"Chicken of the woods"?

Daniel B. Wheeler dwheeler at ipns.com
Tue Oct 16 04:07:00 EST 2001

jojockahenea at aol.com (Jojockahenea) wrote in message news:<20011014190940.18696.00001976 at mb-cj.aol.com>...
> Ive found what i believe is the orange shelf fungus, and need a possitive id to
> dine upon it ?

There are only two orange shelf fungi that I know of: Laetiporus
sulphureus and the darker red beefsteak mushrooms, Fistulina hepatica.

Laetiporus can be huge, with fruiting bodies I personally have seen in
excess of 50 pounds. Fistulina hepatica fruits only on hardwoods,
typically oak, as far as I know, and is usually solitary.

Laetiporus can usually be seen fruiting from hundreds of feet away.
Fistulina hepatica requires fairly close inspection. While both fungi
have what has been described as "tubes", Fistulina forms separate
tubes underneath, while Laetiporus has fused tubes joined together to
form something like a sponge.

There are several forms of Laetiporus, ranging from nearly white in
color (usually in extreme age) to bright yellow, or orangish in fairly
exposed areas when nearing over maturity.

There have been instances of sickening caused by Laetiporus.
Apparently these occur when the fungus grows on eucalyptus or hemlock.
Provided your specimen was not growing on one of these two trees, I
would *guess* it's Laetiporus.

Daniel B. Wheeler

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