This bracket fungus grows at the base of deciduous trees (usually oak). It looks very unprepossessing and is well camouflaged, but appearances are deceptive . . . Its relative, chicken of the woods is better known and more visible, but as its name suggests it has a milder taste than the hen. Just as mutton is gamier than lamb (and in my opinion is superior), so hen of the woods has a stronger taste than its yellow relative (which grows higher on the same host trees). Both fungi are gastronomically interesting as much for their texture as their flavour. As the names suggest, they can be used as a meat substitute, particularly in dishes such as casseroles.