Clavariadelphus americanus
Not all mushrooms look alike--some mushrooms don’t even look like mushrooms. These clublike fingers of summer and fall fungi that emerge from the soil in oak and beech woodlands look like something you might see in science-fiction movies. They seem eerily out of place in the forests of Illinois. It’s like meeting some previously unknown form of life, like those faceless aliens that step forward from the light of a crashed flying saucer.
A few different species of Clavariadelphus are known to exist in Illinois, but nobody eats them.