Over the past couple days there have been searches on hedgehog mushroom identification that led people to this blog. There are two kinds of edible hedgehog mushrooms and I start finding both in the forests I haunt in Southern Ontario, sometime in August and into September. I don’t think I’ve found any of either variety prior to August.
The two kinds are Hydnum umbilicatum and Hydnum repandum. The Hydnum umbilicatum tend to have a flatter top and in the forests I find them in, they have quite an orange cast about them. When you see them in the forest, you’ll see they have a depression like a belly button on the cap – hence umbilicatum. The Hydnum repandum have more of a tan colour and more of a rounded cap and they tend to grow much bigger. Both have teeth under the cap.
You’ll find that both varieties are quite firm, and as a bonus they are much less likely to be bug-eaten than chanterelles.
Both varieties of hedgehogs are quite distinctive – firm tan to tan-orange mushrooms with many teeth on the underside of the cap. Still I can’t stress enough, if you are not 100% certain of what you have, don’t eat it.