Heavy rains bring a ‘super bloom’ and a ‘super shroom’

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Wild mushrooms grow in Los Angeles. Photo by Shutterstock.

The heavy rains across Southern California this season have led to a “super bloom” of wild poppies and other flowers. But if you’re in the mood for something less Instagram-worthy but perhaps more stomach-pleasing, there’s also an abundance of wild mushrooms.

“I think the last time it was anywhere near like this was maybe the winter of 2018-2019 … but still nothing like this,” believes Stu Pickell, program director and vice president of the Los Angeles Mycological Society. “I've found species that have not been seen in Southern California before.”

Before you go rushing to catch a glimpse of the bounty Pickell is referring to, he offers some helpful pointers and warnings. 

  • The best place to look is under big coast live oak trees. Sometimes mushrooms will be under leaves which you may need to carefully remove.
  • While there are poisonous mushrooms, none are significantly poisonous to the touch. Before you go foraging, familiarize yourself with which mushrooms are poisonous to ingest before you study which are edible.
  • There are more records of hallucinogenic mushrooms being found in the LA area too (though Pickell hasn’t found any).
  • Don’t leave the path to go looking for wild mushrooms, and don’t litter where you find them.
  • Don’t pick mushrooms if you only intend to throw them aside.
  • Leave no trace, like you would if you were going to see a wildflower super bloom.

Pickell believes the shroom bloom is not here for the consumption of humans. It’s why he’s even hesitant giving interviews, or too much information, about how and where to find mushrooms.

“They're not there for you to pick and consume and appreciate. They have their own existence. They're their own organisms, and you need to respect that they are an important part of this ecosystem.”



  • Stu Pickell - program director and vice president, Los Angeles Mycological Society