What is Growing on This New York Tree?
Nature sure does provide some amazing things to look at!
If you spend any time hiking or walking on any of the hundreds of trails in the Hudson Valley, the next time you are out in nature, keep your eyes open because you might see one of these up close, but what is it?
Lion's Mane Mushroom
Every month the folks at the Dutchess Land Conservancy share on social media a specific picture of a fungus that they are featuring for that month. For the month of April, they are featuring one of the coolest-looking fungi I've seen in a while, the Lion's Mane Mushroom. They say that the mushroom can be found growing primarily on dead trees in North America, Europe, and Asia, but in some cases, it can be seen growing on live trees as well.
Can You Eat Lion's Mane Mushrooms?
Yes, Lion's Mane is edible but many health and food experts recommend that the mushroom be cooked thoroughly before eating. People that have tried it have described it as tender, delicate, spongy, meaty, and juicy with some saying it tastes similar to crab meat and lobster. One of the most famous chefs in the world Martha Stewart says that Lion's Mane is an excellent substitute for crab or lobster for folks that suffer from shellfish allergies.
Other Names for the Lion's Mane Mushroom
Its German name is Igel-Stachelbart, which translates to hedgehog goatee, which if you look at the picture above does kind of look like a goatee of sorts...LOL! Other nicknames that some have used for the mushroom include, Hericium Erinaceus, Bearded Hedgehog, Bearded Tooth Fungus, and Mountain-Priest Mushroom.
If you happen to see a "hedgehog goatee" while you are hiking in the Hudson Valley, please snap a picture and send it to us through the Wolf Country app. Don't forget to include where you took the picture.