The bearded tooth mushroom is quite beautiful. It does not have a mushroom cap, instead, it has long icicle-like teeth that hang down. These teeth create and release spores, these spores spread out with the wind and allow the mushroom to reproduce. There are many mushrooms that reproduce using these teeth-like structures, but the bearded tooth mushroom is by far the most recognizable one.
Bearded tooth mushroom is considered an important medicinal mushroom. The Chinese have used this mushroom for thousands of years for stomach problems and cancer of the digestive organs. These mushrooms also have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and they do a bang on job of boosting the immune system against certain types of cancers. Recently, it has been discovered that there are components within this mushroom that can actually mend damaged nerve ends and regrow them. It has been shown to combat Alzheimers and dementia.
The bearded tooth mushroom is edible and considered choice when cooked, it has a seafood-like flavor that is quite delicious. I like to slow cook them sliced and panfried in butter, cook them slowly so the moisture is released, do not add spices until they are almost ready. By slow cooking them, you will find they are firm and a bit chewy making them enjoyable to eat.