Cauliflower fungus

Sparassis cripa

cauliflower fungusThe cauliflower fungus or wood cauliflower as it is otherwise known is a very intriguing looking fungus that we first found whilst walking through the new forest in the month of October. It is very easy to see why it came to be called after the cauliflower with a large white florette made up of thin, wavy clusters of flesh, roughly 10-50cm in diameter. When young it has a clean white/cream, moist appearance, which yellows, dries and stiffens with age. It has a slight cheese aroma. We found this to be one of the very best mushrooms we have eaten, if a little difficult to clean sometimes as dirt and pine needles become trapped in the flesh of the fungus.

Distribution

This fungus appears mostly in northern Europe and is fairly common where conditions are favourable.

Habitat

Cauliflower grows in coniferous woodland, usually found at the base of pine trees growing amongst the loose pine needles

Fruiting

It is usually found in prime season, September to November.

Edibility

One of the finest tasting mushrooms there is, a wonderful treat.

Similar species

Cauliflower fungus is fairly distinctive, but those who have not yet met this fungus could possibly confuse it with the zoned rosette or the rosso coral.

2 Responses to “Cauliflower fungus”

  1. ed says:

    Thanks Judi,
    We did find the St.George’s mushrooms a couple of days back, they made a delicious addition to our stew pot, not losing their firmness and taste after cooking.
    We’ll be putting up pictures and reports about it soon.
    Happy St.George’s Day.
    love
    Ed

  2. Judi says:

    Just read the excellent article in today’s Telegraph (18th April) – what a fabulous adventure!

    You need to be looking for St George’s Mushrooms now – the one’s in the wood by my house (North Yorkshire) are about two weeks early this year. They’re absolutely delicious.

    Good Luck!

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