Bellybutton Hedgehog Mushroom

Botanical: Hydnum umbilicatum

Description: Cap: 3 to 6 cm, convex to flat with central depression, margin incurved then decurved and sometimes wavy, surface smooth, cream-buff darkening/bruising to dull orange; teeth: up to 6 mm, cream-buff, darkening/bruising to dull orange; flesh: dull white, bruising dull orange; stem: 2 to 6 cm X .5 to 1 cm, equal to narrowed up or down, lighter than cap bruising dull-orange; odor and taste: mild. Spore print: white.

Habitat: Scattered to gregarious on ground in duff of coniferous forests. Mid-winter to early spring.

4 Key ID:

  • Usually centrally depressed small smooth cap
  • Dull white, bruising/aging dull orange
  • Toothed
  • Late season on coniferous forest floor


Edibility: Edible and choice. Slightly peppery, slightly fruity/sweet, firm and always bug-free. Populations vary and some may be bitter, which disappears with thorough cooking.


Bellybutton Hedgehog Mushroom

Notes: This is the smaller cousin of Hydnum repandum. Its late season makes it perfect for holiday cooking and mid-winter explorations. It may be difficult to tell the difference between a small Hydnum repandum and a large Hydnum umbilicatum, but it’s not important.

Bellybutton Hedgehog Pizza

1 lb. prepared pizza dough
2 T. olive oil
1 lb. belly button hedgehogs, chopped
1 large shallot, minced
2 t. fresh rosemary, minced
12 oz. grated Fontina cheese
12 oz. cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 C. chopped sweet onion
1/4 C. fresh grated Romano

    • Preheat oven to 400F with 2 shelves nearest the middle of the oven.
    • Saute mushrooms, shallot, and rosemary in olive oil over medium high heat until soft and liquid is evaporated. Let cool a bit.
    • Divide the dough in half and roll out 2 10″ pizza crusts. Place on cookie sheets for soft crust or pizza screens for crisp crust.
    • Divide and spread the Fontina, then the mushrooms, tomatoes and onions on each crust. Divide and sprinkle Romano on each crust.
    • Cook on 2 separate shelves for 10 minutes, then switch shelves and cook another 10 minutes or until crust is crisp and cheese is melted.
    • Makes 2 10″ pizzas, serves 4-6.