Last Updated - 2.18.2015
Edible Wild Mushrooms Commonly Found In Pennsylvania And Personally Eaten Regularly
Photo of winecap Stropharia
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Aborted Armillaria
Armillaria abortivum
Aborted entoloma

Almost Bluing
King Boletus

Boletus subcaerulescens

Bear's Head Tooth
Hericium americanum

Birch Polypore
Piptoporus betulinus

Black Trumpets
Craterellus fallax

Clitocybe nuda

Brick Caps / Brick Tops
Hypholoma sublateritium

Cauliflower Mushroom
Sparassis spathulata

Chicken of the Woods
Laetiporus sulphureus

Inonotus obliquus

Comb Tooth
Hericium coralloides

Common Laccaria
Laccaria laccata

Corrugated Cap Milky
Lactarius corrugis

Dryad's Saddle
Polyporus squamosus

Giant Puffball
Langemannia gigantea

Golden Chanterelle
Cantharellus cibarius

Hedgehog Mushroom Big
Dentinum repandum

Hedgehog Little
Dentinum umbilicatum

Hen of the Woods
Grifola frondosa

Honey Mushrooms
Armilleria mellea

Horn of Plenty
Craterellus cornucopioides

Horse Mushroom
Agaricus arvensis

Hygrophorus Milky
Lactarius hygrophoroides

Lilac Bolete
Xanthoconium separans / Boletus separans

Lingzhi / Reishi
Ganoderma lucidum & G. tsugae

Lion's Mane / Old Man's Beard
Hericium erinaceus

Meadow Mushrooms / Pinkies
Agaricus compestris

Oyster Mushroom
Pleurotus ostreatus

Purple-gilled Laccaria
Laccaria ochropurpurea

Quilted Green Russula
Russula virescens

Red Chanterelle
Cantharellus cinnabarinus

Rooted Oudemansiella
Oudemansiella radicata

Shaggy Mane
Coprinus comatus

Smooth Chanterelle
Cantharellus lateritius

Tinder Fungus
Fomes fomentarius

Turkey Tail
Trametes versicolor / Coriolus versicolor / Polyporus versicolor

Two-colored Bolete
Boletus bicolor

Voluminous-latex Milky
Lactarius volemus

Winter Chanterelle
Cantharellus tubaeformis
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The Prince ? or Almond Mushroom ?
Agaricus augustus or A. subrufescens
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Wild Food Foraging
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Ganoderma applanatum

Artist's Conk / Artist's Bracket

I have been picking large Artist's Conks, when found, for over 40 years. Many were scratched upon in an attempt to come up with some masterpiece, some were dried and then sold so others could scratch upon them for their masterpieces and some were processed to use as an oil painting surface.

At some point in the past ( early 80's ) I did some Wildlife and/or Western Art painting and on occasion when I had a really big conk I let it dry thoroughly, sanded the surface to be ultra-smooth and perfect and then applied several layers of gesso. With that process I had a 'canvas' of sorts that would hold the oil paint very well.

Photo of the pore surface of a polypore Artist's Conk - Ganoderma applanatum

I must say that some of those paintings turned out really good. I gave a few to friends and they still have them on the shelves at their places.

For about 15 years now I have been gathering Artist's Conks for two reasons. I use the small ones for medicinal purposes, that is, as a tonic or broth for health maintenance and the large ones for future art projects.
When I get too many conks accumulated - large or small ones, I sell the excess.
There are plenty of buyers that like good health and just as many that like to create some fine art. Probably many are old folks - like me.

With regard to the medicinal aspect of Ganoderma mushrooms there are extensive articles by scientific agencies about ongoing research. Specifically with regard to G. applanatum -

Ganoderma applanatum research yields 71 results

Artist's Conk has many of the same healthful chemical constituents that are found in Lingzhi / Reishi - Ganoderma lucidum and G. tsugae.

Artist's Conk is a polypore. The undersurface is composed of a white spore surface that has thousands upon thousands of little holes.
The mushroom grows mostly on dead trees. However it can be found growing on the sapwood of very old living trees as well. Decomposer mushrooms such as these are essential to the well being of a forest by returning nutrients back into soil.

Photo of two nice sized Artist's Conks - Ganoderma applanatum
These two Artist's Conk have a shelf width that meets my requirementsis for collecting.

The upper surface is very hard and usually is covered with spore dust. Although the spores are discharged from the bottom of the mushroom the electrostatic forces and air currents combine to deposit many of the spores from the spore cloud onto the upper cap surface.

Photo of the cap surface showing the spore deposit turning the cap a cinnamon-brown - Ganoderma applanatum
Here the cinnamon-brown spore coating can be seen at the bottom left and on top of the cap.

A good place to search for larger sized Artist's Conks is in a forest that has been around for a while.
Since this mushroom is a perennial it gets larger every year so you want a place where there have been some trees growing for many, many years and that have some that have succumbed to the ravages of time.

An even better search area is along a creek of some sort which is part of the old forest because there is always some erosion going on along a creek that washes away the soil, undermines root systems and causes trees to tumble down a bank.
Once the tree is down on the ground, or even better by being near water constantly, the process of decomposition starts pretty fast.

Photo of a large tree that had toppled down the bank and fell into the stream where Artist's Conk have found a home - Ganoderma applanatum
They can grow just as easy underneath a log so don't always expect them attached to a side of a tree.

The other size conks I collect are the small ones, no bigger than my hand, for use as a medicinal tonic or broth.
I scrub them with a brush under running water and then slice them thin.

Photo of smaller Artist's Conks which will be used for teas, tonics and broth - Ganoderma applanatum

Hundreds of slices later they are ready to dehydrate.
Simmer a bunch of slices in a couple of cups of water and use the broth as tea or as an addition when making soup. There is no disagreeable taste to the broth so using as a tea or soup base works great.
Plus, it's good for you.

Photo of hundreds of slices of Artist's Conk - Ganoderma applanatum


Ganoderma applanatum. Artist's Conk / Artist's Bracket.
DATE - year around.
FOUND - In the Laurel mountains of western Westmoreland County and Somerset County. I like to look near streams so walking trout streams searching for these also allows me to scout for good spots along that stream for trout fishing.

Weather conditions not relevant.

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