Hedgehog mushrooms of NW Ontario

Scaly Hedgehog Mushrooms

A Hedgehog mushroom with a cap that looks scaly with colouration of a hawks wing – Mottled Brown/tan.

When: August into October

Where: Conifer stands.

Distinguishing features: White to tan teeth for gills, cap has ridged “scaled” usually with depressed center.

Cap: Elevated ridged “scales”, Beige to brown in appearance with depressed center. Older specimens may appear hollow at the depression point.

Gills: Teeth

Flesh: White, tan to brown

Identifiable: Easily identifiable by cap coloration and underside with teeth. Sometimes the truly look like hedgehogs.

Preservation: Saute and freeze.


Wood Hedgehog (Sweet Tooth) Mushrooms

When: August to September

Where: Conifer stands

Distinguishing features: Underside of cap covered in small “teeth” the same colour as the cap.

Cap: Smooth, white to pale orange

Gills: Teeth

Flesh: White

Identifiable: Easily identifiable by the “teeth” for gills as well as the colour.

Preservation: Saute and freeze or pickle.


Gill Types: Note colour, staining and type of gills present.

Weeds and Plants

Wild edible and medicinal weeds and plants are everywhere here in NW Ontario. Some tasty weeds are probably in your yard right now!


Blueberries abound here, but if you know where to look berry riches of NW Ontario start to show themselves.


Some of the best tasting and easy to identify edible mushroom species are native to the Boreal Forest here in NW Ontario. 


Worksheets, charts, apps, maps and additional information to help you in your forage.

Weeds and Plants


Berries and Nuts

Tips and Tricks

Mushroom rules

Never eat a mushroom you are not 100% sure of its identification. Even when 100% sure, only ingest a small amount as some people have reactions to normally edible mushrooms. Always cook them first.

The underside of mushrooms are its gills. They are typically fragile blades, some have spines/”teeth”, some are more ridges, some are pores and others have no gills at all.

Spore print mushrooms – place the cap, gills down on a piece of white AND a piece of dark paper for an hour or two. This will tell you the colour of its spore print.

Stay away from young “button stage” mushrooms and older, bruised or damaged mushrooms.

Where does the mushroom grow? On wood? Mossy forest? Hardwood? Softwood?

How does the mushroom grow? Clusters? Alone? In spaced out groups?

What time of year is it? Most mushrooms have a season, finding a fall mushroom in the spring means its not likely what you were looking for.

Start out with easier mushrooms, join groups and go on identification walks. Always ask for help with identification.



Identification and resources

It is important to identify and be sure of edible plants, mushrooms and berries in the wild. There are numerous resources available however nothing is better than going with an expert and growing your knowledge over time.

Pictures and videos are very important and a simple google search (images) will return a wide range of a specific plant you are looking for.  There are numerous Facebook groups as well, where the users are usually more than happy to help identify something. Simply upload a good quality picture (or 3 or 4 from different angles) and see what the collective consensus is.

Keep in mind that no one can identify by picture alone 100% of the time.

Mushroom identification Facebook Group

Other Link

Get In Touch

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