Terracotta Hedgehog / Summer / Autumn / Edible
Terracotta Hedgehog, Terracotta Wood Urchin and Rufous Hedgehog.
Mycorrhizal with pine, spruce, beech and oak.
An easy to identify mushroom, they are quite common in the UK and have few lookalikes.
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.
Off white to pink in colour, the stem is quite short and stout and is roughly central.
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.
A mild mushroomy smell.
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.
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.
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.