Smoky Mountain Turkey Tail Mushrooms

Smoky Mountain Turkey Tail mushroom

Smoky Mountain Turkey Tail mushroom. Photo credit – Jennifer M

Smoky Mountain Turkey Tail mushrooms are always in season! Trametes versicolor (common name Turkey Tail mushroom) is a decomposing polypore mushroom found on logs, stumps and dying trees all across North America. You can find them year-round in an array of beautiful colors, concentrically lining the fan shaped or circular caps (zonate) and growing in rosette patterns or overlapping clusters on dead or dying hardwoods and sometimes conifers. The underlying pore surface has 3-8 tiny pores per mm that starts out white but gradually ages to buff or darker, with a white spore print. This mushroom is thin and flexible when young turning more rigid as it weathers and ages. The cap has zones of velvety or finely hairy rings, again weathering off sometimes with age. Not only are Turkey Tail Mushrooms beautifully photogenic, they are also being investigated medicinally worldwide. With their high levels of antioxidants and polysaccharides they are purported to help stabilize immunity levels and store energy to aid in the fight against colds, flu’s and the recovery process after cancer treatments. Turkey Tails simmered together with Chaga, cinnamon bark and pure maple syrup make a delicious tea. Make sure to check below the cap to correctly identify Trametes versicolor, for there are many Turkey Tail lookalikes with larger pore surfaces, toothed pores, even gills or just smooth.

Be advised: If you have never collected wild mushrooms always go with an expert who can identify them! We strongly recommend  basic mushroom identification skills acquired with picture taking, along with heavy research before attempting to ingest any wild mushroom. Although there are no known toxic polypores, there are still several highly toxic gilled mushrooms that can cause gastrointestinal disturbances or even death.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park prohibits the removal of mushrooms, plants, animals and historical artifacts. Please respect park regulations so the next visitor can enjoy the parks beauty too. Remember to leave only footsteps and take only photographs! The hardwood coves of Greenbrier, Cosby, Deep Creek, Cades Cove and Cataloochee are great places to view Turkey Tails so make sure and have plenty of memory available on your camera and enjoy.

HeySmokies mycology enthusiast loves Turkey Tail hunting!

HeySmokies mycology enthusiast, Jennifer M, loves wild mushroom hunting!

HeySmokies would like to welcome our new mycology enthusiast Jennifer M. Jennifer lives in Southwest Ohio and works as a conservation and parks technician for a large Southern Ohio park system. She has developed a keen interest in mycology that spans over thirty years that has grown to include fungi photography, cuisine and arts/crafts. Her favorite travel destination site is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park area. “I’ve been visiting since I was a child and the excitement of exploring this beautiful environment and all it has to offer has never faded!”

Top and underside of Turkey Tail mushroom. Photo credit - Jennifer M

Top and underside of Turkey Tail mushroom. Photo credit – Jennifer M

More Hey Smokies Features:

