Wild-harvested Mushrooms Certification



Every year in the spring, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach offers classes for anyone interested in being certified to sell wild-harvested mushrooms within Iowa. 

Use the link embedded below to navigate to the page for registration. Dates for the in-person portion of each workshop in 2024 are March 23, April 6, and April 20 and will be held in Ames, IA. You can find more specific details by reading the information on the registration pagePlease read the information on the registration page carefully, as workshop format is changing this year.

Wild Mushroom certification (includes all mushrooms listed below, $60)

Dates for Wild-Harvested Mushroom Certification Workshops below: 

Saturday, April 20 from 1:00-3:00 p.m. (online portion is Thursday, April 18 from 6-7 p.m., link to access will be sent after registration)

For questions about the training, email pidc@iastate.edu

To legally sell eight different types of wild-harvested mushrooms in Iowa, sellers must complete a certification workshop that covers identifying and distinguishing them from look-alikes. 

Photo by Lacey Siomos

Common name: morel
Scientific name: Morchella americana, M. angusticeps, M. punctipes
Resources: Kuo, M Mushroom expert. The Morchellaceae: True morels and verpas.
Midwest American Mycological Information (MAMI) Morchella species 





Photo by Volodymyr Tokar on Unsplash

Common name: oyster
Scientific name: Pleurotus citrinopileatus, Pleurotus ostreatus, Pleurotus populinus, Pleurotus pulmonarious
Resources: Kuo, M Mushroom expert Pleurotus ostreatus: The Oyster Mushroom
Volk, Tom Fungus of the Month for October 1998
MAMI Pleurotus species




Photo by Lacey Siomos

Common name: chicken of the woods
Scientific name: Laetiporus spp: L. cincinnatus, L. sulphureus
Resources: Kuo, M Mushroom expert L. cincinnatus
Kuo, M Mushroom expert L. sulphureus
MAMI Laetiporus spp






Photo by Lacey Siomos

Common name: hen of the woods
Scientific name: Grifola frondosa
Resources: Kuo, M Mushroom expert. Grifola frondosa
MAMI Grifola frondosa







Photo by Eric Prouzet on Unsplash

Common name: chanterelles
Scientific name: Cantharellus cibarius group
Resources: Kuo, M Mushroom expert “Cantharellus cibarius”: The Chanterelle.
Cantharellus cibarius at Roger’s Mushrooms
MAMI Cantharellus species



Photo by Artur Kornakov on Unsplash

Common name: bear's head tooth, lion's mane
Scientific name: Hericium spp: H. erinaceus, H. americanum
Resources: Kuo, M. Mushroom expert Hericium, Hericium erinaceus, Hericium americanum
MAMI Hericium species







Common name: pheasant back/dryad saddle
Scientific name: Polyporus squamosus
Resources: Kuo, M. Mushroom expert Polyporus squamosus.
Tom Volk’s Mushroom of the Month
MAMI Polyporus squamosus

Photo by Timothy Dykes on Unsplash

Common name: black trumpet
Scientific name: Craterellus cornucopoides
Resources: Kuo, M. Mushroom expert Craterellus cornucopioides.
MAMI Craterellus species




People can be poisoned by eating misidentified mushrooms. By the end of the workshops, participants will recognize the mushrooms listed above and differentiate them from their most common look-alikes.

Iowans who have not been certified to sell morel mushrooms for three or more years much recertify this year. Registration is open to out-of-state individuals who hunt and sell in Iowa, but keep in mind local certification may be required to sell in your home state.


IA Department of inspections and appeals rulings

Pertaining mushrooms 6/16/2021:   https://www.legis.iowa.gov/docs/aco/arc/5701C.pdf


See page 1-definitions at https://www.legis.iowa.gov/docs/iac/chapter/481.30.pdf

Consumer advisory as in the ruling:

“A consumer advisory shall inform consumers by brochures, deli case, menu advisories, label statements, table tents, placards, or other effective written means that ‘wild-harvested mushrooms should be thoroughly cooked and may cause allergic reactions or other effects.”

Golden Oyster mushroom
Golden oyster. 

ISU Food Safety Lessons


Foraging Ethics – Honorable Harvest

The Honorable Harvest - Robin Kimmerer video


COVID-19 and food safety Articles

No Evidence COVID-19 Is Transmitted through Food and Food Packaging

Follow Grocery Shopping Best Practices during COVID-19


Safe mushroom foraging resources 

Mushroom calendar specific to Iowa and Midwestern states

The calendar shows the months when mushroom species have been recorded in Iowa and other parts of the upper Midwest. The dates of the actual appearance of any one species can vary widely from year to year and are primarily based on environmental conditions, including ground temperature, the timing of rainfall, amount of precipitation, and season.