There’s no denying that mushrooms are a tasty treat. They bring a comforting, savory, and umami flavor to a meatless dinner. All mushrooms, however, are not meant to be eaten. There are several that, if consumed, can prove fatal. So, if you come upon some orange mushrooms in your yard, how should you handle them? Read on to find out!
Jack o’ Lanterns are poisonous orange mushrooms that sprout from the rotting roots of trees and shrubs in yards.
Having children or pets around when orange mushrooms appear in your yard can cause unease. But, of course, not all orange mushrooms you find in your yard are harmful to humans and animals. Therefore, it is crucial to recognize which mushrooms are safe and which need to be removed before letting children and pets in the yard.
It’s common to find orange mushrooms growing on fertile lawns and near decaying trees. So, if you find orange mushrooms in your lawn, rejoice because your soil is in good health. However, I would not advise eating the orange mushrooms that grow in the yard. A few of them can be really dangerous and toxic.
And, how do you tell the harmful ones and get rid of them?
Well, that is what this article is about. So, read on!
Orange Mushrooms In Yards
Orange peel mushroom: a very unusual, completely unmistakable, and edible mushroom.
The mushroom is the fruiting body of a fungus that contains the fungus’ reproductive spores. They hide beneath the ground and might appear suddenly under favorable conditions.
Also, if you notice mushrooms growing in the soil, this is a sign that there is a wealth of organic matter present there. In most cases, this growth rate is accelerated when the weather is warm and wet. So when orange mushrooms pop up in your yard, take heart; it means there’s plenty of healthy compost and other organic materials below your feet.
A recent downpour may have prompted them to show up all over the yard, under shrubs, and in trees. You’re very likely to come across mushrooms in your yard at some time, as so many varieties appear in various climates and locations.
Life Cycle Of Orange Mushrooms
The lifetime of a mushroom consists of multiple stages, each of which is characterized by a distinct structure, function, and appearance. They are present as:
- spores (tiny bits that allow a fungus to proliferate)
- mycelium (the thread-like main body of a fungus)
- sporocarp (a dominant part of the sexual phase; the fruiting body)
- sclerotium (compact, firm mycelium that stores food stocks)
When Do Orange Mushrooms Appear In Yards?
For the mushrooms to emerge, the temperature and the amount of moisture must be just right. These fungi are incapable of developing the fruiting bodies necessary to create spores for reproduction until the right environmental circumstances arise.
However, they will spontaneously appear on open plains, deserts, bushes, tree trunks, and barks when favorable conditions are favorable. With so many factors influencing their growth and survival, it’s not hard to see why they would be present in your yard.
Why Do I Have Orange Mushrooms In My Yard?
Wet season, fertile soil, and humidity above 80% can all together trigger the development of orange mushrooms.
To understand why you have mushrooms in your yard, we will first need to discuss how they spread and sprout in someplace. So, let’s start!
How Do Orange Mushrooms Spread?
When a mushroom has reached maturity, the cap will release its spores into the environment. These spores can be carried great distances by the wind, but they won’t begin to germinate until they reach an environment that meets certain requirements.
Orange mushrooms are most commonly found growing on dead trees and on lawns that contain organic matter. Orange mushrooms, in general, do best in moist environments and in soils that have a high concentration of organic matter.
Here’s a breakdown of factors responsible for their growth:
1. High Humidity
Your plant will wither and die if it cannot obtain sufficient humidity from any source, correct? It’s not a pretty sight. This is because water makes up anywhere from 85 to 95 percent of a plant’s mass. Exactly the same thing is true of mushrooms.
They are virtually entirely composed of water (90 percent), so in order for them to grow in the correct manner, they will require a high humidity level. Due to their nearly 90% water content, orange mushrooms need high humidity to grow.
The ideal conditions for the growth of orange mushrooms include a relative humidity of at least 80%. What are the possible outcomes of a low humidity level? The orange mushrooms will eventually dry out, lose their color, and fall apart.
2. Nutrient Rich Soil
Like all other organisms, mushrooms require nutrients to develop. Orange mushrooms thrive on soil that is packed with nutrients since it provides the right conditions for their development. So, looking closely, you will notice that orange mushrooms can only thrive in environments with abundant nutrients, such as highly fertile soil, sawdust, logs, and trees.