Smoky Mountain Paving Project Set To Snarl Traffic
Smoky Mountain Paving Project Set To Snarl Traffic...
Smoky Mountain Paving Project Set To Snarl Traffic. Great Smoky Mountains National Park will begin paving on Little River Road between the T[Read More >>]
Great Backyard Bird Count Event
Great Backyard Bird Count Event...
Great Backyard Bird Count Event offers many opportunities in the Great Smoky Mountains. This count is for the birds. Bird lovers everywhere are [Read More >>]
Biltmore Estate Vintage Vanderbilt Clothing Expo
Biltmore Estate Vintage Vanderbilt Clothing Expo...
Biltmore Estate Vintage Vanderbilt Clothing Expo. Dressing in style at Biltmore Estate February 8 – May 27,  2019 is a Smoky Mountain special ev[Read More >>]
Valentine's Cookie Baking Class
Valentine's Cookie Baking Class...
Valentine's Cookie Baking Class at Wildflour Bakehouse in Sevierville, TN. This Smoky Mountain special event will feature separate classes for k[Read More >>]
Blue Ridge Parkway Winter Closures
Blue Ridge Parkway Winter Closures...
Blue Ridge Parkway Winter Closures. The Blue Ridge Parkway is the unofficial sister national park to the Great Smoky Mountains. Beginning in the[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Camp Stew Recipe
Smoky Mountain Camp Stew Recipe...
Smoky Mountain Camp Stew Recipe. Camp stew is a Southern favorite any time of year but especially in the cold winter months. This dish is easy t[Read More >>]
The Tenth Annual Rose Glen Literary Festival
The Tenth Annual Rose Glen Literary Festival...
The Tenth Annual Rose Glen Literary Festival presents the “write” stuff scheduled Saturday, February 23, 2019 from 9 am – 4 pm. This Smoky Mount[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Valentine's Day Events
Smoky Mountain Valentine's Day Events...
Smoky Mountain Valentine's Day Events. Valentine's Day is always a special event in the Smokies and this year's romantic day falls on Thur[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Visitors Centers Open MLK Weekend
Smoky Mountain Visitors Centers Open MLK Weekend...
Smoky Mountain Visitors Centers Open MLK Weekend. Friends of the Smokies will temporarily fund the reopening of Sugarlands Visitor Center near G[Read More >>]
Ober Gatlinburg Winter Events Take The Chill Off
Ober Gatlinburg Winter Events Take The Chill Off...
Ober Gatlinburg Winter Events Take The Chill Off. Get geared up for four great winter events at everyone's favorite Gatlinburg ski destination. [Read More >>]
Some Great Smoky Mountain National Park Facilities Open Despite Government Shutdown
Some Great Smoky Mountain National Park Facilities Open Despite Government Shutdown...
Some Great Smoky Mountain National Park Facilities Open Despite Government Shutdown. Beginning Sunday January 13, 2019 some basic services to vi[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Hellbenders
Smoky Mountain Hellbenders...
Smoky Mountain Hellbenders are the largest aquatic salamanders in the national park. You may recognize the Hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganien[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Park Facilities Close With Government Shutdown
Smoky Mountain Park Facilities Close With Government Shutdown...
Smoky Mountain Park Facilities Close With Government Shutdown. "Visitors are going to be on their own until the shutdown ends," said Laurel Rem[Read More >>]
New Year Beans And Greens Recipe
New Year Beans And Greens Recipe...
New Year Beans And Greens Recipe. What is behind the Southern tradition of eating black-eyed peas and collard greens on New Years day? Some folk[Read More >>]
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Remains Open During Government Shutdown
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Remains Open During Government Shutdown...
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Remains Open During Government Shutdown. During the partial shutdown of the federal government due to th[Read More >>]
Romantic Smoky Mountain New Years Activities
Romantic Smoky Mountain New Years Activities...
Romantic Smoky Mountain New Years Activities. There is no place more romantic to be on New Years than the Great Smoky Mountains! Lovers have lon[Read More >>]
Christmas Cookie Recipe
Christmas Cookie Recipe...
Christmas Cookie Recipe. When the holidays arrive in the Great Smoky Mountains there are many HeySmokies sweet treat favorites but the tradition[Read More >>]
HeySmokies.com donation box program raises funds to rescue orphaned bear cubs
HeySmokies.com donation box program raises funds to rescue orphaned bear cubs...
HeySmokies.com donation box program raises funds to rescue orphaned bear cubs. HeySmokies.com, a travel blog showcasing events in the Smoky Moun[Read More >>]
Great Smoky Mountains Rainbow Falls Trail Reopens
Great Smoky Mountains Rainbow Falls Trail Reopens...
Great Smoky Mountains Rainbow Falls Trail Reopens. After two diligent work seasons, the Rainbow Falls Trail has reopened!  From May through Nove[Read More >>]
Cades Cove Stargazing Event
Cades Cove Stargazing Event...
Cades Cove Stargazing Event Saturday, November 17, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, in cooperation with the Smoky Mountain[Read More >>]