The Hedgehog Mushroom(aka Sweet-tooth)
The Hedgehog mushroom is another great mushroom for novice pickers to focus on. There are no look-a-likes, with the slight exception of golden chanterelles, if viewed from above. They are a Tooth fungi and form a mycorrhiza with numerous host tree species, hardwoods & conifers alike. Its one of the only useful mushrooms you will find in Aspen forests. They can be found all throughout North America in moist areas, often close to bodies of water, old river beds, swamps, moss mountainsides, etc. It has one of the longest picking seasons of all mushroom in the PNW, emerging from the middle of summer-November, when the ground freezes. Delicious fresh and dries exceptionally well. I like to dry saute for 5 minutes, then put on a pizza and bake, mmmmm.
How To Identify Hedgehog Mushrooms
There are a couple tooth fungi that slightly resemble the hedgehog, in that, they also have teeth. However, they are all a different colour, mostly dark. Hedgehogs are always white-cream-yellow-orange in colour. They are more brittle than chanterelles, but just as delectable.
The 'teeth', colour, and brittle structure are enough to tell youve got a hedgehog. They seldom grow in large groups, but in the right area, you will see them scattered everywhere.
Cap: Can be flat & rounded, to wavy with an inrolled margin. Top of cap is smooth, with slight indents Pale cream-Orange in colour.
Above Photo: Josh Fournier
*** Similarities Between The Golden Chanterelle & Hedgehog Mushrooms.
Dont worry, both are incredible gourmet mushrooms, but ive had novice pickers ask me why their chanterelles have spines instead of false gills? Many people disagree with me, but I believe that Golden Chanterelles and Hedgehog Mushrooms are very similar, at least in appearance(and perhaps genetically) if viewed from above. People have tried to argue with me, proposing that chanterelles don't look like hedgehogs, but they do(as you can see below)!