Dung Fungus (Puffball Mushroom) (马屁泡(马勃菌)
Belonging to the group of subterranean fungi, resembling potatoes, there are various types of Horse Dung Fungus, including White Puffball, Black Puffball, Glutinous Puffball, and Rice Puffball, among others. It can be prepared in numerous ways, such as stir-frying with leeks or pickled vegetables, boiling into soup, or cold tossing after boiling. When roasted over charcoal, it develops a special, rich aroma, making it taste delicious and unique.

17、Brush Mushroom (刷把菌)
Named for its resemblance to a brush, also known as Coral Mushroom, this fungus has an elegant appearance with beautiful colors. Its taste is fresh, sweet, and refreshing, containing 6 essential amino acids for the human body, and it also has medicinal properties. There are three main color variations: white, red, and yellow. Among them, the best is the white Brush Mushroom that hasn’t fully expanded, followed by those that have fully expanded but not too large. It is commonly prepared by stir-frying or boiling.

18、Wild Matsutake Mushroom (野生香菌)
Growing on dead trees in natural forests, the Wild Matsutake Mushroom emerges with the first spring rains and continues until the end of spring. Compared to cultivated matsutake mushrooms, they are smaller but incredibly aromatic, with a rich nutritional profile. They can be prepared in various ways and offer excellent health benefits.

19、White Ginseng Mushroom (白参菌)
White Ginseng Mushroom grows on dead trees in natural forests. They are small and challenging to pick, but they have a delicious, sweet, and aromatic taste and are rich in nutrients. They can be prepared in various ways, including stewing with eggs, boiling, frying, and serving in salads.

20、Thelephora ganbajun, or “ganba fungus” (干巴菌)
Thelephora ganbajun, or “ganba fungus” (干巴菌), is said to contain antioxidant substances, believed to have anti-aging effects. Aside from its purported health benefits, the ganba fungus itself boasts a delicious taste and a unique strong aroma that leaves people craving for more. When cooked with other ingredients, it enhances freshness and flavor. There are various ways to prepare ganba fungus, with common methods including stir-frying and deep-frying.

Thelephora ganbajun, or “ganba fungus,” 干巴菌 / 乾巴菌, is a species of coral fungus in the family Thelephoraceae. It was described as new to science in 1987 by Chinese mycologist Mu Zang. It is found in Yunnan, where it grows on Pinus yunnanensis and Pinus kesiya var. langbianensis.

21、The chicken buttock fungus (鸡屁股菌)
The chicken buttock fungus (鸡屁股菌) is named for its resemblance to a chicken buttock. It has a delicious and savory taste with a special freshness and is rich in nutrients. It can be cooked in various ways, including boiling and stir-frying.

22、Cantharellus cibarius (鸡油菌)

Cantharellus cibarius is a species of golden chanterelle mushroom in the genus Cantharellus. It is also known as girolle. Despite its characteristic features, it can resemble at least one poisonous species. Collected later in the year in its European distribution, it is a commonly consumed and choice edible species.

Cantharellus cibarius (鸡油菌) has been highly regarded in traditional Chinese medicine. According to records, it is described as having a cold nature and a sweet taste, beneficial for clearing the lungs and improving vision, nourishing the stomach and intestines, clearing heat and promoting diuresis, and invigorating Qi and soothing the middle. Regular consumption may improve conditions such as rough and dry skin and night blindness caused by vitamin A deficiency. Cantharellus cibarius are commonly cooked by stir-frying or boiling.

23、The trumpet mushroom or Craterellus cornucopioides (喇叭菌)
Craterellus cornucopioides, or horn of plenty, is an edible mushroom found in North America and Eurasia. It is also known as the black chanterelle, black trumpet, trompette de la mort, trompeta de la mort or trumpet of the dead.

The trumpet mushroom (喇叭菌) is named for its trumpet-like shape. It comes in shades of orange or earthy yellow. The flesh of the trumpet mushroom is slightly dry with low moisture content, offering a delicate yet crisp texture and a delicious taste. It is said to contain six essential amino acids for the human body. Common cooking methods include stir-frying, pan-frying, deep-frying, boiling, and hotpot.

24、The bitter mushroom (辣菌)
The bitter mushroom (辣菌) is named for the bitter and spicy juice it releases. It is mostly white and is also known as white bitter mushroom. There are coarse-ridged and fine-ridged varieties, with the fine-ridged type being preferred. If you prefer to reduce the bitterness, you can crush and wash the raw bitter mushrooms, which will lessen the bitterness. However, for those who enjoy the bitter taste, there’s no need for special treatment. Bitter mushrooms are often stir-fried or boiled with sour bamboo shoots and small chili peppers. They can also be cooked over charcoal fire until done, ground, and eaten. Additionally, they can be pickled to make sour vegetables, offering a uniquely fragrant and delicious flavor that makes one’s mouth water at the mere thought.

25、Chestnut tree mushroom (麻栗窝)
The Chestnut tree mushroom (麻栗窝) is named because it often grows under chestnut trees in clusters. These mushrooms are small and clustered together, with a delicious taste and rich nutrients. They are commonly used to make soup or stir-fried dishes.

26、The chicken feather fungus (麻母鸡菌)
The chicken feather fungus, named for its resemblance to the gray feathers of a hen. It has large caps and a delicious taste, similar to chicken mushrooms but without their sweetness. It’s commonly used for stir-frying and boiling.

