The hen of the woods

8 Oct

This is a first for me.  I’ve never seen one at the cottage but I wasn’t looking, was I?  Edible.  Would I chance having a taste?  NOPE! 

To properly identify some look-alike mushrooms it is recommended that you taste them… (ahem)… to see if they are the edible or poisonous variety.   I DON’T THINK SO.   I will find one or two that I can be sure of my identification of and try those … one day.  I am sure of my identification of this hen of the woods – but it doesn’t look that tasty.

CHICKEN OF THE WOODS - LAETIPORUS SULPHUREUS

Grifola frondosa is a polypore mushroom that grows in clusters at the base of trees, particularly oaks. The mushroom is commonly known as Hen-of-the-Woods. In the United States’ supplement market, as well as in Asian grocery stores, the mushroom is known by its Japanese name "Maitake", which means "dancing mushroom". Throughout Italian American communities in the northeastern United States, is is commonly known as the Signorina mushroom. G. frondosa should not be confused with Laetiporus sulphureus, another edible bracket fungus that is commonly called chicken of the woods or "sulphur shelf". The fungus becomes inedible like all polypores when they are older, because it is too tough to eat.

CHICKEN OF THE WOODS - LAETIPORUS SULPHUREUS 2
”In 2009, a phase I/II human trial, conducted by Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center, showed Maitake could stimulate the immune systems of breast cancer patients. Small experiments with human cancer patients, have shown Maitake can stimulate immune system cells. An in vivo experiment showed that Maitake could stimulate both the innate immune system and adaptive immune system.”
This mushroom is supposed to be quite good to eat and, from the medical trials above, could be good for you. This specimen was found in Memorial Park, Windsor in September of 2011.

CHICKEN OF THE WOODS - LAETIPORUS SULPHUREUS 3

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