Beef Steak Fungus (Fistulina hepatica)

The distinctive colouring of this bracket fungus is the key to its identification as the beef steak fungus. It is a common species, found frequently on Oak and Sweet Chestnut in our local woodlands.

It is edible but I suspect it is not as tasty as a piece of rump steak - my book says "the flesh is dark and succulent, is mottled in appearance with pink veins that give out a blood like sap. It tastes sourish and has a pleasant smell". Try it if you dare!

What I found interesting is that this parasitic plant turns the wood of its host a dark drown (back to that blood-like sap I suppose) which makes it in much demand from the furniture industry. The poor tree! If the fungus doesn't get you the carpenter will ...

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