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Chicken of the Woods

The two types of Chicken of the Woods in south central Illinois are Laetiporus cincinnatus and Laetiporus sulphureus. The latter grows on dead logs in shelves and is oranger. The ones pictured here, Laetiporus cincinnatus, grow at the base of trees in rosettes and tend to be paler and pinker. Keep in mind that morphology is always contingent. A few days earlier I found L. cincinnatus growing shelflike from the base of a fallen tree. The one in the second image is growing at the base of a healthy northern red oak, a good sign that it's growing parasitically. I saw some Chicken of the Woods just beginning to form on April 23 at Little Grassy Lake, but this is my first harvest of the year. Here's a link to a video by Paul Stamets who has an excellent recipe for these.