Polk County Conservation

Hen of the Woods Fungus

  • I saw the most unusual fungus on a tree. It was bright orange, fleshy and was almost glowing in the woods. What was it?

    It sounds like sulfur shelf or "hen of the woods". This edible fungus is quite tasty when fried and has a taste and texture similar to chicken. It is best eaten when it is still young and tender. You should only eat fungus if you are 100% positive of the identification. People react differently to edible fungi so you should eat only small amounts. Sulfur shelf is a bracket fungus that grows on living or dead trees but most commonly on oak trees. It grows into fleshy, knobby clusters with shell or feather-like curves. The largest ever found weighed 100 pounds.

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    12130 NW 128th St
    Granger, IA 50109

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