Orange mushrooms can be found growing in moist environments such as logs, trees, and moist soils. This is due to the fact that they adore being near water. The usage of water in the life cycle of mushrooms allows them to grow larger and reproduce more quickly. For this reason, orange mushrooms flourish throughout the wetter months.
Common Orange Mushrooms Species Of Yard
There are numerous types of orange mushrooms; some of these species are poisonous, while others are not. Here I will discuss the most common ones that grow in yards:
1. Sulphur Shelf Mushroom
It is known as a “Shelf” mushroom because it does not have a stem and appears like a shelf on a tree.
|Scientific Name||Laetiporus sulphureus|
|Toxicity||None to low|
|Native To||Europe and North America|
|Habitat||Living trees and dead wood|
|Size||5 to 31 cm in diameter|
|Color||Orange to striking golden-yellow|
The sulfur shelf mushroom, also known as chicken of the woods, is a porous, orange-yellow mushroom that grows on logs and pieces of wood. Therefore, if your yard contains trees, you may be able to observe sulfur shelf mushrooms.
In most cases, you will find them on plants like eucalyptus, locust, or conifers; however, you may find them on other kinds of plants as well. They like hardwood trees, although you’ll also see them on maple and cheer as well.
At a younger age, sulfur shelf mushrooms might appear orange or bright yellow. So, Identifying this particular orange mushroom species is a breeze.
However, when they reach maturity, these sulfur shelf mushrooms typically lose their vibrant orange coloration and turn a bland white. Furthermore, they have semicircular crowns, and the lower section is covered with numerous small pores.
The tops of the caps have a reasonably smooth appearance. The meaty cap is around 20 centimeters deep and can expand to 30 centimeters wide. These orange mushrooms are also edible and actually contain a great deal of beneficial nutrients.
When they are cooked, they take on the flavor of chicken, living up to their name.
However, sulfur shelf mushrooms on cedar, locust, eucalyptus, or fir trees should be avoided. Toxins found in mushrooms grown from such plants are dangerous.
2. Orange Peel Mushroom
The Orange Peel Fungus is a common ascomycete fungus that belongs to the Pezizales order of fungi.
|Scientific Name||Aleuria aurantia|
|Native To||Britain and Ireland|
|Habitat||Grass, gravel, or soil|
|Size||Up to 10 cm across|
|Color||pale orange to a very deep orange-red|
The orange peel fungus is a type of mushroom that grows in clusters on the grassy ground. This fungus produces a fruiting body that resembles a cup or husk and is bright orange in color, hence the common name “the orange peel.”
This type is most common in the summer and fall months. Orange peel fungus is completely edible and has no negative side effects. However, as edible fungi go, these aren’t extremely well-liked due to their lackluster flavor.
Orange peel fungus can typically be found growing on the grass in the yard and in the vicinity of decaying trees or timber. Some may grow to be 5 centimeters tall, while others may appear flat on the ground. They can be seen growing in groups on the ground, among the grass, close to the boundaries of the woods, and next to dead trees.
There is no stalk or stem attached to it. Instead, a thickening in the middle of the cap serves as the point of attachment when it is placed on the ground.
3. Jack-O’lantern Mushroom
A large orange mushroom that can frequently be found growing in clusters on dead tree stumps.
|Scientific Name||Omphalotus olearius|
|Native To||Southern Europe|
|Size||About 7 cm to 20 cm wide|
The Jack-o’-lantern mushroom is the most common orange fungus and may grow in most people’s yards. The Jack-O-Lantern fungus grows in enormous clusters around the feet of old hardwood trees and logs. They are also able to sprout from buried root systems.
It is essential to take precautions not to eat this fungus because it is poisonous. When we talk about anything being poisonous, we are referring to it having adverse effects on the digestive system, such as abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
The Jack-O-Lantern mushroom, known by its scientific name Omphalotus olearius, is one of the most frequent types of orange mushrooms found in backyards.
These are the three types of Jack-o’-lantern mushrooms:
- Omphalotus olivascens: Also known as the western jack-o’-lantern mushroom, this mushroom thrives in California and Mexico.
- Omphalotus olearius: This plant is native to the woodlands of Europe, but specimens have also been discovered in some areas of South Africa.
- Omphalotus illudens: This fungus is known as the eastern jack-o’-lantern mushroom because it thrives in the east of North America.
Typically, Jack-o’-lantern mushrooms grow on dead trees or other types of rotting wood. Many people get these mushrooms mixed up with other edible orange mushrooms. In fact, it’s just the signs mentioned above that indicate otherwise.
