Laetiporus sulphureus. Like any mushroom, hens are best when picked very young. Hen Of The Woods / Maitake (Grifola frondosa) The Maitake mushroom (also known as Sheep’s Head or Hen Of The Woods) is a choice edible and medicinal that always demands a good hunt. They are often hard to see because their color can blend in with fall leaves. They’re certainly edible in their old age, even after they have released their spores, but these are going to be more prone to bug damage. It is most often found around the bottom of the trunks of dead or dying oak trees, but under dead maple trees is a possibility. You’re likely to find it growing in the same place, year after year, until it kills the host tree. Im fortunate enough to have a tree on my land that grows hen of the woods around the base most years. Hen-of-the-woods are quite nutritious and particularly high in the B vitamins folate, niacin (B3), and riboflavin (B2), all of which are involved in energy metabolism and cellular growth (4, 5). Larger maitake mushrooms turn a lighter tan brown or grey color as they mature. The name “hen of the woods” comes from the fact that the cluster of mushrooms somewhat resembles the ruffled feathers of a sitting hen. Most of them are pretty small, baseball sized. 1 2. From underneath, maitake mushrooms have stems that branch out and resemble the structure of a piece of broccoli or cauliflower. This is the gateway mushroom for many novice foragers. Hen of the woods fruits anytime from early September to late November and seems to be triggered by the first cold nights at the end of summer. Hen of the Woods can be hard to spot in its native habitat. When is the best time to pick hen of the woods mushroom in northwest Indiana? Wiki User. Answer. This has been a very rainy fall to this morning I counted 7 new growths. It usually grows at the base of hardwood trees or from underground tree roots, and is a perennial mushroom. Chicken of the Woods/Sulphur Shelf. Just looking for a rule of thumb on when to harvest? Top Answer. While it’s easy to identify and widely distributed, Maitake can be somewhat tricky to locate compared to the showy Chicken Of The Woods, as the former blends in well with the autumnal foliage. 2012-10-06 12:22:58 2012-10-06 12:22:58. well camouflaged hen of the woods. Hen of the Woods is a polypore, which means that its undersides have pores, not gills. One is already nearly soccer ball sized.