27、Wild wood ear mushrooms (野生木耳)
Wild wood ear mushrooms grow naturally on dead trees in the forest. There are many types of wood ear mushrooms, including black, white, and red varieties, as well as crunchy and rough-skinned types. They have a delicious taste and are rich in nutrients. They can be prepared in the same way as regular wood ear mushrooms.

28、Wild lingzhi mushrooms (野生灵芝)
Wild lingzhi mushrooms grow naturally in the forest, and they are considered to be more eco-friendly compared to cultivated ones. They can be prepared in the same way as regular lingzhi mushrooms.

29、Pine mushrooms (松树菌)
Pine mushrooms are a type of wild matsutake mushroom. They are found only in pine forests and usually appear from August to mid-December each year. They come in two colors, dark green and light yellow, and are among the latest mushrooms to emerge. Similar in taste to chicken mushroom, they have their own unique aroma and are rich in nutrients. Pine mushrooms are a type of mushroom that naturally grows under pine trees, ranging in color from yellow-brown with a hint of blue-green to copper-purple. Typically appearing after the Double Ninth Festival each year, they grow in an umbrella shape, similar in size to shiitake mushrooms, and are a pollution-free wild edible mushroom loved by many consumers for their delicious taste. They are commonly prepared by stewing or stir-frying. The brown-red or dark green pine mushrooms are considered premium varieties among mushrooms.

30、Yunzhi Mushroom (云芝)
Yunzhi, a type of Lingzhi mushroom, is often boiled in water and consumed as tea. It has a bitter yet fragrant taste and is primarily used for medicinal and health purposes. It is known for its efficacy in clearing heat, detoxifying, reducing inflammation, fighting cancer, and protecting the liver.

31、Ba Dan Chai Mushrooms (八担柴)
Ba Dan Chai, named for its tough texture requiring eight loads of firewood to cook until soft, is a type of mushroom. Despite its resilient texture, it boasts an incredibly delicious flavor and a tempting aroma that’s hard to resist. It is typically cooked for an extended period before it becomes palatable.

32、Stropharia aeruginosa (铜绿菌)
The Copper Green Mushroom, named as Stropharia aeruginosa grows in pine or coniferous forests, broad-leaved forests, or mixed forests. They typically appear in pairs, and if one is found in the deep forest, another can usually be found within a meter’s distance. They have a protective color similar to pine needles, making them hard to spot. Despite this, they boast a delicious flavor and are rich in nutrients, with potential anticancer and health benefits. They are commonly cooked by frying or boiling.

33、Bamboo Fungus or Phallus indusiatus (竹荪)
Bamboo Fungus, also known as Bamboo Pith(竹参), or Phallus indusiatus, grows in damp and hot bamboo forests. Its shape resembles a young girl wearing a gown, which is quite beautiful. It is said that Bamboo Fungus contains 16 essential amino acids and various minerals needed by the human body, with functions such as aiding digestion and weight loss. It has a delicious taste and a unique flavor, often cooked by boiling, stewing with chicken, or serving cold in salads.

Phallus indusiatus, commonly called the basket stinkhorn, bamboo mushrooms, bamboo pith, long net stinkhorn, crinoline stinkhorn, bridal veil, or veiled lady, is a fungus in the family Phallaceae, or stinkhorns.

34、Matsutake (松茸)
Matsutake, Tricholoma matsutake (松口蘑), is a species of choice edible mycorrhizal mushroom that grows in Eurasia and North America. It is prized in Japanese cuisine for its distinct spicy-aromatic odor. Matsutake, also known as pine mushroom, is a highly prized mushroom species. It is usually sold by the piece, with prices reaching thousands of yuan per kilogram, and the majority are exported to Japan. It has been featured on the Chinese food documentary “A Bite of China,” where they introduced a dish called “Butter-fried Matsutake.”

35、Truffles (松露)
Truffles grow underground as a type of stem tuber fungus attached to the roots of pine trees. They contain a high amount of moisture and trace mineral elements such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, and fluoride. Unlike typical mushrooms, truffles are not soft and juicy but rather have a firm texture. They prefer alkaline soil, and high-quality truffles are mainly produced in limestone regions, such as Alba in Italy, Périgord in France, and Yunnan in China, all of which are located in limestone areas.

French cuisine is one of the world’s three most recognized cuisines and holds a prominent position in Western gastronomy. Among the famous ingredients in French cuisine, foie gras, truffles, and caviar are particularly renowned.

There are actually some edible fungi not mentioned, such as the delicious and dark-colored small black trumpet mushroom, the fire carbon mushroom, half a mushroom, winter mushroom, eagle mushroom, broad pine mushroom, mushroom pouch, buckwheat mushroom, slippery belly mushroom, lime mushroom, Jiangmazhang mushroom, North Wind mushroom, etc. We collectively refer to them as miscellaneous mushrooms. When we were young, we used to pick a basket of miscellaneous mushrooms and stew them into a pot of soup. That kind of deliciousness is something all Yunnan people understand!

In fact, there are many local specialty mushroom species in various places in Yunnan that can be eaten. Due to their rarity, in our Ganhe Village, there is a place called Guanshan where there is a wide variety of mushrooms. Some mushrooms are not even named by our local people. Some timid people are afraid of poisoning and dare not eat them, so they throw them away. But some people say that Guanshan in our village is a strange mountain, and all the mushrooms on it are edible.