Fried Chicken Mushroom - Lyophyllum decastes


Foraging and identification of Fried chicken mushroom (Lyophyllum decastes)

Edible mushroom - intermediate Season - summer to late autumn Common names Fried chicken fungus, fried chicken mushrooms, clustered domecap, chicken of the gravel, chicken of the road


Scientific name meaning: From the Greek words Lyo and Phyle, meaning loose/to loosen and tribe/race, and Deca, meaning ten

Habitat

A saprophytic fungus found in disturbed earth, including gravel drives, particularly where there is leaf litter.

Overall structure

A cap and stem mushroom found growing in clumps with several long stems meeting at their base.

Cap

The grey-brown cap, which is smooth and shiny, is roughly dome-shaped. The edge is usually distorted from being squashed among other caps. It reaches 5-10cm.

Gills and spores

The gills are grey-white, crowded and adnate. They can turn slightly clay-coloured with age.

The spore print is white.

Stem

The stems can be almost 10cm long and is often curved at its base where it meets the stems of the other mushrooms within its cluster. Most of the stem length is below ground level.

It is fairly tough, longitudinally fibrous, ringless and up to 2cm thick.

Flesh and smell

The flesh is firm and grey white, and the smell mild and slightly sweet.

Possible lookalikes

Confusion may occur with the potentially poisonous cucumber cap (Macrocystidia cucumis). However, this has more cream-coloured gills that are free of the stem and a cucumber-like smells.


Use as a food The fried chicken fungus should be cooked thoroughly. The stems are tough so best used for stocks. ​ Hazards Some people experience gastric reactions to this mushroom so a tolerance test should be carried out when first consuming it.


Use in herbal medicine and medicine Some studies indicate anti-tumour properties, as well as providing protection to cells from radiation. If you are suffering from any ailment or need medical advice, please see your General Practitioner Other uses Used in bioremediation systems in Japan to remove environmental pollutants and purify water ​ Importance to other species An important food source for gastropods.


Always stay safe when foraging. You need to be 100% sure of your identification, 100% sure that your foraged item is edible, and 100% sure that you are not allergic to it (it is good practice to always try a small amount of any new food you are consuming). If in doubt, leave it out!