Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Early Season Finds

Tremella lutescens, Witch's Butter

Lenzites betulina

Took a stroll in the woods to see what's up. It's still early in the season and not unusual for night temperatures to dip down to freezing. The top photo is Tremella lutescens (= T. mesenterica). It is edible but tasteless. I've heard some use it in soups. You usually find it on dead wood in damp weather.

Thanks to the 1st comment ever to this blog, the bottom picture is identified as Lenzites betulina. L. betulina is actually a Polypore, but it has gills as seen in the picture. Tough as shoe-leather and just as edible, some research indicates possible medicinal uses (antitumor, immunosuppressive). Might be able to grind and use in a tea?


Anonymous said...

I believe that's Birch Maze-gill, Lenzites betulina. It grows on trees other than Birch too, so don't worry about the name of it referring to Birch.

John Denk

Rick Burroughs said...

Thanks for the id. Viewing from the top, I was sure it was a polypore. The gills confused me. They were slender and soft, not quite what you expect from a polypore.