Observation 104046: Sparassis spathulata (Schwein.) Fr.

When: 2012-08-06

Collection location: Harrison Co, Indiana, USA [Click for map]

Who: K (kentuckienne)

No specimen available

I found several clumps of this mushroom growing on dead wood. Picked some and would like to eat it if it really is cauliflower mushroom. It has a pleasant, woodsy aroma. It looks a bit more “leafy” then the photos I found, though. Also, the flexible stems seem to have grown around the stems and leaves of neighboring vegetation, and I didn’t see anything like this in a photo. Some plant materials are completely embedded in the mushroom petals, but not attached: I can peel the mushroom tissue off the other plants. It is growing in the woods, near a gravel road, on a dead log and on the ground nearby. It doesn’t bruise or change color, even when washed most vigorously.


Pulled in half
One of the individual branches
This is a dead leaf enveloped in the mushroom

Proposed Names

33% (4)
Used references: Looked online and in three guidebooks
-1% (2)
Recognized by sight
20% (4)
Recognized by sight: if it’s not Sparassis spathulata this would be another one to look at.

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
I thought this would be easy
By: K (kentuckienne)
2012-08-07 13:57:32 PDT (-0700)

I’m such an amateur. I looked at the Hydnopolyporus palmatus references that I could find, and it also seems like a smaller fungus that grows south of the United States. “Wild Edible Fungi: A Global Overview Of Their Use And Importance To People” says that it’s “Food” and Hydnopolyporus fimbriatus is only “edible”. Sounds like it won’t kill me either way.

Someone mentioned that hydnopolyporus forms rosettes, and the mushroom I have is definitely individual “petals” and not rosettes. They are quite narrow at the base, where they emerge from the ground. All the mushroom guides I have say that there is no poisonous mushroom that even remotely resembles this one. It doesn’t seem that all these SA lookalikes are even related, but they do look strikingly similar.

It’s not cotylidia
By: K (kentuckienne)
2012-08-06 18:19:58 PDT (-0700)

I don’t believe this is possible. All the cotylidia references I find are for south american mushrooms, not northeast US. Also, this is a large clumping mushroom, clumps about ten inches or so across and they are young. The cotylidia also seem to be small individual branches and these flat lobes all radiate from a common base.

Created: 2012-08-06 10:56:52 PDT (-0700)
Last modified: 2017-05-20 11:58:04 PDT (-0700)
Viewed: 174 times, last viewed: 2018-04-15 14:13:01 PDT (-0700)
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