The wild areas in the Alameda Creek Watershed hold many wonders. The environmental team from the Calaveras Dam Replacement Project came across this amazing Bearded Tooth Mushroom.
For sure this incredible mushroom looks nothing like any other mushroom most people may have seen, even if they have seen more than a few.
Its scientific name is Hericium erinaceus. Bearded Tooth mushroom has many common names: Hedgehog mushroom, Satyr’s Beard, Lion’s Mane, Pom Pom and Bearded Tooth Fungus.
This eminently edible mushroom grows on both living and dead trees (usually hardwoods) and when cooked is said to have a seafood-like color and texture.
Turns out they aren’t just tasty, it seems they’re good for people too.
Used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicines, these mushrooms have recently been found to have anti-oxidant properties and can reduce glucose levels in the blood. Scientists are currently investigating whether mushrooms of the genus Hericium may harbor compounds that can be used to formulate anti-dementia drugs.
No matter what usages are ultimately found, one thing is for sure: this is one unique looking mushroom.