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Terracotta Hedgehog (Hydnum Rufescens) Identification

Terracotta Hedgehog / Summer / Autumn / Edible

Scientific Name

Hydnum Rufescens


Common Names

Terracotta Hedgehog, Terracotta Wood Urchin and Rufous Hedgehog.


Family

Hydnaceae


Habitat

Mycorrhizal with pine, spruce, beech and oak.


Description

An easy to identify mushroom, they are quite common in the UK and have few lookalikes.


Identifying Features:

Cap:

As the name suggests they are terracotta in colour getting lighter towards the edge. The cap has an almost ‘woolly’ texture. Roughly convex in shape with irregular edges.

Jerzy Opioła, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Stem:

Off white to pink in colour, the stem is quite short and stout and is roughly central.

James Lindsey at Ecology of Commanster, CC BY-SA 2.5 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5>, via Wikimedia Commons

Gills:

Rather than gills or pores they have spines or teeth (hymenophores). They are off white to pink and are free or adnexed to the stem.

This image was created by user zaca at Mushroom Observer, a source for mycological images.You can contact this user here.English | español | français | italiano | македонски | മലയാളം | português | +/−, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Smell:

A mild mushroomy smell.


Spores:

White.


Uses

In food

One of my favourite mushrooms, they have a lovely taste when young, as they age they can get slightly bitter. Their texture is quite firm and they work in most dishes.


Harvesting 

The younger caps are the best, as they can get bitter with age. They tend to form small clumps or fairy rings so if you spot one you should find others nearby.


Known hazards

None Known.


Potential lookalikes

The only real lookalike is the more common Wood Hedgehog (Hydnum Repandum) this is also a choice edible, but they tend to be larger, have lighter coloured caps and their spines are decurrent, continuing part way down the stem.

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