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Wild and Cultivated


In Portugal, as in the rest of Europe, the distribution of macrofungi, i.e. mushrooms, is closely related to the different types of habitat and associated plant stands. It is therefore common for the traditions of picking and eating wild mushrooms to vary throughout Portugal. From the chestnut groves and hardwood forests in the north, to the cork oak and holm oak forests in the south, passing through the pine forests of the central coast, mushrooms always make their mark.

Below you will find a list of some of the most common species of edible wild mushrooms in Portugal, according to a morphological classification:

Note: the information provided is not a reliable means of identifying mushrooms. Consult a picking guide and reject any mushrooms you don't know, at the risk of poisoning or intoxication.

Cesto com cogumelos silvestres

Mushrooms with blades under the cap / Agaricoids with blades

Agaricus campestris
Button Mushroom, Field Mushroom (PT: Cacavinas, Febras)

Agaricus arvensis / Agaricus campestris / Agaricus bisporus

Meadow saprophytes, they appear in pastures and woodland clearings during spring and fall. Hat diameter between 5 and 15 cm, with thick white flesh and a sweet taste. Of little commercial interest, sought after for self-consumption.

Agrocybe aegerita
Poplar Fieldcap (PT: Repolgas, Pilongos)

Agrocybe cylindracea / Agrocybe aegerita

Saprophytes, they grow on the stumps or dead trunks of poplars and willows, typically in riverside areas. They appear throughout the year in humid conditions. Hat between 5 and 15 cm, with compact, white/brown flesh with a hazelnut flavor. Potential for production on trunks or chips of poplar and willow wood.

Amanita caesarea
Caesar's Mushroom (PT: Abesós, Rebiós)

Amanita cesarea

Montados and pastures, under holm oak or cork oak cover; open and sunny oak and oak forests, acidic soils. A thermophilic species, mushrooms appear in late summer and fall. A highly sought-after species when young, it is important to keep mature specimens to propagate the spores.

Amanita ponderosa
Heavy Amidella (PT: Silarca, Pucarinha)

Amanita ponderosa

Mycorrhizal. Cork oak, holm oak and cistus forests on clay soils. Fruits between February and March and may also appear in spring. It is much appreciated and sought after in the inland regions of Alentejo and Beira Baixa. White flesh, with pink tones when cut. Strong, characteristic earthy smell. Sweet taste. When young, it can be confused with other poisonous species of the Amanita genus (Amanita phalloides, Amanita verna).

Lactarius deliciosus
Delicious Milk Cap, Red Pine Mushroom (PT: Sanchas, Cardelas)

Lactarius deliciosus / Lactarius sanguifluus

Mycorrhizal, associated exclusively with Mediterranean pine forests, predominantly on calcareous soils. They appear mainly in the fall. Highly edible. Both species have orange-colored cuticles and thick, white flesh. The L. deliciosus species is larger, with hats up to 20 cm in diameter (L. sanguifluus up to 9 cm).

Macrolepiota procera
Parasol Mushroom (PT: Capoas, Frades)

Macrolepiota procera

Cosmopolitan saprophyte, very common in uncultivated land and forest edges, in humus-rich soils. As an adult, the hat is flat-convex, with a fringed margin, and can reach up to 40 cm in diameter. In the center there is a protuberance of a more greyish color due to the maintenance of the cuticle, which flakes over the rest of the hat. Its meat is soft and sweet, and it is appreciated from the north to the south of the country.

Tricholoma equestre
Man on Horseback, Yellow Knight Mushroom (PT: Míscaro-amarelo)

Tricholoma equestre

With a wide ecological spectrum, this species can be found both on the central coast and in the hills of Beira and Trás-os-Montes, always in mycorrhizal association with stands of pine, occasionally dotted with other hardwoods. It fructifies in the fall. It has a conical/convex cap, 5 to 12 cm in diameter, with a thick, slimy yellow/brown cuticle. The flesh is of medium consistency, white to pale yellow, with a sweet taste. Several cases of poisoning associated with excessive consumption of this species in France have led to its sale being banned in several European countries. However, in the long tradition of collecting this species in Portugal, no incidents have been recorded and there are no restrictions on its trade or consumption.

Tricholoma portentosum
Charbonnier, Streaked Tricholoma (PT: Capuchinhas)

Tricholoma portentosum

Mycorrhizal species, often associated with T. equestre in coniferous forests (pines and firs) with acidic soils. Late fruiting, in fall/winter. It has a convex, wavy cap, up to 12 cm in diameter, with a thick, grayish cuticle and dark radial fibrils. Thick, white flesh with a mild flour taste.

