Sunday, September 02, 2007

Chicken of the Woods

Laetiporous sulphureous

I am not a mycologist by any stretch of the imagination but I do know what fungi looks like. I came across this one near the Beechwood Wetland. It is about 50 cm long and 30 cm high so it occupies a fair amount of volume. It is one of the larger ones I have seen. A couple of years ago I picked up an identification book called Mushrooms of Ontario. I figured it would make identification easier. However I am continually frustrated in my attempts to match up what I find with pictures in this book. So I just went to Google Images and typed in "Yellow bracket fungi". Eventually I found a similar one so that is how I determined this one to be Laetiporous sulphureous or Chicken of the Woods, so called because parts of it are edible.

I am not about to try it because mis-identification of fungi is a common method of killing yourself by mistakenly eating a poisonous mushroom that you thought was an edible variety. I suppose if I were lost in the woods and starving... although this is unlikely to happen in the Don Valley, not with a Tim Hortons always within walking distance.

Maybe it's called Chicken of the Woods because you can see the face of a chicken on the underside :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's not a chicken... it's the Virgin Mary!