Dryad's Saddle

Polyporus squamosus

''Polyporus squamosus'' aka ''Cerioporus squamosus'' is a basidiomycete bracket fungus, with common names including dryad's saddle and pheasant's back mushroom. It has a widespread distribution, being found in North America, Australia, Asia, and Europe, where it causes a white rot in the heartwood of living and dead hardwood trees.
Dryad's Saddle This is a picture of Dryad's Saddle on the North Tract of the Patuxent Research Refuge near Fort Meade, Maryland. Dryad's Saddle,Geotagged,Polyporus squamosus,Spring,United States

Appearance

This mushroom is commonly attached to dead logs or stumps at one point with a thick stem. Generally, the fruit body is 8–30 cm across and up to 10 cm thick. The body can be yellow to brown and has "squamules" or scales on its upper side. On the underside one can see the pores that are characteristic of the genus ''Cerioporus''; they are made up of tubes packed together closely. The tubes are between 1 and 12 mm long. The stalk is thick and short, up to 5 cm long. The fruit body will produce a white spore print if laid onto a sheet of paper. They can be found alone, in clusters of two or three, or forming shelves. Young specimens are soft but toughen with age. It is particularly common on dead elm and is also found on living maple trees.
Dryad's Saddle - Polyporus squamosus Large fan-shaped tan caps with flattened reddish brown scales. Yellowish tan pores. Stem was covered in velvety, dark brown tomentum. 

Growing on a tree on the edge of a swamp. It grows on this tree every year. Geotagged,Polyporus squamosus,Spring,United States,dryad's saddle,fungi,fungus,mushroom,polypore,polyporus

Distribution

This organism is common and widespread, being found east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States and over much of Europe. It is also found in Australia and Asia. It commonly fruits in the spring, occasionally during autumn, and rarely during other seasons. Many mushroom hunters will stumble upon this when looking for morels during the spring as both have similar fruiting times, and this fungus can grow to a noticeable size of up to 50 cm across. It plays an important role in woodland ecosystems by decomposing wood, usually elm, but is occasionally a parasite on living trees. Other tree hosts include ash, beech, horse chestnut, Persian walnut, lime, maple, planetree, poplar, and willow.
Dryad's Saddle - Cerioporus squamosus This mushroom is often sadly overlooked and maligned as an edible with little value. But, if foraged when young, it can be prepared in many different ways - including sauté, incorporation into stocks, and being made into chips. Not to mention that they can be made into a kind of thick, stiff paper.

This species is easily recognized by its large size: the largest one on this tree was at least 30 cm wide! They were fan-shaped, pale tan, and had large, flattened, brown scales that were somewhat radially arranged.

Habitat: Tree (haha!) in a deciduous forest; it grows in this same tree every year for the past 7 years
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/87505/dryads_saddle_-_cerioporus_squamosus.html
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/87508/dryads_saddle_-_cerioporus_squamosus.html Dryad's Saddle,Geotagged,Polyporus squamosus,Summer,United States

Habitat

This organism is common and widespread, being found east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States and over much of Europe. It is also found in Australia and Asia. It commonly fruits in the spring, occasionally during autumn, and rarely during other seasons. Many mushroom hunters will stumble upon this when looking for morels during the spring as both have similar fruiting times, and this fungus can grow to a noticeable size of up to 50 cm across. It plays an important role in woodland ecosystems by decomposing wood, usually elm, but is occasionally a parasite on living trees. Other tree hosts include ash, beech, horse chestnut, Persian walnut, lime, maple, planetree, poplar, and willow.
Dryad's Saddle - Cerioporus squamosus Edible when young. I found many young ones, but they were surrounded by poison ivy.

Habitat: Growing on a rotting stump
https://www.jungledragon.com/image/78885/dryads_saddle_-_cerioporus_squamosus.html Dryad's Saddle,Geotagged,Polyporus squamosus,Spring,United States

Uses

Edible. Young specimens are preferred, as they can become infested with maggots and become firm, rubbery and inedible as they mature. Cookbooks dealing with preparation generally recommend gathering these while young, slicing them into small pieces and cooking them over a low heat. Some people value the thick, stiff paper that can be made from this and many other mushrooms of the genus ''Cerioporus''. The mushroom's smell resembles watermelon rind. Polyporus squamosus has a mild nutty flavour.

References:

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Taxonomy
KingdomFungi
DivisionBasidiomycota
ClassAgaricomycetes
OrderPolyporales
FamilyPolyporaceae
GenusPolyporus
SpeciesP. squamosus