Eastern Cauliflower Mushroom
Large, stalkless, whitish yellow rosette; flattened, wavy, ribbonlike folds. Grows singly, at the bases of trees and often at the base of decayed oak stumps. July–October. Fruiting body a large rosette with flattened, wavy, ribbonlike folds; whitish yellow; texture smooth; has a cordlike root at the base; flesh is flexible when young, becoming tough with age. Spore print white. Spores magnified are oval, smooth, colorless.
Lookalikes: Hen of the woods (Grifola frondosa) has many small, grayish to brownish caps. Black-staining polypore (Meripilus sumstinei) blackens when bruised or handled. Berkeley’s polypore (Bondarzewia berkeleyi) is thick-fleshed and cream-colored. The closely related wood cauliflower mushroom (S. crispa) is rare and differs in some of its branching characteristics; it is a choice edible.