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!
"In a fruit forest everyone is happy"- Sepp Holzer
Location: North Georgia / Appalachian mountains , Zone 7B/8A
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.