Cerioporus squamosus – Dryad’s Saddle

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Dryad’s Saddle (Cerioporus squamosus) is a choice edible mushroom when found young.
Dryad’s saddle, or Pheasant back, can be found in the spring and fall, fruiting on dead or dying hardwood trees. Look for the fungus 1-2 days after a heavy rain. The mushroom is parasitic, causing white rot disease to the tree.
Dryad’s saddle can be identified by its brown scales on the cap and white pores underneath. It has a unique scent of watermelon rind.
For choice edibility, the mushroom should be harvested when the pores are small and tightly packed. When the pores are larger, as pictured above, the mushroom will be tough. This is a fast-growing fungus, so must be picked within 1-2 days of fruiting.
If found when young and tender, the mushroom can be sautéed to enjoy its mild earthy flavor.
If the mushroom is not found until it is older, it can be used to make a delicious mushroom stock.

Written by Amy Demers, founder of the Connecticut Foraging Club. To learn more about foraging in Connecticut, check out our upcoming classes.

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