Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Some Tree Fungi in Hayes

Chicken of the Woods, Laetiporus sulphureus, on felled Oak.  The Knoll, Hayes, on 26 September 2014.
Chicken of the Woods, Laetiporus sulphureus, on felled Oak.  The Knoll, Hayes, on 26 September 2014.
These are a few tree fungi I found in a small local park.  The first one is edible, hence its common name Chicken of the Woods.  Here, it is on a felled oak, but it grows just as easily on living trees.  It's really quite a sight close up:

Chicken of the Woods, Laetiporus sulphureus, on felled Oak.  The Knoll, Hayes, on 26 September 2014.
Chicken of the Woods, Laetiporus sulphureus, on felled Oak.  The Knoll, Hayes, on 26 September 2014.
I have never eaten it, but those who do say it needs to be young and fresh or it gets pretty tough.  Also, it will grow on trees other than oak, and from some - such as Yew - it might be poisonous.  Don't eat anything based on comments in this blog!

Beefsteak Fungus, Fistulina hepatica, on Oak.  The Knoll, Hayes, 26 September 2014.
Beefsteak Fungus, Fistulina hepatica, on Oak.  The Knoll, Hayes, 26 September 2014.
This looks not at all appetising, but is also supposed to be edible.  I cut a slice across it to show the interior.  It is quite soft and spongy, and will grow and die within a few weeks.  This is on a living Oak tree.

Ganoderma species on Horse Chestnut.  The Knoll, Hayes, 26 September 2014.
Ganoderma species on Horse Chestnut.  The Knoll, Hayes, 26 September 2014.
This one is more commonly seen as a bunch of big showy brackets on Beech trees.  It doesn't seem quite so much at home on this Horse-chestnut, but even so, it keeps coming back every year, getting a bit bigger each time, with brackets all the way up the trunk right from the base. 

Ganoderma species on Horse Chestnut.  The Knoll, Hayes, 26 September 2014.
Ganoderma species on Horse Chestnut.  The Knoll, Hayes, 26 September 2014.
Here's a single bracket.  This year's growth is white, and is full of pores from which the brown spores fall.  This is definitely not edible, and in fact is so tough that you need a big, really sharp knife or a saw to take a sample.

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