Chicken Of The Woods White-Pored

Chicken Of The Woods White-Pored Mushroom


Chicken Of The Woods White-Pored Mushroom

Chicken Of The Woods White-Pored


White-Pored Chicken of the Woods is an uncommon or rare, large, fleshy, bracket (shelf-like) fungus. It appears from July through October on the ground at the base of a hardwood tree, almost always an oak. It is both saprobic and parasitic. It invades the roots of live or dead trees causing brown rot.

It is found on the ground at the base of standing, living or dead oaks, rarely on other hardwoods, never on conifers. It appears to grow on the ground but actually grows on tree roots. It usually forms a rosette of several to many overlapping caps, sometimes appears singly, rarely appears as a series of shelves at the base of a tree.

The fruiting body is annual. There is no stem. When it first appears in late summer or fall it is knob-like, but it soon becomes shelf-like. It consists of an overlapping rosette of several to many brackets. The rosette can be up to 24″ wide but is usually 18″ wide or less.

Each bracket is fan-shaped to semicircular in outline, sometimes irregularly lobed, more or less flat, 2″ to 6″ wide, and up to 8″ deep. The surface is smooth to suede-like and radially wrinkled. On younger brackets the upper side is bright reddish-orange to bright orange, yellowish-orange, or salmon. There are often concentric bands of contrasting colors. It fades in sunlight or with age to yellowish or buff. Older brackets are whitish. The margin on younger brackets is thick, blunt, and pale.

The flesh of young brackets is thick, soft, watery, and white. As it ages the flesh becomes tough then crumbly.

The pore tubes on the underside of the bracket are yellow and up to 3 ⁄16″ deep. There are 2 to 4 pores per millimeter. The spores are white.

All parts of the bracket are edible when cooked.

Similar Species

Habitat and Hosts

Oaks. Sometimes other hardwoods.



July through October


Distribution Map


4, 24, 26, 29, 30, 77.



Uncommon or rare


Kingdom Fungi (fungi)
Subkingdom Dikarya
Division Basidiomycota (club fungi)
Subdivision Agaricomycotina (jelly fungi, yeasts, and mushrooms)
Class Agaricomycetes (mushroom-forming fungi)
Subclass Agaricomycetidae
Order Polyporales (shelf fungi)
Family Laetiporaceae
Genus Laetiporus

Until 1998, this species was classified as Laetiporus sulphureus. That year a study (Banik, Mark T., Harold H. Burdsall, Jr. and Thomas J. Volk. 1998) showed it to be a species complex and split it into five species. Laetiporus cincinnatus is the species that has white pores; usually grows on the soil, apparently on roots; is usually a rosette; occurs east of the Great Plains; and is always on hardwoods, almost always on oak.

The genus Laetiporus was formerly placed in the family Polyporaceae. Several DNA studies of fungi in the order Polyporales since 2005 have resulted in the reordering of the families within the order. There is no current consensus. The genus Laetiporus is variously placed in the families Polyporaceae, Laetiporaceae, and Fomitopsidaceae. Most agree that it should be separated from the order Polyporaceae.


Laetiporus sulphureus var. cincinnatus

Laetiporus sulphureus var. semialbinus

Polyporus sulphureus var. semialbinus

Common Names

White-Pored Chicken of the Woods