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InvisibleveggieM

Registered: 07/25/04
Posts: 17,698
Vermont designates 'Hericium americanum' state mushroom * 2
    #28838585 - 07/05/24 05:05 AM (19 days, 13 hours ago)

"Hedgehog of the Americas": Vermont designates state mushroom
July 5, 2024 - Burlington Free Press

Gov. Phil Scott has signed many bills into law this year, but none so fungi-friendly as H.664, which establishes Hericium Americanum – better known as bear’s head tooth – as Vermont’s state mushroom. 

The white, spiny mushroom was recommended to lawmakers by students from two southern Vermont schools because of its “unique but easy-to-identify” appearance and “nutritional and medicinal qualities,” according to the bill.

Hericium Americanum, which means “Hedgehog of the Americas,” commonly grows on living or decaying deciduous trees in late summer and fall and is indigenous to Vermont. Bear’s head tooth is also edible (keep a look out for it at farmer's markets or grocery stores), does not resemble any toxic fungi and can be cultivated – three attributes that made the mushroom appealing to students.

Additionally, evidence suggests that bear’s head tooth may slow cancer growth, treat neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and inhibit infection, according to an VTDigger op-ed written by Rep. Michelle Bos-Lun, a fervent champion of the new law. Indigenous Americans, for instance, have used the fungus to ward off infection for hundreds of years, Bos-Lun said.

Vermont is only the sixth state to designate a state mushroom, after California (Golden Chanterelle), Utah (Bolete/Porcini), Texas (Texas Star Mushroom), Minnesota (Morel) and Oregon (Pacific Golden Chanterelle).

“Learning about, identifying, and foraging for mushrooms is a hobby that thousands of young and old Vermonters enjoy and allows Vermonters to spend time in the State’s natural environment,” the bill says, adding that “designating a State Mushroom recognizes the unique and delightful treasures that exist in our State woods.”

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