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.

The tiny spines on the underside of the cap are a key identifying feature of this mushroom.

Dryad's Saddle Checklist


🌳 Deciduous Woodland
🏑 Urban Green Spaces, including scrubland, parks and gardens.

Fruiting Season

🌸🌞 Between May and August

Growth Habit

πŸ“ˆ Grows singly on living or dead hardwood trees.


πŸ„ Large, fan shaped bracket. brow-yellow in colour with concentic patterns of brown scales known as "squamules".


βš›οΈ No gills. This mushroom has white-yellow, tightly-packed tubular pores on the underside of the cap.


β™ŠοΈ A short, tough stem 8-10 cm long. Often darkening to black at the base.


βšͺ️ The flesh is thick, white and firm when young, becoming tough and leathery when older.

Edible Parts

πŸ„ Only young caps are edible, as older leathery caps become corky and unpalatable. The stems are woody and inedible.

Aroma / Taste

πŸ‘ƒ Smells like watermelon rind when young and raw.
πŸ‘… mild mushroomy taste when cooked.

ID Notes

🟩 ID Difficulty - Beginner
πŸ‘€ The large cap, distinctive concentric scales and closely-packed tubular pores are the key identifiers of this mushroom.
πŸ‘ƒ The watermelon rind smell of young specimens is also a key identifier.


πŸ„ Fungi - Used in mushroom recipes.