The Cauliflower Fungus (Sparassis crispa) is a parasitic species of fungus in the family Sparassidaceae, whose large ocher-yellowish fruiting body is edible and with its curly branches resembles a bath sponge.
Sparassis crispa fructifies at the base of trunks or on stumps of conifers, especially Scots pine. Sporadically it has also been found on other pine species, larch, spruce and Douglas fir. Fruiting body spurts may emerge several years in a row in almost the same location. The fungus can occur with its host trees on a wide variety of soil types, but these must not be too dry or too wet.
Fruiting bodies appear from July to December, with a distinct maximum in September and October.
A native large porling, common throughout Europe and the Northern Hemisphere. It is considered a dangerous forest pest that causes brown rot. However, when incultivated, it is not noticeable, the mycelium and spent substrates remain white. Sparassis crispa can change its parasitic way of life to saprobiontic and is therefore cultivable.