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This glorious cascade of brackets was a delightful surprise during a recent woodland meander.

This is the wonderfully named Chicken-of-the-woods (Laetiporus sulphurous), which apparently tastes like chicken, hence the name. However, as Pat O’Reilly writes in Fascinated by Fungi: ‘Young caps taste rather like chicken; old ones taste more like the wood!’ and ‘Never eat Chicken of the Woods gathered from Yews’ because, of course, almost every part of the Yew is poisonous.

210910 chicken-of-the-woods (3)

I’ve only seen these bright yellow-and-orange brackets growing on Oak, though they can also be found on Beech and Sweet chestnut as well as Yew. They are large, growing up to 40cm across, with a velvety upper surface and pores below.