Chicken of the Woods or Sulphur Polypore Laetiporus sulphureus


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By Roger Phillips

Published 2006

Chicken of the Woods or Sulphur Polypore Laetiporus sulphureus (Bull.) Bondartsev & Singer syn. Polyporus sulphureus (Bull.) Fr. (illustrated 20% life size) Bracket 10–40cm across, fan-shaped or irregularly semicircular, margin obtuse, usually in large, tiered groups; lemon-yellow or yellow-orange, drying pallid or straw-coloured, lower surface more yellow; thick and fleshy, upper surface uneven, lumpy, and wrinkled, suede-like. Flesh at first succulent, exuding a yellowish juice when squeezed, but becoming white and crumbly with age; taste pleasant, slightly sourish, smell strong, fungusy. Tubes 1.5–3mm long; sulphur-yellow. Pores 1–3 per mm, circular or ovate; sulphur-yellow. Spores 5–7Γ—3.5–4.5ΒΌ, elliptical to broadly ovate; white. Hyphal structure dimitic, with generative and binding hyphae; generative hyphae without clamp connections. Habitat on deciduous trees, usually oak but common also on yew, cherry, sweet chestnut, and willow; late spring to autumn (old material is often found in autumn). Common. Edible when young and fresh, considered a delicacy in Germany and North America.

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