Mushroom in habit

White Pored Chicken-of-the-Woods,
Laetiporus cincinnatus
Polyporaceae or Polypore Family


Fruiting body small to huge, often consisting of multiple overlapping mushrooms in a rosette. Individual caps flat to convex, 2 inches to a foot across, up to an inch and a quarter thick. Firm, but relatively soft compared to most shelf fungi, which are woody. Bright yellow to orange on top, with white pores below, from which spores are released. Parasitic on living hardwoods, especially oaks, eventually killing them, and also able to decay dead wood. Causes root or butt rot and so is found at the bases of trees or on the ground beneath them. Appears small at first, during the summer, and gradually grows larger until it reaches full maturity. Eventually it crumbles away.

Young mushroom

A magnificent mushroom. In the gloomy forest the fruiting body positively glows. Found all over eastern North America where suitable hosts grow. In Wildwood known from the western slope, above the North Butterfly Meadow, but may occur elsewhere.

Ordinary chicken of the woods (L. sulphureus), also known as sulfur shelf, also grows in eastern North America, and so could occur in Wildwood. It causes a heart rot and will appear part way up the tree, often way up the tree. It also has bright yellow pores. Cinnabar polpore (Pycnoporus cinnabarinus) is smaller, redder, rounder, and has larger pores.

Top of Mushroom
Mushroom from side



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