Hericium erinaceus identification

About mushroom

In theory, this species of Hericium is easy to identify: it is the only species that forms a single clump of dangling spines, rather than hanging its spines from a branched structure. Additional identifying features include the fact that it typically appears on the wounds of living or very recently cut hardwoods, and the fact that its spines are mostly more than 1 cm in length.

That's the theory. In practice positive identification is more difficult, since immature specimens of the branched species of Hericium often begin more or less as a single clump, and develop their branches with age. Further confusion stems from the fact that the long-spined species of Hericium, like Hericium erinaceus, may have short spines (1 cm in length or less) when they are young. In short, you must be sure that your specimen is mature (look for signs of brownish or yellowish discoloration) before betting the house on your identification of Hericium erinaceus.

Description:

Ecology: Saprobic and parasitic; usually growing alone or in pairs; fruiting from the wounds of living hardwoods (especially oaks); late summer and fall, or over winter and spring in warmer climates; widely distributed in North America. The illustrated and described collections are from Illinois.

Fruiting Body: 8-16 cm across; consisting of one, unbranched clump of 1-5 cm long, soft spines hanging from a tough, hidden base that is attached to the tree; spines white, or in age discoloring brownish to yellowish.

Odor and Taste: Odour not distinctive; when cooked the taste is reportedly delicious and, to some at least, rather like lobster cooked in butter.

Habitat

Saprobic, nearly always on beech and oak trees, stumps and fallen logs in Britain, but sometimes on other hardwoods. Bearded Tooth fungus is also reported to fruit occasionally on piles of sawdust.


Microscopic Features: Spores 5-6 x 5.5-6 µ; globose to subglobose or subellipsoid; smooth or minutely roughened; hyaline and uniguttulate in KOH; amyloid. Gloeoplerous hyphae present, sometimes extending into hymenium to become cystidia (up to 50 x 6 µ, cylindric with knobbed apices, smooth, thin-walled).



Hericium erinaceus photos

More info about Hericium erinaceus mushroom

Stem type:
Lateral
rudimentary or absent
Edible
Habitat:
Grows on wood
Spore colour:
cream or yellowish
White
Cap type:
Other
Fungus colour:
Yellow
White to cream
Normal size:
5-15cm
Location:
Europe
North America
Class:
Agaricomycetes
Order:
Cantharellales
Family:
Hericiaceae
Last modification: 2016-10-03 08:48:09

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