Major Groups > Toothed Mushrooms > Auriscalpium vulgare


Auriscalpium vulgare

[ Basidiomycetes > Russulales > Auriscalpiaceae > Auriscalpium . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

This goofy little toothed mushroom grows on conifer cones across North America, especially the cones of pines and Douglas-Fir. Its underside features tiny spines, or "teeth"--and that's really about all you need to know in order to identify it. On cones, tiny teeth; nothing else comes close. The stem of Auriscalpium vulgare is tough and fuzzy, and usually extends from the side of the cap, making the mushroom look like a little periscope sent up from a pine-cone submarine.


Ecology: Saprobic on the cones of conifers--especially pines and Douglas-fir; growing alone or gregariously (up to 4 or 5 mushrooms per cone); late fall and early winter, or over winter in warmer climates; widely distributed in North America.

Cap: 1-3 cm across; broadly convex or flat; kidney-shaped or almost circular in outline; dry; hairy, sometimes becoming smooth with age; reddish brown to dark brown or nearly black.

Undersurface: Spines 1-3 mm long; white at first, becoming brownish; crowded.

Stem: 2-7 cm long; up to 3 mm thick; usually lateral; tough; reddish brown to dark brown; hairy; sometimes attached to a spongy underground portion, when the cone is buried in duff.

Flesh: Whitish to brownish; tough and thin.

Odor and Taste: Odor not distinctive; taste mild or slightly bitter.

Spore Print: White.

Chemical Reactions: KOH on cap and stem instantly black.

Microscopic Features: Spores 3.5-6 µ; broadly elliptical to nearly round; smooth, or becoming finely spiny when mature; amyloid. Cystidia scattered; fusoid, with or without a swollen apex; contents refractive in KOH.

REFERENCES: Gray, 1821. (Coker & Beers, 1951; Hall & Stuntz, 1971; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1981; Arora, 1986; Lincoff, 1992; Barron, 1999; Ryvarden, 2001; Roody, 2003; McNeil, 2006; Miller & Miller, 2006.) Herb. Kuo 01160506, 10120904.

This site contains no information about the edibility or toxicity of mushrooms.


Auriscalpium vulgare

Auriscalpium vulgare

Auriscalpium vulgare

Auriscalpium vulgare

Auriscalpium vulgare

Auriscalpium vulgare

Auriscalpium vulgare

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Kuo, M. (2009, October). Auriscalpium vulgare. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: