Chicken of the Woods

(Laetiporus sulphureus)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

Chicken of the Woods

NatureServe

not listed

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common

Season

Late summer and fall

Habitat/Hosts

Hardwood forests on oak and other hardwoods

 
 
 
   
    Photo by Rachel Anding

Identification

This is a large, common, widespread, fleshy, bracket (shelf-like) fungus. It is one of the “Foolproof Four”, the four most easily identified mushrooms. It is usually saprobic, on decaying stumps and logs, but is sometimes parasitic, on the sides of injured trees. It enters the tree through a wound and infects the heartwood causing brown rot.

It is usually found well above the ground on living or dead, standing oaks, or on fallen oaks, sometimes on other hardwoods. It is usually found in overlapping clusters, sometimes singly, sometimes a rosette on the top side of a downed log. The thin, white mycelium can sometimes be seen in cracks of the wood.

The fruiting body is annual. There is no stem. When it first appears in late summer or fall it is knob-like, but it soon becomes shelf-like. It consists of an overlapping cluster or rosette of several to many brackets and can be up to 23½ wide.

Each bracket is fan-shaped to semicircular in outline, more or less flat but lumpy and uneven on top, convex on the bottom, usually 2″ to 20″ wide, and up to 1½ thick. Larger brackets can be up to 27½ wide. The surface is smooth to suede-like and often finely wrinkled. On younger brackets the upper side is bright reddish-orange to bright orange, yellowish-orange, or salmon. As it ages it fades to yellowish or buff. Older brackets are whitish. The margin on younger brackets is thick, blunt, and usually yellow.

The flesh of young brackets is thick, soft, watery, white to pale yellow, sometimes tinged with salmon. As it ages the flesh becomes tough then crumbly.

The pore tubes on the underside of the bracket are yellow and up to 3 16 deep. There are 2 to 4 pores per millimeter. The spores are yellow.

Young, fresh brackets grown on oak are edible when cooked. On older brackets, only the outer, still growing edge is edible.

 
Similar
Species

 


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 4, 7, 24, 26, 29, 77.


Comments

Taxonomy
In 1998, a study (Banik, Mark T., Harold H. Burdsall, Jr. and Thomas J. Volk. 1998) showed Laetiporus sulphureus to be a species complex and split it into five species. The new Laetiporus sulphureus, the “true” Chicken of the Woods, is the species that has yellow pores; grows on the butt of a standing tree or on downed logs; is usually overlapping shelves but may be a rosette on the top side of a downed log; occurs east of the Great Plains; and is always on hardwoods, usually on oak.

The genus Laetiporus was formerly placed in the family Polyporaceae. Several DNA studies of fungi in the order Polyporales since 2005 have resulted in the reordering of the families within the order. There is no current consensus. The genus Laetiporus is variously placed in the families Polyporaceae, Laetiporaceae, and Fomitopsidaceae. Most agree that it should be separated from the order Polyporaceae.


Taxonomy

Division:

Basidiomycota (club fungi)

  No Rank:

Agaricomycotina (jelly fungi, yeasts, and mushrooms)

 

Class:

Agaricomycetes (mushroom-forming fungi)

 

No Rank:

Agaricomycetes incertae sedis

 

Order:

Polyporales

 

Family:

Fomitopsidaceae (formerly Coriolaceae; formerly Polyporaceae)

 
Synonyms

Laetiporus sulfureus

Polyporus sulphureus

 
Common
Names

Chicken of the Woods

Sulphur Shelf


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

mycelium

The vegetative part of a fungus; consisting of a mass of branching, thread-like hyphae, through which a fungus absorbs nutrients from its environment; and excluding the fruiting, reproductive structure.

 

saprobic

Obtaining its nutrients from non-living organic matter, such as decaying plant or animal matter.

       

Visitor Photos

   
Share your photo of this fungi or lichen.

Art


Found a large bunch of Chicken of the Woods mushroom today. Probably 15 to 20 pounds on this one tree. Was really surprised because of the cool wet weather we've had.

