Should You Eat This?

February 03, 2013

Laetiporus sulphureus_A

Photographer: David Lynch; Dave's Web site
Summary Author: David Lynch

Normally you could, but not this time. It’s known as a Sulphur Shelf or Chicken Mushroom or Chicken of the Woods (Laetiporus sulphureus) and commonly grows on trees, a so-called bracket fungus. Widely distributed across Europe and North America, Laetiporus usually appears between June and August and may persist for years. This colorful fungus derives its nutrients from dead or dying plants (a saprophyte), in this case a eucalyptus tree, causing brown cubical rot in the host tree’s heartwood.

Laetiporus is edible except when growing on certain kinds of trees: pine, hemlock, larch, fir, locust or eucalyptus. You better know your trees if you want to risk nibbling on this delicacy. Photo taken on October 8, 2012.

Photo details: Camera Model: PENTAX K-x; Lens: smc PENTAX-DA 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 ED AL [IF]; Focal Length: 35mm (35mm equivalent: 52mm); Aperture: f/5.6; Exposure Time: 0.0080 s (1/125); ISO equiv: 200; Metering Mode: Matrix; Exposure: Creative Program (based towards depth of field); Software: K-x Ver 1.00.