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  • Writer's pictureZoë Hughes

Dryad’s Saddle

- Pheasant Back, Cerioporus squamosus

Dryad's Saddle growing on deadwood at the shore on the Isle of Arran
Dryad's Saddle growing on deadwood at the shore on the Isle of Arran

It is late June on the Isle of Arran and many UK wild foods are flourishing. The mushroom foraging season is not far off now. One of the earliest mushrooms to appear is this beautiful and huge bracket fungus known as Dryad's Saddle. The typical season for this one is April to June, with the tastier young mushrooms beginning available April and May.

Dryad's Saddle is an edible and plentiful wild mushroom. It appears early in the season and it’s one of the biggest mushrooms in the UK. These mushrooms grow in woodlands so they became associated with Dryads. Dryads are mythical woodland creatures from Greek mythology.

Huge Dryad's Saddle mushrooms in Brodick on the Isle of arran
Here's me investigating some huge Dryad's Saddle in Brodick

Dryads were thought to rest on these mushrooms while doing their magical business. This is how the mushroom got its name. They really do look like comfy forest seats climbing through the understory for fairies to rest on.

If you or someone you know is interested in wild harvests and foraging, check out our events. To learn more about edible plants and learn how to identify wild food, join one of our upcoming foraging courses.

Key Features

  • Dryad's Saddle mushrooms are bracket fungi species.

  • These mushrooms have big, scaly caps that can be over 60 cm wide, making them the UK's biggest cap mushroom.

  • The mushrooms have a short stalk, approximately 6 cm in length.

  • They have large, yellowish-white pores on the underside of the cap. The pores are irregular and very obvious.

  • Dryad's Saddle mushrooms grow on hardwood trees and dead logs.

  • They typically fruit from April to May but can occasionally fruit later in the year.

  • They are also known as Pheasant Back Mushroom or Pheasant Mushroom.

  • Best when very young.

Eating and Taste

Lookalikes to be aware of


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