As an experienced mushroom forager, I have been lucky enough to experience the diversity of mushrooms that can be found here in South Africa. From the forests of the Eastern Cape to the Southern tip of Cape Town, there is a mushroom for everyone to enjoy.
Here are 7 of my favorite indigenous mushrooms in South Africa:
Fly agaric (Amanita muscaria) is a distinctive mushroom that is known for its bright red cap with white spots. It is also known for its hallucinogenic properties. Fly agaric can be found growing in forests, especially near birch trees.
Oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus) are a popular choice for both foragers and growers. They're very easy to identify and cultivate, plus they have a mild, seafoody flavor. Oyster mushrooms can be found growing on dead or dying trees, as well as on logs and stumps.
Chanterelles (Cantharellus cibarius) are another delicious and sought-after mushroom. They have a fruity, peppery flavor and a honeycomb-like appearance. Chanterelles can be found growing in forests, especially near streams and rivers.
Morels (Morchella esculenta) are a springtime delicacy. They have a honeycomb-like appearance and a nutty, earthy flavor. Morels can be found growing in disturbed soil, such as in areas that have been recently burned or logged.
Boletus mushrooms (Boletus spp.) are a large and diverse group of mushrooms. They are characterized by their spongy underside and their thick, meaty stems. Boletus mushrooms can be found growing in forests, especially near pine trees.
Milkcaps (Lactarius spp.) are a group of mushrooms that ooze a milky sap when cut or bruised. They are known for their bright colors, ranging from yellow to orange to red. Milkcaps can be found growing in forests, especially near oaks and pines.
Pine ring mushroom (Lactarius deliciosus) is a bright orange or yellow mushroom mushroom that is known for its milky sap. It is found under pine trees and has a mild, fruity flavor. Pine ring mushrooms are edible, but it is important to note that some similar-looking mushrooms are poisonous.
These are just a few of the many mushrooms that can be found in South Africa. With a little knowledge and experience, you can enjoy the delicious and nutritious bounty of the forest.
It is important to remember that not all mushrooms are edible. Some mushrooms can be poisonous, so it is important to be able to identify them correctly before you eat them. If you are not sure about a mushroom, it is always best to rather stay on the side of caution and leave it alone.
sign up to our mushroom identification workshop
If you are interested in learning more about mushroom identification feel free to sign up to our next Workshop here. We'd love to see you there!