The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

November 2, 2012

Massive mushroom discovered in Massachusetts woods


CNHI News Service

BEVERLY, Mass. — Dugie Russell found a fungus so large, it's difficult to get your arms around.

Russell hauled in a 59-pound Hen of the Woods mushroom from the woods of Ipswich, Mass. He won't reveal its exact location, protecting a prime mushroom picking spot, but says it was near the place where he found a 52-pounder three years ago.

"One tree is quite a producer," he said.

Russell, a retired court officer who lives in nearby North Beverly, has been picking mushrooms for 45 years.

His neighbors are well aware of his fungus-related pursuits. A local restaurant lists Dugie's Wild Mushroom Bisque on its menu. Poison control calls him when a questions arises about potentially dangerous mushrooms.

The Hen of the Woods is typically found on trees in the Northeast during the fall. It often grows to the size of a ball - or larger.

The mushroom can be sautéed, stewed or used as ingredients in Chinese and Japanese medicine.

Russell's fungus has been cut up and sold.

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Details for this story were reported by The Salem News.