Chicken of the Woods

Laetiporus sulphureus

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  2. Fungi
  3. Chicken of the Woods

About

It is easy to spot this distinctive bracket fungus with its bright sulphur yellow colour.  It grows often quite high up on the trunks of standing deciduous trees typically oak. It gets its name from the texture of its flesh which is said to resemble cooked chicken.  It is also called the sulphur polypore. 

How to identify

Bright sulphur yellow fungus comprising of several thick overlapping brackets up to 40cm across. The individual brackets are soft and spongy when young. The brackets are fan-shaped and undulating with an incurved margin. The upper surface is velvety, bright yellow to orange with a zoned margin. Underside is yellow and covered with pores.

Where to find it

On decidous trees in woods, parks and gardens. Often oak but it is also found on beech, chestnut and cherry. It can also be found on yew trees

Habitats

When to find it

  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November

How can people help

Fungi are an important part of our woodland ecology, helping to recycle nutrients from dead or decaying organic matter. Many animals depend on them, too. The Wildlife Trusts look after many woodland reserves, managing them for the benefit of the wildlife present, often leaving standing and fallen dead wood which supports fungi. You can help by having log piles and dead wood in your own garden to encourage fungi. In partnership with the RHS, The Wildlife Trusts' Wild About Gardens initiative can help you plan your wildlife garden.

Species information

Common name
Chicken of the Woods
Latin name
Laetiporus sulphureus
Category
Fungi
Statistics
Caps up to 40cm across 3-12cm thick.
Conservation status
Common