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Dryad’s Saddle

Edible Edible
Spring Spring
Summer Summer

The largest capped mushroom in the UK starting early in the year and sometimes lasting until the end of Summer.

 

Mushroom Type
Common Names Dryad's Saddle, Scaly Polypore, Pheasants Back
Scientific Name Polyporus squamosus
Season Start May
Season End Aug
Average Mushroom height (CM) 0
Average Cap width (CM) 60
Please note that each and every mushroom you come across may vary in appearance to these photos.

Cap

A large circular or fan shaped bracket. Ochre to dark yellow with darker, concentic circles of brown scales.

Pores

Large angular and irregular off white to ochre pores that run down the stem.

Stem

A woody lateral stem up to 8cm darkening to black at the base.

Flesh

White, thick and succulent when young becoming leathery then corky as it matures.

Habitat

Deciduous trees and stumps.

Possible Confusion

It would be difficult to confuse this mushroom with any other.

Spore Print

White. Ellipsoid.

Taste / Smell

A bit like water melon when young, fresh and raw but mushroomy when cooked or dried and powdered for stock.

Frequency

Common.

Other Facts

This is the largest capped mushroom in the UK and can until become so heavy it can no longer support itself and will fall from it’s position and be found unattached at the base of it’s host tree. Although this mushroom is edible fresh I prefer it dried and powdered to make a good mushroom stock and as it can be so large a lot of stock can be gathered.

COMMENTS

17 comments for Dryad’s Saddle

  1. Noah says:

    Are the spors poisonous?

    1. Eric Biggane says:

      Hi Noah, the spores of an edible mushroom are not normally poisonous (except the Puffball family whose spores can be dangerous if inhaled).

  2. Rik says:

    Does this occur in the northwest of the UK or is it more southern areas? Thanks.

    1. Eric Biggane says:

      I have found them in the Northwest and in Scotland so you should be able to find some later in the year.

  3. amber Gillett says:

    Thankyou for your advice. I found one in the woods today. It was enormous quite possibly bigger than 60cm.

  4. Kelly says:

    Hi, I think I found some of these today growing around the base of a tree, the only difference is the gills, the ones I found appear to have gills underneath, is it the same mushroom? Thanks

    1. Eric Biggane says:

      If they have gills they are not Dryads Saddles.

  5. Brian Ackroyd says:

    Hi, I live in northeast Scotland, 8 years ago we felled a sycamore tree that was too near our back door, in the last two years have been enjoying dryad’s for breakfast with the egg and bacon. Delicious, appear in mid April…

  6. Matthew McSharry says:

    Just found some near Broughton Woods, near Brigg, North Lincolnshire on a family walk out. Thought I’d let any nearby foragers know!

  7. jan says:

    Infound a tree loads of them today. They are not young anymore but not spoiled yet. They were quite dry and rather hard so I left them. As I see them recommended as a powder in stocks, I wondered if these could still have been used.

    1. Eric Biggane says:

      As long as they look and smell ok they can be dried and turned into stock.

  8. synchro says:

    hello from wales,

    i’ve just found a sick ash tree with massive dryad’s saddle brackets around the base. (this means whit rot for the tree apparently.)

    i’m going to try drying this for stock. it’s a great idea. thanks.

    also wondering if anyone has any hints for what to do with the fresh mushroom? recipes or experiences?

    have found lots of lovely ‘chicken of the woods’ recently on lovely old oak trees. it’s better than chicken!

    1. Eric Biggane says:

      Fresh Dryads Saddle can be used in soups or stews or very young ones might work in a fruit salad as the very young specimens taste like watermelon.(I haven’t tried it with other fruit myself)

  9. Edward Wynne says:

    Found one in north Newcastle upon Tyne. How do you suggest I dry it?

    1. Eric Biggane says:

      Slice the mushroom into 3-4mm slices and place on a rack if possible in a warm place with some air movement. A fan helps and is probably better than heat

  10. Eric Biggane says:

    Send photos of the cap, stem, underside and where it is growing to [email protected][email protected][email protected]

  11. Eric Biggane says:

    Send photos of the cap, stem, underside and where it is growing to [email protected]

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