Angel's wings

Ali Mckernan

Angel's wings

Ali Mckernan

Angel's wings

+ -
Scientific name: Pleurocybella porrigens
The angel's wings fungus grows in overlapping clusters in the coniferous woods of Scotland and north England. Its funnel-like, white caps have no stems.

Top facts

Stats

Cap diameter: 2-10cm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

September to November

About

Angel's wings is a distinctive, white, bracket-like fungus that grows in clusters on decaying conifer wood. Relatively common in coniferous woodland in the Scottish highlands, it is also found in the south of Scotland and in Cumbria, but is it is very rare elsewhere. It is inedible. Fungi belong to their own kingdom and get their nutrients and energy from organic matter, rather than photosynthesis like plants. It is often just the fruiting bodies, or 'mushrooms', that are visible to us, arising from an unseen network of tiny filaments called 'hyphae'. These fruiting bodies produce spores for reproduction, although fungi can also reproduce asexually by fragmentation.

What to look for

Angel's wings are bracket-like fungi with white or ivory circular, funnel-shaped caps that overlap in tiers. The cap margin curves inwards and becomes undulating with age. The surface of the cap is felty. The gills are white, turning cream with age. The cap does not have a stem.

Where to find

Found in the Scottish highlands, southern Scotland and Cumbria, but rare elsewhere.

Did you know?

Once considered edible, angel's wings have been implicated in a number of fatalities in Japan, so they should be treated as deadly poisonous.