Sunday, October 9, 2016

Lion's Mane, Satyr's Beard, and Bearded Hedgehogs, Oh My...

Lion's Mane (Satyr's Beard) on a dying tree

     Fall rains often bring an explosion of mushrooms. One of my favorites is a distinctive one that goes by a variety of names: Lion's Mane, Satyr's Beard, Bearded Tooth Mushroom, Pom Pom Mushroom, and Bearded Hedgehog Mushroom among many others. In Japan it goes by the name Yamabushitake and is used in many Asian dishes.

The soft toothy projections that disperse the spores are fairly evident here

     Toothed Mushrooms disperse their spores by dropping them below their toothy fringes. It is considered edible, as I mentioned before, particularly in Asian vegetarian dishes. It is supposed to taste like seafood and substitute for it. I wouldn't go that far. I think it absorbs the flavors of what's around it and can add consistency and act as a soup thickener though. It shows up for sale sometimes in specialty shops and farmers markets. 

Diced and sliced

     It can come in various sizes. Our urban forester Vincent Verweij once found a huge one weighing several pounds in a tree that had to come down for safety reasons. That meant there was plenty for all of to share. My whole family agreed that it was delicious! Now it's something I hope to find every Fall.

Some sizzles in a pan in my kitchen

     Interestingly, some people are investigating it for supposed medicinal values. So far it is showing remarkable promise, some studies showing it can help improve memory, help with nerve damage, and improve other memory issues. Regardless of all that, I found it an interesting thing and tasty treat for my family.

Our urban forester Vincent Verweij with just a portion of a huge Lion's Mane from a tree that had to be taken down.
A small Satyr's Beard, with a Leopard Slug ready to feast on it too


  1. Nice photos, and thanks for posting. I've not seen a Satyr's Beard yet in the area of Bull Run and Fountainhead where I hike most of the time. I'll be on the look-out now.

  2. Yes, found a nice young Lion's Mane off Sligo Creek last weekend. So tasty!