The Turkey Tail Mushroom (Trametes versicolor, also called Coriolus versicolor), also known as variegated formet or butterfly spore, is a common wood-inhabiting fungus species of polyporacea.
As a weakling parasite and wood decomposer, it is also at home in our latitudes, widespread and easy to find.
Known as “Yun Zhi” in TCM for a long time, its contained polysaccharides are considered particularly valuable. Trametes versicolor is mentioned in ancient Chinese medicinal works on medicinal herbs, for example, the “Shennong Ben Cao Jing”. This work was most likely written in the Han Dynasty (probably 200 BC), but it may contain even much older data. The active ingredient Krestin, extracted from the mushroom, has been approved as a cancer drug in Japan since 1977.
Also the decorative aspect is interesting, in floristry one uses the mushroom likewise. You can make beautiful brooches from it and pin them to your hat. In the past, they were also used as jewelry components, such as on brooches, buckles or hats.
Trametes versicolor is a common saprobiontic wood dweller or weakness parasite, its main substrate in Central Europe is the copper beech, more rarely it grows on oak, birch, common hazel and willow. In addition, the butterfly formet can occur on many other hardwoods, not infrequently also on coniferous wood. It grows on stumps, stacked wood, lying logs, branches and twigs. The fungus can be found in all forest types in Central Europe, moreover also outside forests if suitable substrate is available. The fruiting bodies are annual, the species can be found all year round; in Central Europe fresh fruiting bodies appear mainly from the end of May to August.