Fungus Friday: Angel Wings

This Friday, we’re back in the Tillamook Forest, identifying more fungi!

This cute little white guy is Angel Wings, aka Pleurocybella porrigens. Pleurocybella poringens is a fairly common mushroom that pops up in the fall in coniferous forests. This setting describes the Tillamook Forest in October exactly, but it’s found across much of North America. It’s white, fan-shaped and has “decurrent” gills, which means the gills run down the entire underside of the mushroom.

While the name is not particularly reassuring (do you turn into an angel if you eat it?), my field guides (books I had checked out from the library) said Angel Wings are edible. In fact, a year or two ago, Nate ate some Angel Wings. We were chanterelle hunting with a friend of ours, and came across some Angel Wings. She said they were edible, so he ate it. He’s still alive, so it must be okay to eat, right?

Apparently, this is a topic of controversy in the mycology world. Learn Your Land has a really great video about Angel Wing mushrooms (all of his videos are excellent), and he addresses the controversy (skip to minute 9:00 if you only want to hear about whether Angel Wing mushrooms are safe to eat).

For those wondering, no, neither Nate nor I ate this mushroom this time around.

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