Big Hericium found

Daniel B. Wheeler dwheeler at
Mon Sep 30 03:52:00 EST 2002

At a picnic held today at Washington Park (west hills), I found a huge
Hericium erinaceus: about 6-8 pounds total weight, even though it was
already starting to dry out. The fungus was found on a vertical scare
about 3 feet long and about 4 feet off the ground. It was located on a
Bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum), on a sheltered northeast facing
niche near the Washington Park Store.

I will probably dry the specimen for display purposes. The spines are
far too long for it to be very palatible, and I suspect it would prove
to be bitter as well.

This fungus has been commercial grown. But I have never personally
seen such a large specimen before. I presume that the sheltered
location and largely shaded area allowed the fruiting to continue
instead of being wind-dried early on in its growth. Most macrofungi in
this area, including Laetiporus sulphureus have not started fruiting
yet this year, as it has been too dry.

Daniel B. Wheeler

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