The term “honey mushroom” applies to more than one member of this species. They live on
trees or woody shrubs. They are parasitic—they attack living plants, as well as on deadwood. Sometimes,
for reasons not yet understood, they “go crazy,” causing extensive root rot and destruction.
Identification: Typically the caps are yellow-brown in
color. They may be sticky when wet. The caps are convex when the mushrooms are young,
but may become concave later. Some are bioluminescent—they glow in the dark.
The spores of this mushroom are white.
The mycelium that produces honey mushrooms is bioluminescent,
creating a soft glow in rotting wood sometimes called “foxfire.”
Edibility: Young buttons are very good if the stipe is
discarded (or peeled) and the buttons cooked.
Roughly 75 people in North America are poisoned each year by mushrooms, often from eating a poisonous species that resembles an edible species. Though deaths are rare, there is no cure short of a liver transplant for severe poisoning. Don’t eat any mushroom unless you are absolutely certain of its identity! Please don’t trust the identifications on this site. We aren’t mushroom experts and we haven’t focused on safely identifying edible species.