Saturday, October 8, 2011

Grifola frondosa

Lately, I have been keeping a close watch on some lovely oyster mushrooms next to my driveway. I have even been watering them. This morning, I wandered outside, coffee in hand, to see how the oysters were coming along.

And then I spied it.
A small, fresh Hen of the Woods mushroom!

Can you see it?

These lovely mushrooms are also known as Maitake or Sheep's Head or (my favorite) 
the Dancing Mushroom.
But the Latin name is Grifola frondosa.

Can you see it now?

I just about fell off the log on which I was standing!

I've bought Hens at an Asian grocery in a nearby city and even at a large Whole Foods-type grocery.
They are DE-lish-us! And expensive. Like $30 per pound expensive.

But today, I found a 31 ounce Hen BY MY DRIVEWAY.
I'm still kind of in shock.

The best part is that they are perennial. So it will probably show up by this particular oak next year and the year after and so on.

Oh, and the other best part is that Dancing Mushrooms are used medicinally as well.
According to,
Grifola frondosa is,
"One of the most medicinally active of all common wild mushrooms, Maitake has well-demonstrated immuno-boosting and anti-microbial (anti-bacterial and anti-viral) properties, as well as anti-tumor activity against breast, colorectal, liver, lung and prostate cancers, and leukemia. As if that weren't enough, it also shows considerable potential as an antihypertensive, as a blood-sugar moderator, and as a cholesterol reducer. Additionally, it is reputed as being beneficial for the lungs and respiratory system, as a stress reducer, and even as an anti-Candidiasis (yeast infection) agent."
Other sites mention its use against HIV. 
How cool is that?

Thankfully, I'm not currently dealing with serious health issues, but my common cold seems virtually gone now. I don't know if it is the anti-viral properties of the mushroom or 
that I am still absolutely giddy about finding it!

Either way, I now know why they call it the Dancing Mushroom.
I could dance all day after finding it!

Hope you all are having as wonderful weekend as I am!


  1. how totally awesome is that !!!!!!! color me do you plan to prepare it?

  2. I cleaned it to the best of my ability and sauteed it with butter and onions. For lunch, I added shrimp.
    I'm so full.
    No need to be green, these things grow all over the eastern U.S.! I'm going looking again tomorrow since Hens freeze well. . .


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