Laetiporus sulphureus “Chicken of the Woods”

   This species of bracket fungus can be found summer through fall growing on dead or dying hardwoods (usually oak). While it is not rare to find them during the summer months, I usually encounter these mushrooms more often in the late summer/fall months. This polypore is very easily distinguishable and has no poisonous look-alikes. (The Northern Tooth has a similar appearance but it is a white colored fungus and so tough you can barely cut a piece off a tree). It’s not uncommon to find a downed tree in the woods covered with 20+ pounds of this mushroom!

        Laetiporus sulphureus stand out in the forest with their bright orange/yellow colors. The spore surface is also a bright yellow and these are surely one of the prettiest mushrooms in the woods. There are also Laetiporus cincinnatus with look almost identical but will grow in a rosette shape and have a white spore surface.  Both are excellent finds and make a delicious meal.

   As always with all mushrooms, you should only try a small portion if you’re eating them for the first time, Laetiporus species have been known to not agree with some people, however they are a very popular edible and worth trying.

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