Visual key Our illustrated key shows examples of all the major mushrooms genera and other fungi, so you can try to match your find to the pictures. Click on the mushroom name to view all the mushrooms in that group
Hen of the Woods grow at the base of oak trees. These mushrooms are beloved by the Japanese as maitake; they also happen to be my personal favorite. They grow in large, dull brown clumps (as a polypore or bracket fungus) that look like the back of a brown hen’s ruffled feathers. The mushroom caps are attached to each other by short white stems. These mushrooms can grow to be several pounds and more than 2 feet wide. On the east coast they appear in September and October.