This page is used to feature mushrooms that are prevalent for the particular time of the year or, during
the winter months, to feature some of the less desirable or hard to find mushrooms.
To see some of our
previous stars follow this link to an index of previously featured
November's Mushroom of the Month
False Turkey Tail
Photo Credit: Arthur Chapman
In our area false turkey tail is more common than turkey
tail (see March 2013).
Since some of our members including myself make
tea from the turkey tail, I thought we should learn the
differences between these two shelf mushrooms.
Turkey tail has been used in Chinese medicine for
thousands of years but as no definitive double blind
studies have been performed on its efficacy, I will not
mention the alleged medicinal effects.
The irregular, semicircular or bracketlike caps of false
turkey tail range from ½ to 4 inches (1 to 10 cm.)
densely hairy caps are zonate in shades of brown and
Turkey tail has an outer band or zone that is tan with
shades of gray, blue, brown, green or reddish brown
making up the inner bands of color. The fertile
undersurface of false turkey tail is smooth with no
is the major feature distinguishing false turkey tail
from turkey tail.
Under magnification the pores of turkey tail are
obvious whereas false turkey tail has a totally smooth
hymenium (spore producing surface).
Another look-alike is Trametes pubescens whose
band of color alternate white, grayish yellow and
of these leathery-textured mushrooms grow in overlapping
shelves on hardwood logs and stumps.
Photo Credit: Martin Livezey