Meripilus sumstinei – Black-staining Polypore

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The Black-staining polypore (Meripilus sumstinei) is an edible mushroom that is often confused for Hen-of-the-woods. It can be found growing at the base of deciduous trees, usually oaks, from July-September.
The Black-staining polypore has grayish-white caps that stain black when touched or cut. When young, the pore surface is white. The smell is reminiscent of Hen-of-the-woods.
Unlike Hen-of-the-woods, the Black-staining polypore is usually too tough to be palatable. However, the mushroom has a great flavor. It can be used to flavor broth or soup.

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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