Last Updated - 7/31/2013
Edible Wild Mushrooms Commonly Found In Pennsylvania And Personally Eaten Regularly
Bear's Head Tooth
Brick Caps / Brick Tops
Chicken of the Woods
Corrugated Cap Milky
Hedgehog Mushroom Big
Hen of the Woods
Horn of Plenty
Xanthoconium separans / Boletus separans
Lion's Mane / Old Man's Beard
Meadow Mushrooms / Pinkies
Quilted Green Russula
Trametes versicolor / Coriolus versicolor / Polyporus versicolor
RARE FINDS and/or QUESTIONABLE
The Prince ? or Almond Mushroom ?
Agaricus augustus or A. subrufescens
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Tinder Fungus / Hoof Fungus / Amadou / Tinder Polypore
I love the medicinal mushrooms. They are always there. There is no need to consider the weather being just right like you would with field mushrooms, morels or chanterelles, etc.
When you do go on a foray the more varieties you know the better chances you have of bringing something home. Here is a mushroom to consider adding to your list of desirables.
It is common in this area, as are dead or dying beech and birch trees, a couple of the tree hosts upon which it grows. It is also found quite regularly on other trees such as maple, cherry, hickory, tulip poplar, aspen and others.
It is quite common in southwestern Pa.
Although it is not eaten - it is much too hard even after cooking - it is a medicinal that people process and use. The tea-like infusion has no disagreeable taste.
Can you believe that a cloth can be processed from a portion of the fungus. A cloth that is super-absorbent and felt-like. A cloth ( amadou ) that will absorb every bit of moisture from an overly used, sopping wet dry fly so that in just a few compresses between such amadou layers it is again bone dry so that dry fly dressing can be applied to it again and immediately put back in use.
Tinder hoof is a perennial fungus. As long as the substrate has the nutrients it needs it will continue growing adding a pore layer each year.
Generally the size can get a little bigger than a grapefruit half. Odd shapes can be found. Some grow long. Some grow wide. Some grow thick.
Pores are light cream color when young tending to develope toward dark cream, then light tan, then light brownish, etc. The pores darken when handled.
The lighter the hue of the pores the younger the fruiting body.
The mushroom is also geotropic. It grows DOWN.
In my area, southwestern Pennsylvania, you can harvest many of the medicinal mushroom species that the vast majority of people don't bother with.
If you are considering picking some tinder hoof for medicinal purposes, such as a tea-like infusion or a broth for soups and stews, I would recommend that you pick the smaller ones.
It has been confirmed through scientific analysis that there are two distinct types of tinder fungus, genotype A and B.
It is probably best to use those tinder fungus mushrooms that grow on birch trees ( my theory ).
A tea-like infusion or broth will look like coffee or black tea. It tastes agreeable, sort of like black tea or black coffee does ( that's good - if you like black tea or black coffee ). You can get a little more flavor if the tea you make is made from the genotype A tinder fungus. But that's just my opinion.
Fomes fomentarius. A/K/A Tinder Fungus / Hoof Fungus / Amadou / Tinder Polypore
Weather conditions not relevant.