"Bayou Bill" Scifres
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Dryad Saddle Edible, But Will Not Replace Morels
Copyright © 2003 by Bill Scifres

Although Dryad Saddle (Polyporus squamosus) will not be found high on the list of those who eat mushrooms, it is edible, especially in early stages of its growth.

This mushroom, often reaching widths of more than a foot and thickness of more than two inches, will almost always be attached low on the side of a dead tree. It fruits early in the spring--about the time morels emerge--and will remain until weather causes it to deteriorate.

Those who want to try it on the table will do well to harvest smaller mushrooms (six inches across or less), and cook portions of the cap that are not close to the stem.

I leave the top surface of this mushroom intact, but cut away the sponge-like surface on the underside. 

The pictures below will be helpful to those who want to try the eating qualities: 

[Click on image to see enlarged view.]

The Dryad Saddle will be found on the sides of dead trees or other dead wood. Top surface of the Dryad Saddle is interesting to see even if it is not harvested and consumed.

Under side of the Dryad Saddle cap features a porous, sponge-like surface instead of gills. Cross section of the cap shows white meat of the mushroom and the thin porous material

Early growth of Dryad Saddle resembles a small nub growing out of a dead tree. Slices are cut about 1/8 (one-eighth) inch and sauteed in olive oil . . . Well browned, the slices resemble french fried potatoes, but do not taste as good.

All columns are copyrighted by Bill Scifres and may not be reproduced in any form without prior permission from the author.  For reproduction permission and media usage fees, contact: Bill Scifres, 6420 East 116th Street, Fishers, IN 46038, E-mail: billscifres@aol.com

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