Sparassis americana

Sparassis americana R.H. Petersen 2014

The "Cauliflower Mushroom” is a saprotrophic and possibly parasitic brown or butt rotter of decaying conifer wood. It is an annual that frequently returns in subsequent years during summer and autumn. Formerly called Sparassis cripsa, which is now known to be a European mushroom. Our eastern species is called the “American Cauliflower". Unlike the nearly identical-looking European version, Sparassis americana has a somewhat gelatinous base that protrudes into the ground. Grows from the base of conifers. The similar-looking Sparassis spathularia grows with hardwoods and has zoned branches. It is in the Sparassidaceae family of the Polyporales order.