4. Goblet Waxcap
The tiny but vividly colored goblet waxcap is a common grassland species of mushrooms in temperate regions.
|Scientific Name||Hygrocybe cantharellus|
|Native To||Europe and North America|
|Habitat||Grasslands, woods, forest clearings, and forest edges|
|Size||0.5 to 4 cm|
Many people believe that the Goblet Waxcap is a saprobic fungus since it can occasionally be seen growing on wood or the rotting roots of plants. Yet, it also thrives in environments that are covered with moss. Furthermore, it thrives in both solitary and communal conditions.
They often make their debut between the end of summer and the beginning of winter. However, this timing is very dependent on the weather.
Even though some field guides claim that these small waxcaps are edible, they are so little in substance that it is highly unlikely that anyone would bother to harvest them for cooking. Gathering a serving of Goblet Waxcaps would likely result in a calorie deficit; therefore, one may consider them “slimming mushrooms.” JOKE!
The specific epithet in their name (goblet) implies that the caps will be infundibuliform, and in fact, sometimes they are; this is where the common name “Goblet Waxcap” comes from. However, the caps most commonly remain convex or merely become flat.
The eastern regions of North America, Europe, and Australia all include grasslands and forests that are ideal habitats for the growth of these tiny mushrooms.
5. Orange Mycena
Small and sticky in the shape of a bell, the orange mycena is a brightly colored fungus.
|Scientific Name||Mycena leaiana|
|Native To||North America|
|Size||1 to 4 cm|
The vivid orange cap and the slimy surface of this mushroom species make it easy to spot. Its cap has a diameter of no more than four centimeters (1.5 inches), and although it is orange in color, this hue may become less prominent as the mushroom ages.
Initially bell-shaped, it becomes convex and develops a dip as it ages. It is not known whether or not this fungus can be eaten. However, it is not known to be poisonous. Having said that, there does not appear to be anything to suggest for the meal anyway.
It is because it is so tiny and has a somewhat rubbery texture if you attempt to cut it. Furthermore, when you touch it, the orange color rubs off onto your hands, and I would guess that it would have the same effect when you put it in your mouth.
It is found in the wild between June and September and grows on the dead wood of deciduous trees. As such, it relies on rotting wood for sustenance (saprobic).
It almost usually develops compact clusters, with numerous stems emerging from the same spot in the plant’s rosette. It is uncommon to find it by itself.
How To Get Rid Of Orange Mushrooms?
Even if they are pretty to look at, orange mushrooms can make a mess of the aesthetics of your grass. In addition, jack-o’-lanterns pose a potential risk to the health of your family members as well as any pets you have. So, the question now is, how can you get rid of them? Well, there are several ways, and some of them are described below in detail.
1. Remove Orange Mushrooms By Hand
In search of some grimy action? Well, you can remove your mushrooms by hand.
Orange mushrooms can sometimes be found close to other plants and grass, making it difficult to eradicate them using any of the chemical methods mentioned below.
In this specific scenario, I suggest deleting them by hand.
Nevertheless, you must put on gloves if you decide to go with this approach. When ready, you need to yank them out by the roots and put them in a container. You shouldn’t throw them in a compost bin since they will merely continue to spread and sprout if you do.
Additionally, you should remove or destroy the mushrooms before they mature. It is because they must be eliminated before they grow to the point where they can spread spores.
2. Kill Orange Mushrooms With Dish Soap
Dish soap might be the answer if you want to get rid of the mushrooms for good.
If you want to get rid of the orange mushrooms that are growing in your yard, using dish soap can be a time-consuming operation, but I can guarantee you that it will be well worth your time in the end. First, fill a container with a few gallons of water, then add your dish soap in the proportion of three tablespoons per gallon of water.
The next step is to use a screwdriver to create holes in the soil all around the mushrooms. Then, the sudsy water should be poured over the mushrooms and into the holes.
The added benefit of this process is that the gentle soap combination eliminates mushrooms in the soil without harming your lawn. Having said that, you may need to carry out this procedure multiple times before you observe any preliminary outcomes.
3. Kill Orange Mushrooms With Baking Soda
It is not a fix that will last forever, but it is one that is mild, risk-free, and efficient.
Trying to find a natural method to eliminate the orange mushrooms plaguing your yard?