Tricholoma terreum
Grey Knight, Dirty Tricholoma (PT: Cinzentinho, Míscaro-cinzento)

Tricholoma terreum

Mycorrhizal associated with pine forests, or under hardwoods, in calcareous or sandy soils. Fruiting in fall/winter in numerous clusters among the foliage. Convex to flattened hat, with a central mamelon and a thin, wavy margin. Thick, dry, grayish, somewhat fuzzy cuticle. Flesh fragile, not very thick, white - grayish. Mild flavor.

Pleurotus ostreatus
Oyster Mushroom, Hiratake (PT: Repolgas)

Pleurotus ostreatus

A woody saprophyte, it grows on dead trunks and stumps of broad-leaved trees (beech, poplar, willow and elm) in damp areas. It can also occur as a parasite on senescent trees. Fruits abundantly in the fall and winter. Fruiting takes the characteristic form of fans or spatulas, with a thin margin, and some specimens can be up to 30 cm wide. Variable coloration, usually grey-brown with light cream blades. White, compact flesh with a sweet taste.

Mushrooms with pleats under the cap / Chanterelles

Cantharellus cibarius
Golden Chanterelle, Girolle (PT: Cantarelas, Sanchas, Rapazinhos)

Cantharellus cibarius

A cosmopolitan mycorrhizal species associated with hardwood stands, dehesas or uncultivated land with cistus. They appear in spring and fall, usually in large groups, and are the species most commonly found in the Algarve hills. They have a flattened cap, with a wavy margin and slightly depressed in the center, with a more or less intense yellow cuticle, depending on the substrate in which they grow. The flesh is white, tough, sweet-tasting, with a peppery or bitter aftertaste that disappears after cooking. Of excellent edibility and commercial interest.

Craterellus cornucopioides
Horns of Plenty, Black Trumpet (PT: Trombeta Negra)

Craterellus cornucopioides

Saprophyte, occurs in clay and limestone soils, associated with mixed stands of broadleaves and pines, cork oaks, chestnuts and beeches. Fruits abundantly in the fall. Hat in a characteristic trumpet shape, with no marked difference between the hat and the foot, tapered in the center and with curled and wavy edges. Cuticle wrinkled and scaly, varying in color from dark brown in dry weather to greyish-black in wet weather. Fibrous, thin and cartilaginous flesh, with a sweet and aromatic flavor, which benefits in aroma and flavor from drying and rehydration.

Mushrooms with pores under the cap /
Ceps and Boletes

Ceps, Penny Buns, Boletes (PT: Boletos, Cepes, Tortulhos)

Boletus edulis / B. aereus / B. pinophillus / B. badius / B. reticulatus

A group of cosmopolitan, mycorrhizal species associated with broadleaf stands (B. reticulatus, B. aereus), cork oak and holm oak forests (B. edulis), and pine forests (B. pinophillus, B. badius). They have convex, flattened hats between 5 and 25 cm long, and their coloration ranges from pinkish brown to dark brown. The meat is thick and spongy, white in color and has a sweet nutty taste. When young, all species can be laminated and eaten raw.

Boletus edulis
Boletus aereus
Boletus pinophillus
Boletus reticulatus

Mushrooms with needles under the cap / Hedgehog Mushrooms

Hydnum repandum
Sweet Hedgehog, Pig’s Trotter / Terracota Hedgehog

Hydnum repandum / Hydnum rufescens

Two species commonly confused and traditionally not distinguished in Portugal. Mycorrhizal fungi associated with both broadleaf and coniferous stands, mainly on acidic soils. Convex hat with an irregular outline, with a very wavy margin, yellowish cream, or pale ochre in color, between 3 and 10 cm in diameter. The flesh is hard and brittle, white, with an orange blossom scent and a sweet taste. They bear fruit in the fall, in relative abundance where they occur.

Mushrooms with a honeycomb cap / Morels

Morchela esculenta
Yellow Morel / Black Morel  (PT: Pantorras, Belfuradas)

Morchella elata / Morchella esculenta

The Morels belong to a group of fungi that is different from the other species described (which have a hat with a hymenium on the underside). The Morquela has the hymenium, the fertile surface where the spores are produced, inside the alveoli that line the hat. There are several species of morels in Portugal and it is difficult to distinguish between them. However, they are all edible after cooking.

They are saprophytic fungi that fruit in spring in meadows and clearings, as well as in sparse stands of hardwoods and conifers. They prefer moist, humus-rich soils. M. elata has an oblong, almost cylindrical, hollow cap, with the appearance of beehive combs, 10 cm high and 5 cm in diameter. The flesh is white, of medium thickness and has a sweet taste. M. esculenta has a more rounded cap, with large irregular yellowish-brown alveoli, up to a maximum diameter of 6 cm. White, cartilaginous flesh with a mild, sweet taste.


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