Chicken and Roses

Ruskin Park (2), Denmark Hill, London, SE5

As soon as I’d finished writing my previous blog post, I went for a little stroll to enjoy the late afternoon sunshine. What should I discover but another tree trunk sporting a spectacular yellow protrusion!

From a distance I actually thought there was a small yellow rosebush growing at the foot of the tree. It looked very pretty, but rather odd, so I ambled over to investigate…

…and it turned out to be something altogether more intriguing: the brightest sulphurous yellow rose-shaped fungus I’d ever hoped to see!

With the help of my friend Mushroom Ben, I now know that this fungus specimen belongs to a species called Chicken of the Woods (Laetiporus sulphureus). What a fantastic name! And very exciting for me because for a good seven years I’ve been wanting to come across one, ever since I heard a story (incidentally involving Mushroom Ben) about almost missing a train due to the excitement of finding such a mushroom.

Apart from looking amazing, and fooling me into thinking it was a yellow rose, the other brilliant thing about Chicken of the Woods is that it (apparently) really tastes like chicken, and it isn’t poisonous (a bonus for any mushroom). Having said this, just to be on the safe side, only eat it if it’s growing on an Oak Tree – it can be poisonous when growing on a couple of other tree types.

Unfortunately this one that I discovered wasn’t growing on an Oak, but I’m now ready with my new-found identification skills for when I do come across a truly edible one, and I shall cook it up in a risotto or an omelette or something else equally delicious and happily munch it up.

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One Comment

  1. claire says:

    Hurrah! I like :-)

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