Mushrooms: Eastern Cauliflower Mushroom

Photo of Sparassis spathulata (Eastern Cauliflower Mushroom)

Last moon, while scouting for mushrooms, I walked right past this sizable, fleshy fruiting body growing at the base of a large Oak (Quercus sp.). Luckily, Jenny was with me, and she didn't miss it.

"Whoa! Josh, check that out," she exclaimed.

"Now that's a mushroom," I replied as I doubled back along the trail.

Minutes later, we shared our find with a mother and daughter (and their friendly canine companion) who were out for an afternoon ramble.

Photo of Sparassis spathulata (Eastern Cauliflower Mushroom)

Back at home, I consulted my nature library and some online resources and found a name for this brain-like mass: Sparassis spathulata (syn. S. herbstii and S. caroliniense) or commonly the Eastern Cauliflower Mushroom. Have you ever bumped into one of these?

Photo of Sparassis spathulata (Eastern Cauliflower Mushroom)

For identification details, visit

2 thoughts on “Mushrooms: Eastern Cauliflower Mushroom”

  1. Cauliflower mushrooms, I have one old fallen oak that produces yearly, this year even with the sever drought I harvested two wonderful specimens for the table. Difficult to clean as they entrain every manner of detritus as they grow, but worth the effort. I’ve been mushroom foraging for 4+ years now and this is the only tree I have found that produces this particular mushroom, which leads me to believe they are fairly scarce in our area.

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