Termite Heap Mushroom

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

termite heap mushroom a name applicable to various fungi which grow on termite heaps, but par excellence to Termitomycetes titanicus, the largest edible mushroom in the world and reputedly among the best. This giant, which is found throughout Zambia (and no doubt in neighbouring African countries), has a cap which may measure almost 1 m (say, 3') across. It was first scientifically described by Pegler and Piearce (1980), who commented: ‘It is incredible that such a large fungus which is popularly known and common in Zambia should have remained undescribed until now.’ It seems that the cap is the only part which is normally eaten.