Bearded Tooth (Hericium erinaceus)

Description: With its clumps of hanging white "fur," this tooth fungus looks much like a polar bear's paw. It is pure white when fresh and young, but yellows with age.
The bearded tooth may grow quite large, as much as a foot across. Its size and whiteness make it easy to spot against the dark logs on which it grows.
Other names include bear's head, satyr's beard and hedgehog mushroom. Size: 4 to 12 inches across.
When and Where: Summer and fall; always on trees, logs or stumps.
Cautions: The bearded tooth is distinctive and has no poisonous look-alikes. There are several closely related species which are more open and branched, but all are good edibles.
Only young, white specimens should be eaten; older, yellowed ones are sour.
Cooking Hints: Slice, parboil until tender (taste a piece to test), drain and serve with cheese sauce.

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