Dryad's Saddle, Cerioporus squamosus
The Dryad's Saddle, also called the Pheasant's Back Mushroom, is a common bracket fungus found growing on living and dead hardwood trees. It has a very wide distribution and is found all over the UK from Spring to Autumn. It is commonly found attached to dead logs or stumps by a thick stem, and the yellow-brown fruit body is 8–50 cm across and up to 10 cm thick. The upper side is covered in "squamules", or scales, that resemble the feather formation on a pheasant's back (which is where it gets it's common name), whereas the underside contains closely-packed tubular pores. The Dryad's Saddle smells faintly of melon rind when raw, and young specimens have a mild, nutty flavour once cooked. Older specimens become rubbery and therefore inedible with age.
Dryad's Saddle Checklist
🌳 Deciduous Woodland
🏡 Urban Green Spaces, including scrubland, parks and gardens.
🌸🌞 Between May and August
📈 Grows singly on living or dead hardwood trees.
🍄 Large, fan shaped bracket. brow-yellow in colour with concentic patterns of brown scales known as "squamules".
⚛️ No gills. This mushroom has white-yellow, tightly-packed tubular pores on the underside of the cap.
♊️ A short, tough stem 8-10 cm long. Often darkening to black at the base.
⚪️ The flesh is thick, white and firm when young, becoming tough and leathery when older.
🍄 Only young caps are edible, as older leathery caps become corky and unpalatable. The stems are woody and inedible.
Aroma / Taste
👃 Smells like watermelon rind when young and raw.
👅 mild mushroomy taste when cooked.
🟩 ID Difficulty - Beginner
👀 The large cap, distinctive concentric scales and closely-packed tubular pores are the key identifiers of this mushroom.
👃 The watermelon rind smell of young specimens is also a key identifier.
🍄 Fungi - Used in mushroom recipes.