What Are The Orange Mushrooms In My Yard?

If a green lawn is your goal, then little orange mushrooms popping up all over is probably not ideal. After spending all spring mowing and clearing grass clippings and yard trimmings, and summer removing dandelions and other colorful weeds, it can be perturbing to look out in autumn and see a flush of orange mushrooms growing in your grass. Before you run out there and start pulling the fungi up, you need to consider that not all species of orange mushrooms are the same.

As delicious as many types of mushrooms, some orange mushrooms are not edible fungi and will make you sick or worse. It is important to prevent children and pets from eating this type of mushroom, but caution also needs to be practiced. Read on to learn how to identify and deal with orange mushrooms in yards and lawns. 

How to Identify the Orange Mushrooms in My Lawn?

It is important to note that some orange mushrooms are toxic, and some make a great treat to eat. Knowing how to identify and tell them apart is the difference between a fresh ingredient for a meal and a trip to the hospital. Mushrooms should only be picked for consumption if you are 100 percent sure of the species of mushrooms, which requires a foraging book or, better yet, joining a mycology club.

Although some wild mushrooms are delicious, others are deadly, and the info below will help you figure out what that orange mushroom in your lawn is. 

Jack O’Lantern Mushrooms

One of the more common and dangerous orange mushrooms that can appear in lawns, Jack O’Lantern mushrooms are doubly diabolical as they look very similar to the edible and delectable chanterelle mushrooms. Aptly called false chanterelle mushroom, this bright orange mushroom is found on stump bases and decaying tree roots.

Along with its pumpkin color, the gills produce a poisonous substance that has bioluminescent properties making it look even more like a pumpkin housing a flame. The mushrooms contain Illudins which are toxic for humans and cause food poisoning symptoms that, while severe, are usually not fatal. 

Orange Peel Fungi Mushrooms

These bright orange and cup-shaped mushrooms only exist as an edible variety in North America. This mushroom is brittle and hard to collect, making it a poor choice for an amateur forager. Although it is a common species, it is not as tasty as other edible mushrooms but does satisfy hunger and contains nutrients needed for forage survival.

If you encounter similar-looking peel mushrooms outside of North America and especially in Europe, they are a common variety but not edible. Doing so will lead to severe cramps and other health issues. 

Sulfur Shelf Mushrooms 

This edible orange mushroom has a cooked chicken taste when made into a meal but should only be eaten cooked and can cause digestion issues if consumed raw. It is known as the chicken mushroom and is an easily noticeable clustered mushroom. These orangish mushrooms grow on hardwood trees like oak trees and other decaying forest wood, similar to many other types of fungus.

Common in coniferous forests, you should avoid eating sulfur shelf mushrooms found on locust trees, eucalyptus, cedar, or conifer trees, as they accumulate tree toxins that may harm humans and animals. Sulfur shelf mushrooms grow aggressively and in dense clusters during the summer and autumn, and their tender edges are the tastiest to munch on. 

Spring Orange Peel Fungus Mushrooms

Like the false golden chanterelle, spring orange peel fungus is a toxic species found in coniferous woodlands on the ground of forest floors. They grow on organic material along the forest floor and not on the outside and edges of conifer forests like real orange peel mushrooms. If you see this reddish-orange color and convex shape in the spring, beware true peel mushrooms wait for favorable conditions in the fall, and do not flush so early in the year.

Fly Amanita Mushrooms

Poisonous mushroom that appears in colors from reddish-orange to yellow, and it has white bumps on the cap that resemble warts as well as white spots speckled about. These traits should indicate it is not safe to eat as ingestion can cause allergic reactions, breathing difficulties, and other side effects of ingesting poisonous mushrooms.

This nasty orange mushroom grows abundantly under trees and heavy shrub foliage, as well as near dead trees, the base of tree stumps, and other common orange mushroom patches. 

Chanterelle Mushrooms

These are some of the best edible mushrooms that are bright yellow to orange in color and show up on lawns. This orange mushroom will not grow anywhere but mostly shows up on types of trees like oak and hemlock trees. It commonly grows from June to September and is found along wood edges and deeper into the forests as well. These wild orange mushrooms are edible with a desired flavor but easily mistaken for Jack O’Lantern Mushrooms, which are poisonous. 

Why Do I Have Colorful Mushrooms on Turf?

Fly Amanita Mushrooms

The build-up of organic matter in the soil, as well as prolonged soggy soil conditions, are the main causes of fungal growth. A host mushroom, like some of the orange mushroom growth found on trees in coniferous forests, needs dead or dying wood as well as the perfect environmental conditions. When there is loads of rain at a time of high heat and rain and suffocating humidity, mushrooms are likely but add animal urine and a brilliant orange mushroom is a given.

You will also see actual mushroom growth and flushing during changes of the season when clusters of mushrooms will grow and turn shades of olive, orange, red, and even yellow, and then finally disappear almost overnight. Dead hardwood trees will have a host mushroom helping to break them down, resulting in cluster-forming orange mushrooms and other common mushrooms growing along the forest edge. 

