Range: Grows on dead or adult oak trees and several other species of hardwood, especially east of the Rocky Mountains.
Harvest Season: Generally summer, but can be found spring through summer if the climate is right.
Identifying Characteristics: This bracket mushroom does not have gills. It’s large and orange or salmon-pink on top, with a bright yellow underside. They grow in clumps along a variety of trees – primarily oak. Be sure you can identify the host tree accurately.
Dangerous Lookalikes: This species might be dangerous to eat if growing on certain trees, if eaten when it’s old, or improper cooking. Taste small, young, well-cooked bits before digging in. Specimens growing on several species of tree (pine, juniper, spruce, hemlock, eucalyptus, locust, fir, or tamarack) are particularly suspect – avoid them. If you can’t identify the tree for sure because it’s dead, play it safe and skip the ‘shroom. Sulphur shelf mushrooms growing on the tree species listed are actually a different, toxic, species.
Preparation: Only the young caps of this mushroom are soft enough to cook – don’t bother with the tough stem or older specimens. They’re known for a rich, meaty flavor.