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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.


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


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


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


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


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.



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.


7 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.

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