Both wanted, and unwanted mushrooms are spread by spores that are all around and only need the right conditions to grow under the soil. Mushrooms are not the whole fungal organism but only the fruit that can be seen above the surface. The mushroom caps can pop up overnight and disappear as quickly when climate conditions change, or wild orange mushrooms can stick around for a while and need to be dealt with. 

Eliminate Orange Mushrooms Growing on Lawns

If you notice recent orange mushroom growth and it seems to be spreading, you may need to take matters into your own hands. A few orangish mushrooms growing in your garden and mulch beds where there is plenty of nutrients, and no issues are really not a big deal, especially if they are an edible mushroom species.

But unknown mushrooms in lawns with kids and pets can be a bigger issue. If you want to preserve the green of your lawn or eliminate unwanted mushrooms that could prove dangerous, follow the tips below. 

Removal MethodProcessResults
Pull by HandPut on safety gear and grab the dull white or yellow stem and do a pull twistThe dangerous part of the mushroom will be removed, preventing new spores from dropping or spreading
Use a Fungicidal ProductPour or apply fungicide according to instructions Most kinds of orange mushrooms and other kinds of mushrooms can be quickly removed with fungicidal products 
Alter EnvironmentReduce moisture, trim foliage, and remove mushroom food sources Mushrooms common to lawns will not last very long once dry soil, and bright sunlight finds them 
Incorporate Natural FungicidesBaking soda or vinegar placed on mushrooms will treat them and prevent new sporesFast removal and prevention of mushrooms as long as the solution stays on top of the soil 

Pull by Hand

The easiest and most logical way to remove common orange mushrooms is to remove them by hand. Poisonous orange mushrooms found on dead oak trees or nestled in our lawns should be treated carefully, as the gills and spores that contain toxins can sometimes be absorbed by our skin or inhaled into our lungs.

To avoid any harm while dealing with mushrooms on lawns, wear gloves and a mask and prevent parasitic fungus dangers. Most of the mushrooms in yards will be mushrooms for consumption, so if you know it is safe to eat, you can be sure it is safe to pick. For stubborn cluster-forming orange fungus, you may need a knife to remove some wood-feeding mushrooms as they attach tightly to dead oak tree trunks. 

Use a Fungicidal Product

If you have some on hand or lawn mushrooms are an annual occurrence in your climate, you may have the right fungicide product on hand. For growths on trees, make sure it is safe and will not harm the host tree. Then apply according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

There is no real reason to add chemicals to a lawn when a mushroom isn’t harming anything, and manual removal and environmental adjustments are enough to get rid of most types of mushrooms and stop the future growth of orange mushrooms.

Alter Environment

Orangish-brown mushrooms can easily be wiped out by making the environment where they are growing inhospitable. If you have fungus growing on pine trees and birch trees, you can time the trees and nearby plants to let more light in. Sunlight will help dry up the areas of the lawn that are growing fungus and help reduce waterlogging in lawns.

Once you start drying out the soil, the caps should die but makes sure to prevent pets and animals from urinating in mushroom-prone areas and water the yard less overall until no more flushes occur. 

Incorporate Natural Fungicides

Homemade fungus treatments are cheap, easy to prepare, and effective. In most cases, you can get rid of your mushroom problem with one treatment. While it is likely that there are many, many more options, vinegar solutions as well as a baking soda mixture are two tried and proven techniques. The recipes below can clear orange mushrooms out of your lawn. 

For a vinegar fungicide, mix 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water and then spray directly on the orange mushroom to kill quickly. Vinegar will kill any grass or other plants it comes in contact with, so be accurate and use it on a calm day to prevent hurting ornamental plants and surrounding turf grass. 

To make a baking soda fungicide add 1 Tbsp of baking soda to one or 2 gallons of water and mix it until the powder has dissolved. Pour it on and around the mushrooms to kill spores and stop flushes. This will not kill the grass it lands on but may change the soil pH slightly if several applications are used. 

Should You Remove Orange Mushrooms?

Orange Mushrooms

If you are unsure of the variety and have pets or children, you should always remove mushrooms to avoid accidental ingestion and potentially harmful side effects. Since mushrooms tend to be localized after the first time you identify them, there is a good chance you will only ever deal with a few types again. This can help you become a mushroom expert that knows what can be left and what should be removed immodestly. 

If your yard is not open to others, then mushrooms can help disperse excess organic matter balancing your yard’s nutrients for you and giving you more fertile soil overall. Many edible varieties of mushrooms can be cultivated in our gardens, and these do not need to be removed. Make sure you are positive with your identification, even if the mushrooms seem the same as last year, as imitation mushrooms are sneaky and deadly. 

If there are edible species growing in your lawn, then you can add them to your meal plan with other foragables from your organically maintained and chemical-free lawn. Adding mushrooms to your diet is. great health hack and can help with many illnesses and diseases as well as providing good meals. Only remove mushrooms if you have to once you know what those common orange mushroom species growing in your yard are.