The Cauliflower Fungus, Sparassis crispa
One of our favourites, The Cauliflower or Brain Fungus, is an unusual large edible mushroom with an irregular, dome-shaped, labyrinthine fruiting body, attached to stubby lobes, rather than a singular stem. It varies in colour from light brown / buff, to yellow, grey or creamy white, and is usually found in association with coniferous trees, such as Scot's Pine, between July and November. The fungus requires prolonged and careful cleaning with a brush after harvesting, due to many folds that can trap debris, and should be cooked before eating. It is quite delicious! One of the best things about this fungus is it's ability to regenerate - if you harvest not to close to it's stem, it will regenerate itself, provided fresh, edible new growth in a week or two. A mini-mushroom farm!
Cauliflower Fungus Checklist
🌲 Coniferous woodland
🔗 Found in Association with Pine.
🌞🍂❄️ Between July and November
📈 Grows singly, under coniferous trees, such as Scot's Pine.
🍄 No defined cap, more of a mass of coral-like fronds that grow to look somewhat like a brain, up to 60cm across. Light brown / buff, to yellow, grey, or creamy white in colour.
⚛️ No gills.
♊️ No Stem. Attached to growing medium with stubby lobes.
⚪️🟡 The flesh is off-white to yellow, firm and a little rubbery when young, becoming softer later, and doesn't stain when cut or bruised.
Aroma / Taste
👃 Smells rather pleasant,
👅 Lovely, mild, nutty taste. texture similar to pasta when cooked.
😋 A Choice Edible Mushroom.
🟩 ID Difficulty - Beginner
👀 This is a very unique mushroom. It's brain-life shape and frilly fronds are key identifiers.
🤚 The rubbery texture is a key identifier of this mushroom.
🍄 Fungi - Used in mushroom recipes.