I’m so excited that the recent rains have brought out the turkey tail mushrooms. I love that when I happen upon these mushrooms they are nearly always fruiting in great abundance. And yes, they do really look like turkey tails, or as the Dutch say, fairy benches (elfenbankje)!

If you are curious about identifying this mushroom yourself, this is an easier one that is good for beginner fungi enthusiasts. One can easily tell when they are looking at turkey tails by observing that they are:

  • occurring in groups of overlapping clusters & rosettes on fallen wood,
  • half-moon / fan-shaped,
  • broadly attached to the wood (sessile),
  • thin & leathery,
  • feature concentric zones that vary in color from brownish, to buff to various shades of gray & which also vary in texture from matted-wooly to shaggy,
  • and finally, turkey tails have cream-colored pores underneath that are easily visible.

Turkey Tail Mushrooms

Turkey Tail Mushrooms

Turkey Tail pores

Turkey Tail pores

The closest look-alike fungus I most often see around my parts are Microporus mushrooms. These fungi often, but not always, grow either singly or scattered a few inches away from one another. Also, the pores of Microporus are much smaller & very difficult to see with the naked eye. Finally, they have a dark stipe (“stem”), unlike a turkey tail mushroom which lacks a stipe.

Tinypore Mushrooms

Tinypore (Microporus sp.) Mushrooms

Tinypore hymenophore

Tinypore (Microporus sp.) hymenophore

If you would like to learn more about mushroom identification, be sure to click on this link to check out our latest educational offerings.

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