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UK Nature  > Fungi  > Laetiporus sulphureus

  • Growing on an oak tree
  • Close up of brackets

Scientific Name:   Laetiporus sulphureus
Common Name:   Chicken of the Woods

Laetiporus sulphureus, more commonly known as chicken of the woods, chicken mushroom, sulphur shelf or sulphur polypore is a thick, fleshy bracket fungus, bright creamy yellow with bands of orange when young, fading to cream with age. It has succulent, soft and moist crumbly flesh. The upper surface is velvety, and underneath it has very small pores. It has a strong ‘fungusy’ smell. The fruit body is in bracket-form with round, yellow pores, the spores being white, sometimes pale yellow.

Chicken of the woods is a common species in the UK. It grows mainly on oak tree trunks, but can also be seen on the trunks of yew, cherry, sweet chestnut and willow from late spring to autumn. It is a vital species, supporting a host of wildlife. There are some specialist beetles which only feed on bracket fungi like chicken of the woods, including the hairy fungus beetle (Pseudotriphyllus suturalis). It is also eaten by deer.
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