Beefsteak Polypore

(Fistulina hepatica)

Other Names:
N/A

Range:
image
Note: Wide ranging genus, but more common in the Eastern US

Family:
Fistulinaceae– Beefsteak family

Growth Type:
This mushroom looks and tastes remarkably like beefsteak. Like a steak, it is pink inside, gelatinous and marbled in appearance. When it's young, it even bleeds a reddish juice when you cut it. As it ages, the color fades to reddish-brown, and the flesh dries out.

Cap:
Typically erect, although sometimes trailing 3 - 4 feet tall, but can grow much taller under favorable conditions.

Stem:
Can be 2"-4" long, and 3/8"-1¼" thick, very short, and blood-red.

Tubes:
10 - 15 mm long; free.

Pores:
1 mm wide; circular; whitish to yellowish-buff, becoming reddish-brown.

Spores:
4.5 - 6 x 3 - 4 µ; oval, smooth, colorless to pale yellow.

Spore Print:
Pinkish-salmon.

Height:
Shelf mushroom ¾" - 1½" thick.

Miscellaneous characteristics:
N/A.

National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms Description:

Fleshy, somewhat gelatinous, juicy, spoon-shaped, to semicircular, flat, reddish cap with separate tubes and off-white to pinkish-yellow pores.

Cap: 3"-10" wide, while the flesh is 2-2½" thick.

Stalk: can be 2"-4" long, and 3/8"-1¼" thick, very short, and blood-red.

Spores: oval, smooth, colorless to pale yellow. Spore print pinkish-salmon.

Season:
July-October

Habitat:
On dead oak trunks and stumps, or at base of living oaks.

Parts Used:
Entire young mushroom.

Cautions:
None

Uses:
Wild Food Uses:
The tender young flesh is wonderful sautéed in butter. I reserve the older specimens for soups and stews. As the name would imply, this mushroom has been used as a meat substitute. While I have used it in stews to 'extend' the meat I had, on its own I find it to be a poor substitute for meat.

The following text is meant for informational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness or injury. Always consult with a physician or other qualified medical care provider concerning the diagnosis and treatment of any illness or injury.

Medicinal Uses:
None known

Medicinal Actions:
N/A

image image