I suggest trying baking soda. Even though the baking soda won’t kill the mushrooms, the presence of it will make the environment unfavorable, which will prevent their growth.
Simply add two tablespoons of baking soda to one gallon of water and whisk the mixture until the baking soda is completely dissolved. Next, apply the concoction by spraying it onto the mushrooms and the soil in the surrounding area. Baking soda will cause an increase in the alkalinity of the soil, which will prevent mushrooms from growing in the area.
This will, in time, restrict the mushrooms’ growth and possibly even cause their death.
4. Kill Orange Mushrooms With Vinegar
When you spray vinegar on the surface of mushrooms, it will burn them out and kill them.
Vinegar is one additional natural and inexpensive option that you can look at as a potential solution to your orange fungus problem. However, vinegar intended for domestic use or vinegar used in cooking is typically too diluted to be effective; therefore, you will need to use horticultural vinegar, which is typically 30 to 50 percent more concentrated.
If used correctly, it can eradicate orange mushrooms in as little as a few days.
So, in a spray bottle, combine vinegar and water in a ratio of 1:4, or as specified by a qualified individual or the manufacturer of the vinegar. The next step is to spray the mixture onto the mushrooms, and you should do this several times.
Be careful, though, because this solution can also harm plants and grass; thus, you should only sprinkle it on the mushrooms alone.
5. Kill Orange Mushrooms With Fungicides
Fungicide is the most effective approach there is for getting rid of orange mushrooms if that is what you are looking for. Fungicide kills mushrooms at their source. Several garden fungicides are commercially available for use on lawns and yards.
However, extreme caution must be exercised when using these in yards where children and animals are present. In addition, for optimal outcomes, be sure to properly adhere to the directions provided by the manufacturer and spray thoroughly.
The orange mushrooms come in many varieties, some of which can be easily confused with one another. Thus, it is hard to tell if the ones growing in your yard are safe to eat.
However, most people who own homes with pets and children do not want to pick and eat mushrooms from their yards. Therefore, those fungi are typically eliminated anyway.
And, if you have any doubts about eliminating them, that choice rests entirely with you.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can you eat orange mushrooms, or are they poisonous?
Orange mushrooms come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and species. Some, like the Jack-o’-lantern, are harmful to humans, while others can be eaten, like orange peel mushrooms. The challenge is in correctly identifying them.
Also, when looking for edible orange mushrooms t, I have some key pointers. First, however, I insist you collaborate closely with a mushroom guru.
- Avoid stinky, insect-infested mushrooms with decomposing flesh.
- Invest in a mushroom hunting guide that is tailored to your local area.
- Join a local mycology club to learn about edible orange mushrooms
- Only hunt mushrooms alone if you’re educated and experienced.
What does orange mushroom mean?
Mushrooms need decomposing organic matter in order to thrive. Seeing them can indicate that you have a strong and positive connection with those who have died.
There’s also the theory that the caps are phallic symbols representing the mighty power of nature, which the gods must have helped channel.
Is orange peel fungus poisonous?
Orange peel fungus, in contrast to what some information on cup fungi may suggest, is not poisonous and is, in fact, an edible mushroom, despite the fact that it genuinely does not have much of a flavor. That is why you probably won’t eat it anyway.
What color mushroom is poisonous?
In most cases, poisonous mushrooms can be identified by their white gills. Those with a volva and a ring that goes around the stem are also included. Additionally, stay away from mushrooms that have red caps or red stems. Although not all red varieties are toxic, it is best for you to steer clear of anything that is red if you are inexperienced.
What happens if you touch a jack-o-lantern mushroom?
There is no risk involved in touching Jack-o-lantern mushrooms because they are not toxic to the touch in any way. Additionally, the poisons will not be absorbed through your skin, nor will you become ill simply from coming into contact with them.
Sources for Further Reading
Mushrooms in lawns. (2022). The University of Minnesota Extension. Retrieved 5 November 2022, from https://extension.umn.edu/lawn-care/mushrooms-lawns
Mushrooms in the Yard: To Eat or Not to Eat has been a Common Question. (2016). Retrieved 5 November 2022, from https://bygl.osu.edu/node/562
Why are there so many mushrooms coming up in my yard and garden, and what can I do about them? (2018). Retrieved 5 November 2022, from https://extension.unh.edu/blog/2018/08/why-are-there-so-many-mushrooms-coming-my-yard-garden-what-can-i-do-about-them
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