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Terracotta Hedgehog

Edible Edible
Autumn Autumn
Summer Summer

An easily identified mushroom with a great taste that grows in many types of woodland.

Mushroom Type
Common Names Terracotta Hedgehog (EN), Terracotta Wood Urchin, Rufous Hedgehog, Pigau Draenog Cochlyd (CY), Kolczak Rudawy (PL), Sárgásvörös Gereben (HU)
Scientific Name Hydnum rufescens
Season Start Sep
Season End Dec
Average Mushroom height (CM) 4-7
Average Cap width (CM) 3-6
Please note that each and every mushroom you come across may vary in appearance to these photos.


3-6 cm. Terracotta, red orange coloured lighter towards the edges. It has a fine woolly texture with unevenly lobed edges and quite often the cap sits eccentrically on the stem.


Has off white to pinkish spines that are easily brushed off. The spines do not run down the stem (decurrent) like they do on the Wood Hedgehog (Hydnum repandum).


4-7 cm long, 1.5-3 cm diameter. Off white to pinkish usually fairly thin but can be short and wide.


Whitish and firm, can have some pink/salmon tones.


Mainly with coniferous trees but will grow in some broadleaf woodland.

Possible Confusion

The Hedgehog Fungus (Hydnum repandum), pictured, is very similar but is usually lighter in colour and has a shorter stem with decurrent spines, (running down the stem).

Spore Print

White, Ellipsoid.

Taste / Smell

Mild but mushroomy.


Fairly common.


4 comments for Terracotta Hedgehog

  1. Alex says:

    It’s August 10th 2019 and I discovered a number of mushrooms that appear to have a similarity with terracotta hedgehog mushrooms in that they are a chanterelle orange and have teeth as in the description. Where they differ is that the steam is short and thick and the teeth / spines run down the steam a short way. The steam colour is salmon pink and the spore print is white. Holding off eating until I can be totally sure I know what they are.

    1. Eric Biggane says:

      Hi Alex, it sounds like a Hedgehog Fungus, Hydnum repandum, it can have an off white orangey colour and the spines continue down the stem a bit. Without photos though I can’t be sure.

    2. Alex Crow says:

      There is a parasitic fungus that turns other mushrooms orange and is edible and delicious in itself – could be the one you found was infected with this?

  2. Alex says:

    Thank you both, they’re back again this year, still orange in colour very similar in colour to a chanterelle. They’re growing under beech trees.

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