It is parasitic on the tree and will often come back year after year in the same spot. It is highly prized, and its Japanese name, Maitake, means ‘dancing mushroom’. While we strive to be 100% accurate, it is solely up to the reader to ensure proper plant identification. It is up to the reader to verify nutritional information and health benefits with qualified professionals for all edible plants listed in this web site. While chicken of the woods is a relatively easy mushroom to identify, be mindful that you should always exercise extreme … The very base of the brackets can be a little tough, so you can discard that if so. Click. It grows in northern temperate forests. The flesh is creamy buff white, and firm. They may grow all at once or sometimes come out over a period of two or three weeks. The name “hen of the woods” comes from the fact that the cluster of mushrooms somewhat resembles the ruffled feathers of a sitting hen. The whole fruiting body is edible, prized for its rich mushroom taste, and has a firm texture. The pore surface is grayish in younger specimens becoming more white with age and developing some yellow or brown tones as it passes it's peak. Taste/smell:  Pleasantly mushroomy smell and taste when young, strengthened by drying. The fruit body can be 10 to 100 cm (4 to 36”) across or more. The underside of each bracket is cream and covered in tiny holes or pores that release cream coloured spores as they mature. Sometimes thinner. It is thought to boost the immune system, help with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and some cancers, although evidence from clinical trials is lacking. Blackening Polypore (Melipilus Giganteus) has much larger, thicker brackets that are rounded and fan shaped rather than divided into lots of frills. Although, many specimens can grow quite high (about 30cm or 1'). Many of these specimens will often weigh as much as 9 kilos (20lbs) and sometimes they can grow to about 23 kilos (50lbs). In addition to being a great edible there is growing evidence that it is highly medicinal, boosting the immune system to fight cancer and stabilizing blood sugar as well as blood pressure. north-east United States (zones 4-7), but do grow elsewhere. It is used widely in Japan, where it is known as Maitake. Maitake has several common names which includes Hen of the Woods, Ram's Head and Sheep's Head. This fungus typically grows around the bases of mature Oak trees or more rarely on other deciduous species. It is great sautéed, roasted, deep-fried, and dried. All edible wild fungi MUST be cooked. It is known as “Laubporling” in Germany, the “signorina” mushroom in Italy, and both as maitake and kumotake (cloud mushroom) in Japan. Physical Characteristics. Maitake mushrooms grow in clusters of flattened brown caps with white edges. As with any mushroom, make sure to cook it thoroughly and try a little bit first if you haven’t had it before to avoid stomach upsets. Identification, health, The middle of the clump is whitish and has a branching structure, which divides into many individual lobes or brackets. All information, photographs and web content contained in this website is Copyright © 2020. Each individual cap can be anywhere from 2 to 8 cm across (3/4 to 3”) with grayish to brownish tones often with a whitish zone in the middle of the cap. Hen-of-the-woods. In-depth wild edible PDFs. It is not unheard of to see it growing in the northwestern or southeastern states. Looks:  This fungus grows clusters of small frilly brackets, forming a clump that looks a bit like a brown cauliflower from a distance, or like feathers, hence its name. Take your time around big, old trees and keep your eyes peeled for its fluffy shape. It may also lower blood sugar, so seek advice before taking it as a supplement if you are on diabetes medication. Wild food can help treat various medical conditions. Larger maitake mushrooms turn a lighter tan brown or grey color as they mature. Do not eat any fungi that has not been properly identified by a qualified professional, some are DEADLY when ingested. Cauliflower Fungus (Sparassis spathulata) forms similar frilly clumps, but is much paler and if anything even more frilly. Your kit’s instructions will tell you how many to drill and how far apart, but a three-foot log should take around 40 plugs. Looks: This fungus grows clusters of small frilly brackets, forming a clump that looks a bit like a brown cauliflower from a distance, or like feathers, hence its name. Hen of the woods is found in China, northeastern Japan, and throughout Europe. Caps are about 1/8-1/4 inch thick. is informational in nature. • Bur oak savannas are prime locations for finding hen-of-the-woods mushrooms. Both of these potential lookalikes are edible, As it can be a very similar shade of grey brown to the bark of the oak rrees it grows on, you could easily walk past without spotting this. How to Grow Your Own Hen of the Woods Mushrooms. We certainly dance with excitement when we find one! it can get quite acrid as it gets old and starts decaying. Insert a plug into each hole. The middle of the clump is whitish and has a branching structure, which divides into many individual lobes or brackets. Brush a … These can be 2-10cm across, and 1-3mm thick, firm but flexible with wavy rounded edges and soft varying shades of greyish brown that add to the feathery appearance. Hen of the Woods is an autumn mushroom and can grow well into November depending on location and conditions. And all those frills make perfect hiding places for bugs and beasties, so check as you pull the fronds apart and wash it thoroughly! In fact, it can be substituted in to pretty much any mushroom dish – or like many wild mushrooms it can be heavenly simply fried in butter and enjoyed on toast with a twist of salt and pepper. The fruit body is composed of clusters of flattened caps that to some, are reminiscent of a sitting hen. Please click here for more information. One of the biggest determining factors to identify the Chicken of the Woods mushroom from the below look alikes is: It is a polypore there for it does not have gills or ridges like the Chanterelle or the Jack-O-Lantern mushrooms. A moderately thick batter is best for deep frying maitake. Some wild plants are poisonous or can have serious adverse health effects. Identify hen of the woods via pictures, habitat, height, spore print, gills and colour. Click, All listed plants are found in central-east Canada and From the bottom, the stem and branch structure has an appearance somewhat to the underside of a cauliflower. To reduce the chances of a bad time try a small amount first if you haven’t had it before, and cook thoroughly, Generally considered and autumnal mushroom, look out for it from late August to November. Like with any wild mushroom it is possible to be allergic to it or have some tummy trouble if it is undercooked. Hen of the Woods is perhaps the most frequently used common name in Canada and the U.S. To support our efforts please browse our store (books with medicinal info, etc.).
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