Botanical Name: Flammulina velutipes
Other Common Names: Velvet foot, winter mushroom, enokitake
Brief Description and Notes: The common names will help you identify this mushroom. It often fruits in cold temps, which makes it a fun species to know if you’re looking for wild edibles when not much else is happening in winter. The cap is notably sticky/slimy while the stem is velvety. Color palette ranges within brown/red/tan/yellow. They grow in clusters. If you want to eat it , be absolutely sure to check for a white spore print and and no ring on the stalk.
Where To Look For It: Deciduous logs, rotting wood, peeping out from under tree bark
Ecological Value & Roles: Besides partaking in a vast web of forest symbiosis, they particularly function as wood decomposers.
Edibility and Other Human Use: Not commonly thought of as the most delicious mushroom out there, but definitely a good edible mushroom especially to add to noodles and broth dishes. Similar to the store-bought enoki. Be sure to properly identify to be sure it is not a poisonous Galerina mushroom.
Photo by Victoria Moyer
Philadelphia Mycology Club