Collecting Plants and Mushrooms

Shenandoah National Park is home to over 1,400 species of plants, some that are very common and recognizable to many people, and others that may be rare or unfamiliar. Plants in the Park are protected by law and may not be disturbed or collected (36 CFR §2.1(c)). This includes parts of plants such as flowers, seeds, leaves, branches, and roots. There are some exceptions, however:
  • Small amounts of fruit may be collected (generally up to one quart per person per day) for personal use. This does not hurt the plant and does not greatly impact its ability to reproduce. Blueberries, blackberries, apples, and wild grapes are among the types of fruit that may be collected, as well as common nuts such as walnuts and hickory nuts. A complete list with amounts that may be collected is available in the superintendent’s compendium.
  • Most mushrooms found in Shenandoah are not edible and may not be collected. Collecting or disturbing medicinal or woody shelf mushrooms, or any other inedible mushrooms, is prohibited. However, as with fruit, small amounts of edible mushrooms may be collected for personal use. For details, please see the superintendent’s compendium. Note that many mushrooms are poisonous and should not be eaten unless you are able to correctly identify the species and know that it is edible.
Collecting plants for research or educational purposes may be allowed, but requires a permit. For more information, please contact Sara Strickland (

Last updated: December 4, 2018

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Shenandoah National Park
3655 U.S. Highway 211 East

Luray, VA 22835


(540) 999-3500
Emergency Phone: 1-800-732-0911

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