POISONOUS AND HALLUCINOGENIC MUSHROOMS
by Michael W. Beug Email: email@example.com
The Evergreen State College, Olympia WA
Laetiporus sulphureus, the Chicken of the Woods or the Sulfur Shelf, is a popular edible mushroom. The tender growing margin is trimmed off for consumption. The mushroom illustrated here is a close look-alike, recently recognized as a separate species, Laetiporus conifericola . This Sulfur Shelf, Laetiporus conifericola is not considered choice and sometimes is rather sour tasting and in age is rather indigestible. It causes mild reactions in some, for example, swollen lips. In others Laetiporus conifericola can cause nausea, vomiting, dizziness and disorientation, as does another highly similar Sulfur Shelf, Laetiporus gilbertsonii, which grows on Eucalyptus . One young British Columbia girl who ate Laetiporus conifericola raw became disorientated, lost coordination, and described visual hallucinations.