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 mushrooms.
February's Mushroom of the Month
Hawk’s wing is one of the few mushrooms having a cap and stem that have small spines on the undersurface of the cap instead of gills or pores. Hawk’s wings are edible but considered poor. In Michigan every mushroom I have tasted was bitter but in Colorado the one time I tasted them I found them edible and not bitter. According to Michael Kuo’s MushroomExpert website and Roberts and Evans Book of Fungi Sarcodon imbricatus is a non-bitter edible mushroom associated with spruce, S. squamosus is a dyer’s mushroom associated with pine and S. scabrosus (a.k.a. S. underwoodii) is a bitter species associated with hardwoods. The samples I have tasted in Michigan grew in oak-hickory forests, and those in Colorado with spruces. The three mushrooms are distributed throughout the Northern Hemisphere except for Greenland and Iceland.
The flattened/convex cap of Hawk’s wings has a pale brown to reddish brown under-layer, with reddish brown to dark brown to almost black overlapping scales that become upturned with age. The caps are 2 to 8 inches across. The lilac brown spines are about ½ inch long. The whitish to purplish brown stem is 2 to 3 inches tall and ¾ to 1 ½ inches thick. The stem tapers at the base or is swollen at the base. The flesh is firm and white. The spore print is brown.
Hawk’s wings are considered a choice edible in China and Tibet where
they are often found in markets.