Hedgehog mushrooms (Hydnum repandum)


hydnum_repandumbk-01

This is a great winter mushroom to start finding at this time of year.  It is nearly the same coloration as the yellow Chanterelle just much shorter (there are always exceptions).  Generally you find these mushrooms growing alone with others close by, usually a couple feet away.   Hedgehogs are one of the great mushroom to dehydrate.  After dehydrating they can be used crumbled into soups and stews to give them a unique flavor.  This is one of the mushrooms I like to use when I make my wild mushroom soup. It gives a great creamy texture if you can make the soup with at least a third of the mushrooms being used as hedgehogs.

Hedgehogs are usually found under conifers and occasionally under mixed deciduous trees.  South facing slopes in the coast range will give you the highest chances to find them.  The hedgehog mushroom forms a symbiotic relationship with the trees it grows around. This means that if you find a patch of hedgehog mushrooms you can return year after year for a reliable picking to eat. For this reason, many mushroom hunters will not say where they found this delicious mushrooms, to prevent poaching. It is an excellent choice along with Golden Chanterelles and Yellow foot Chanterelles for an inexperienced mushroom hunter, but the identification should always be verified by someone with more experience and education before eating.

hedgehog-mushroom

Some great reference books:

All That the Rain Promises and More: A Hip Pocket Guide to Western Mushrooms by David Arora (smaller pocket guide that is excellent to use)

National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms (National Audubon Society Field Guides) (all inclusive but fairly large)

There are also several E-books that can be found on Kindle unlimited

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