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Old Man's Beard

Hericium erinaceus


Found this type of toothed fungus growing alone on a fallen tree in a part of the Coronado National Forest. Known also as: the Pom Pom Mushroom, the Lion's Mane Mushroom/Lion's Mane Hericium, the Bearded Tooth, a Hedgehog Mushroom, a Satyr's Beard, the Bearded Tooth Fungus, Bearded Hedgehog Mushroom -- you get the idea.


Growing alone on fallen trees up at elevations over 5,000 feet. H. erinaceus occurs in temperate regions of the world, from North America and Europe to Japan and China. It thrives off of dead or chopped hardwoods (as in this case), including beech, maple, walnut, and oak. Fruits from spring to winter.


Mildly entertaining. As a medicine (see, H. erinaceus has been used to combat many ailments. In China, it is prescribed (as an extract) to patients suffering from digestrive tract issues, such as stomach and liver cancer. In Japan, it has shown to stimulate nerve growth while also healing myelin and nerve tissue. In modern use, it has been used to treat patients with gastritis and hepatoma and has shown positive results. Aside from all these nice benefits, this mushroom has a reputation for being delicious in meals as well. Its strange stringy texture is described as resembling seafood, and it is in high cultivation to meet a common market in China. Those small noodle-like "strings" are used for cooking, as the base is much too hard and tough to be of any other use besides slingshot ammo.

No species ID suggestions


Ivan Rodriguez
Ivan Rodriguez 5 years ago

Haha that's great!! So did the mushroom (can they sleep?) when I tapped it with a stick and it (unfortunately) fell off. At least the ground bugs got a great meal outta it! :)

keithp2012 5 years ago

It stayed asleep luckily :)

Ivan Rodriguez
Ivan Rodriguez 5 years ago

Uh oh, how'd that turn out for you Keith?

keithp2012 6 years ago

One time I bumped into a sleeping bat thinking it was a leaf, that was kinda scary ha ha!

Ivan Rodriguez
Ivan Rodriguez 6 years ago

Hahhah I don't know about that one! This freaked me out the first time I saw it honestly, as I was expecting it to jump off the tree in my direction, where things could get ugly. But it was friendly. :)

keithp2012 6 years ago

Whats more cuter than a pet rock, a hairy mushroom you can pet! :)

Arizona, USA

Lat: 31.73, Long: -110.88

Spotted on Aug 28, 2011
Submitted on Aug 28, 2011

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