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Laetiporus conifericola - edible?  RSS feed

 
Cris Bessette
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I just ordered and got some Laetiporus conifericola plug spawn. I ordered these specifically because I have some old pines I could use.

Upon reading up on "Chicken shelf" mushrooms though, the majority of sources say that Laetiporus conifericola generally should not be eaten,
and that Laetiporus sulphureus is the "good" one.

Obviously, I don't want to put these on a yew or something toxic in the conifer family- that would be bad, but what about white pine? yellow pine?







 
John Elliott
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I think you are venturing into unknown territory. Did you come across this page, which says a little about its edibility?

And for the latest, you are going to have to check with a full time mycological expert, like Tom Volk.
 
Cris Bessette
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I read through that page, it was pretty much the same as everywhere else I've looked (maybe it will make you sick, maybe not)


 
M.K. Dorje Jr.
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Approximately 10-15 % of all people have an allergy to Sulfur Shelf. In addition to this, many people have reported GI tract problems after eating Sulfur Shelf from Eucalyptus. The European species (whatever the Latin name may be now) is also not good to eat. However, the strain offered by fungi perfecti is probably edible for about 85-90% of all people, as long as you don't grow it on eucalyptus. However, I've tried growing the Fungi Perfecti strain on Douglas-fir stumps with zero luck. In conversations with Fungi Perfecti staff years ago, they claimed that Paul collected his strain from Douglas-fir, although I thought this sounded odd because I've been picking and eating Sulfur Shelf in the Pacific Northwest for over 25 years and I've never once seen it growing on Douglas -fir (or any kind of pines). I've always seen it on either Western hemlock (L. conifercola) or oaks (L. "sulfureus' group). Did you buy plug spawn from Fungi Perfecti?

Have you ever tried this species before? If not, my advice would be to only eat a small amount the first time you try Sulfur Shelf and to cook the mushroom thoroughly. Do not eat older, tougher specimens- they taste lousy anyway. You want the young stuff.

That being said, Sulfur Shelf is one of my favorites and I love to collect and eat it every year! It is really delicious when dipped in egg/beer batter and fried up in a pan. I even water a big old oak tree in my girlfriend's yard with a hose with a mist nozzle every summer to get a crop of Sulfur Shelf every September. This is is the only "cultivation" success I've had with this one, however. I wish you the best of luck!

 
Cris Bessette
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I bought some laetiporus conifericola from Bountiful Gardens, who apparently does get their supplies from Fungi Perfecti (fungi.com)

Here is a response from a rep at Fungi Perfecti sent this morning in response to my questions:

"There has been Mycological Detective work done on this matter in the form of surveys. Over 90% of those included in the surveys who ate Laetiporus conifericola or Laetiporus gilbertsonii experience any gastrointestinal distress. So it is a small percentage that have any reaction."

"In most cases, people who experience any issues are ones who ate the mushrooms raw (which we always tell people to cook mushrooms before eating them... ALWAYS). And in most cases people encounter problems with gilbertsonii which grows on Eucalyptus and Oak. Very rare is it conifericola (which is the species we offer). It is always a good idea to eat a small amount of any new mushroom before you dive in and splurge on it because the Laetiporus species are not the only mushrooms with this debate."



So I guess that answers my questions about edibility, now to figure out if it will grow on types of pine trees, or only hemlocks/spruces and such.




 
Fred Tyler
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Any update? Did they grow? Did they make you sick?
 
Cris Bessette
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Fred Tyler wrote:Any update? Did they grow? Did they make you sick?


Nope to all three. nothing grew. I ordered a different kind last fall (oyster mushroom?) and those refused to grow either.

Not having any luck with mushroom groing.

 
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