Barnet, London, UK, August 2018
Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum or Ganoderma tsugae)
I found my first ever reishi mushrooms! I’ve talked a bit about reishi on this blog before, as other people have sent in their photos, but this is the first I’ve come across myself.
The colours and shine on these mushrooms are absolutely stunning; I completely understand why so many people are drawn to them. Like chicken of the woods (Laetiporus sulphureus), these fungi are difficult to miss because they stand out so vibrantly against the woodland background – I spotted them from about 40 feet away.
They are edible, but reportedly even the softer white areas are bitter and unpleasant, so I decided to slice and air dry this specimen to make tea, which is traditionally drunk in China as a general health tonic, or to treat specific illnesses, such as some cancers.