  Chicken of the Woods    

Robert Briggs


  Chicken of the Woods    

Hong


  Chicken of the Woods    

Kiddiefondue


  Chicken of the Woods    

Wayne Perala


  Chicken of the Woods    

Rachel Anding


  Chicken of the Woods    

Kirk Nelson


False Turkey Tail and Chicken of the Woods, 9/5/2016

  Chicken of the Woods    
       

Seen just off the trail across the road from Snelling Lake

  Chicken of the Woods   Chicken of the Woods

wityman


  Chicken of the Woods    

       
       
       

MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos

   
  Chicken of the Woods   Chicken of the Woods
       
  Chicken of the Woods   Chicken of the Woods
       
       

 

Camera

     

Slideshows

   
  Sulphur Shelf Mushroom
Andree Reno Sanborn
 
  Sulphur Shelf Mushroom  
 
About

also called Chicken Mushroom or Polyporus sulphureus.

 
     
  Chicken of the Woods (Laetiporus sulphureus)
Bill Keim
 
  Chicken of the Woods (Laetiporus sulphureus)  

 

slideshow

     

Visitor Videos

   
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Other Videos

 
  Chicken of the Woods - Laetiporous sulphureus
sporeprints
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Feb 24, 2009

Tradd finds a nice colorful chicken of the woods, that will get cooked up later in a delicious recipe later. And off course it will get cloned.

 
     
  Chicken of the Woods (Laetiporus sulphureus) on Tree
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Sep 20, 2010

Photographed at the Turtle River State Park, North Dakota (19 September 2010). Go here to learn more about this species: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/laetiporus_sulphureus.html

 
     
  Chicken of the Woods (Laetiporus sulphureus) Close-up
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Sep 17, 2010

Photographed at the Turtle River State Park, North Dakota (12 September 2010). Go here to learn more about this species: http://www.eol.org/pages/191234

 
     
  Laetiporus sulphureus, The Sulfur Shelf or Chicken Mushroom
Robert Klips
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jul 27, 2011

Sunflecks and insects move across Laetiporus sulphureus, The Sulfur Shelf or Chicken Mushroom at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Summit County, Ohio, USA.

 
     
  HARVESTING AND COOKING "CHICKEN OF THE WOODS":SULFER SHELF MUSHROOM
sousaville
 
   
 
About

Published on Sep 10, 2012

A NOVICE MUSHROOMERS SEARCH FOR SULPHER SHELF MUSHROOMS... AKA "CHICKEN OF THE WOODS"....THE FAMOUS POLYPORE.....Laetiporus sulphureus...EASILY IDENTIFIED ,NO POISON LOOK ALIKES....BUT IT IS RECOMMENDED NOT TO BE EATENED OFF OF LOCUST....EUCALYPTUS...AND CONIFERS...SO DO YOUR RESEARCH...WHEN IN DOUBT...THROW IT OUT....SAFE TRAILS

 
     

 

Camcorder

         

Visitor Sightings

   
Share your sighting of this fungi or lichen.

Tim
5/30/2017

Location: in the City park in Eagle Lake

sorry, no photo. Very large bloom on stump. Probably four to five ice cream pails worth.


Art
5/29/2017

Location: just north of Milaca, Minnesota

Found a large bunch of Chicken of the Woods mushroom today. Probably 15 to 20 pounds on this one tree. Was really surprised because of the cool wet weather we've had.

Chicken of the Woods


Robert Briggs
9/24/2016

Location: Lebanon Hills Park, Eagan MN

Chicken of the Woods


Hong
9/16/2016

Location: Wilmes Lake, Woodbury MN

Chicken of the Woods


Kirk Nelson
9/5/2016

Location: Lebanon Hills Regional Park

False Turkey Tail and Chicken of the Woods

Chicken of the Woods


Kiddiefondue
8/19/2016

Location: Zimmerman, MN. Girl Scout Elk River Campground

Chicken of the Woods


Wayne Perala
8/18/2016

Location: Fergus Falls, MN

Chicken of the Woods


name withheld
9/19/2015

Location: Father Hennepin State Park

Found near the lake in a very wet location. Tree too rotten for me to ID... Sorry!


Kirk Nelson
8/22/2015

Location: Fort Snelling State Park, Hennepin County

Seen just off the trail across the road from Snelling Lake

Chicken of the Woods


mojo.moto
6/24/2015

Location: Pope County

LOL..... uh...yep enjoyed them already this year in pope county.


wityman
9/6/2014

Location: LeSueur County  by Lake Washington by the southwest boat access

See attached pic….it is very good sized.  The stump it formed on is from a tree that fell over in a storm in 2006.

Chicken of the Woods


     
     
 

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