Scientific name: Laetiporus sulphureus (Bull.) Murrill
Derivation of name: Laet- means "pleasing" or "bright"
and por- means "pores." Sulphureus
refers to "sulphur yellow."
Synonymy: Polyporus sulphureus Bull.: Fr.
Common names: Chicken mushroom, sulphur shelf.
Occurrence on wood substrate: Parasitic and saprobic;
solitary or more commonly in compound clusters and
rosettes on living and dead hardwood tree trunks, logs, and
stumps, particularly oak (Quercus); May through
Dimensions: Individual caps 5-30 cm wide; clusters up to
75 cm across.
Upper surface: Bright to dull orange, fading to pale
orange and white in age; radially wrinkled and roughened;
Pore surface: Sulphur-yellow; pores 3-4 per mm.
Edibility: Edible, considered choice.
Comments: One of the largest and most colorful fungi, it is
also considered a choice edible with tender portions tasting
like white chicken meat. Individual allergies can occur and
specimens growing on certain substrates or
alcohol are reported to cause digestive
Utilizing molecular techniques and mating
incompatibility studies, Burdsall and Banik (2001)
L. sulphureus as one of six species of
Laetiporus in North
America, three of which occur in
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Laetiporus sulphureus on the trunk of a
© Fred Habegger.
Laetiporus sulphureus on a log. Photo © Gary
Figure 3. The distinctive orange caps with paler margins of
Laetiporus sulphureus. Photo © Pam Kaminski.
Figure 4. This award-winning photograph by John Plischke
III clearly shows the orange caps and sulphur-yellow pore
surface of the Chicken mushroom.
Photo © John Plischke III.
Figure 5. A beautiful specimen of Chicken mushroom growing
on a log. Photo © Dorothy Smullen.
Figure 6. Note
how wrinkled the margins are. Photo © Pam
Figure 7. The yellow pore surface of Laetiporus sulphureus.
Laetiporus means "pleasing" or "beautiful" pores.
Photo © Gary
Figure 8. A spectacular fruiting of L. sulphureus.
Unfortunately, the specimens were old and faded.
Photo © Gary Emberger.
This specimen grew on an oak tree in New Hampshire.
The gentleman (above) who found it was quite concerned until
his friend (above) identified it as chicken-of-the-woods.
Photo © Melissa Emberger.