Hericium coralloides – Coral Tooth Fungus

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Coral Tooth Fungus (Hericium coralloides) is an edible mushroom that fruits late August to October. It can be found throughout North America and Europe, as well as in India, Russia, China, and Japan.
Coral tooth fungus can be found growing on dead or decaying hardwoods, especially oak and beech. It is saprobic and possibly somewhat parasitic.
Coral tooth fungus has teeth and branches out irregularly. Younger specimens are white. They become increasingly yellowish with age.
Coral tooth fungus is often confused for Bear’s head tooth (Hericium americanum) which has longer teeth in loosely clustered branches. Lion’s mane (Hericium erinaceous) also looks similar, but has a pom-pom shape. Lion’s mane has the longest teeth.
All three Hericium species are edible and medicinal. Coral tooth fungus has a nutty, mushroom flavor with a hint of shellfish and a texture similar to crabmeat.
Hericium species are being studied for their neuroprotective effects and their potential for use in treatment of Dementia.

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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