HONEY FUNGUS,

HONEY FUNGUS,

Found growing in large clusters on trunks, stumps and dead wood mainly, the Honey Fungus, Armillaria Mellea, has a conical cap when it is young which will gradually flatten out and then turn slightly upwards. The caps are a honey colour, hence its name, ranging from brightish yellow through to a brown colour and the gills start of white before turning yellow and brown. It grows to roughly 15cm high with a similar cap width, is fairly common to see and usually grows in large groups .

These pretty little mushrooms can be harvested from Autumn through to mid winter and apparently have a good flavour, I have yet to try them myself, but can cause slight gastric upset with some people. It is definitely recommended to cook this fungi before consuming. I found these large clusters in early November in a fairly local woodland, but due to work commitments I have yet been able to return and pick some to eat but I do now know where they will probably grow again next year so I have made a note in my foraging diary and will return next season.

The Honey Fungus is responsible for killing many trees and can live on its host tree alive or dead and regularly spreads underground and kills its host eventually. Apparently Armillaria has formed what is thought to be the largest living single organism on the planet reportedly spanning over 3 miles in size and could be thousands of years old.

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