Day 4 – Turkey Tails

Turkey Tails

* Please note:  I am an amateur when it comes to plant and animal identification, I fully accept that my identification could be completely incorrect, but hey, I tried!  Do not eat anything unless you have it identified by an experienced mycologist.

Every week I take an amble through nature just to refresh the brain.  Every time I go I find some feature that I never noticed before especially when I go with my observant kids.  This week’s find was a group of mushrooms with the name of turkey tails.  How can you not love a mushroom with that name!

In the spirit of lifelong learning, here are some facts about turkey tail mushrooms.

  • The name turkey tail is derived (obviously) from the tail of a wild turkey which has a similar banded appearance.
  • It is located on many types of hardwood.
  • One of the most common North American shrooms.
  • They are edible, but are mainly consumed in tea form as they tend to be tough.
  • It is believed to be a medicinal mushroom which boosts the immune system to fight infection and some kinds of cancers; though, some of the websites I perused stated that this is a myth.
  • These mushrooms act as a decomposing agent, digesting the organic material from the rotting log and returning the nutrients to the soil.  Nature is so beautifully efficient.

Now there is a definite chance that I located a false turkey tail and will need to return back to the spot where I found them to investigate further as I need to have a look at the underside of the mushroom to see where the spores are located.  Yay, another adventure!

Nature alone is an antique, and the oldest art a mushroom. – Thomas Carlyle


If you want to know more, here are a few sites I used for research purposes:

Mushroom Appreciation

Bay Nature

Mushroom Collecting

The Green Pages

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3 thoughts on “Day 4 – Turkey Tails

  1. Turkey tails, like many other polypores, boost the immune system. So, they might not actually cure or fight cancers. But, they really could help assist the immune systems of cancer patients?
    They are really lovely stump ruffles.

    Like

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