Lion’s Mane

This week for Flora and Fauna Friday it’s a flag-esque fungus flown in the frigid forests of Edisto: Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus).

Ivory icicles sparkle in the cold sunlight. Frozen frothing in the downward flow of a Water Oak whose bark has long since breached, spilling, streaming onto the forest floor in trickles and floods of dust and cordwood. Lion’s Mane is new life in the dead of winter, born on high from the carcass of an oak in the winds of winter. A coalescence of snowy tentacles weep, lying neatly over their inner orb. A transient child that reaches into the heart of its mother and leads her spirit out into the fresh air for a final gasp.

Lion’s Mane is a common and prolific mushroom throughout the hardwood forests of the northern hemisphere. On Edisto, you’ll most often find them fruiting many feet overhead amidst the woodlands, secured tightly to the surface of a sickly or stricken species of Red Oak, chiefly Water and Darlington Oaks. They feed on the decaying wood of their parent tree. They fruit in winter high in the snag to spread their spores as far as possible on the coattails of the breeze. Lion’s Mane is fully edible but often hard to collect. Their penthouse position protects the soft and substantial mushroom from the hungry mouths of passing mammals, whether mice or man.

News & Events

Upcoming Events

  • November 10, 2024
    Edisto Island Open Land Trust Annual Oyster RoastRead More
See The Calendar

Latest News

See more News