Angel Wings Mushroom
Angel Wings (Pleurocybella porrigens) are one of my favorite wild mushrooms, if nothing else just for their beauty. There’s something surreal about walking through a lush green forest, dampened by a recent rain, and suddenly spotting blotches of celestial white against the vibrancy of a moss colored tree. Just simply beautiful.
But Angel Wings have other characteristics of beauty as well. They taste wonderful! But be careful when you clean them, as they are very delicate and fragile.
How To Identify Angel Wings Wild Mushrooms
- Grow in the Fall on rotting conifers throughout the Pacific Northwest and other Northern regions
- Grow in a shelflike pattern on trees, stumps, or logs
- Are bright white in color when fresh
- The cap is small, only 1″ – 2.5″ wide, and have a fan-shape to them, though occasionally you may find one over 4″ wide
- They don’t have a stalk, or if they do, it is just a stubby little base
- They have gills which are white and close together which run down their stubby base (if present)
- They do not have a veil, ring, or volva
- Spores are white
They look a lot like a very white, small Oyster Mushroom, but are much more delicate and thin. They are easy to find, easy to identify, and easy to harvest. Just make sure you are able to 100% identify them so as to avoid any form of potential mushroom poisoning.
Edibility of Angel Wings Wild Mushrooms
Please make the effort to learn this mushroom. It is a wonderful gourmet treat any day of the week! They are very mild, have a very clean aroma, almost like the smell of moss, and are slightly sweet. They’re fantastic sauteed in butter with a little salt and pepper.
But as with all wild edibles, be wise and don’t eat large quantities at a time. Wild mushrooms, even those long proven to be edible, can cause physical distress and, in rare situations, physical harm/death.
How to Preserve Angel Wings Wild Mushrooms
Angle Wings are too delicate to dry, but I have found that if you saute them in butter and then freeze them, they are just as good thawed and recooked as fresh. In fact, the mossy sweetness seems to come out more during the freezing for some reason. They are exceptional scrambled up with some eggs this way.