|Major Groups > Toothed Mushrooms > Hydnellum > Hydnellum spongiosipes|
by Michael Kuo
If you have ever seen an old tree that has "swallowed" a length of barbed wire or an old road sign, you've seen the slow-motion version of what species of Hydnellum often manage to do in a few short days of growth. Like other Hydnellum species, Hydnellum spongiosipes frequently engulfs its surroundings as it develops, and a typical specimen--in my experience, anyway--has swallowed at least one or two oak leaves.
Distinguishing features for Hydnellum spongiosipes include the brownish "teeth" on the underside of the cap, which bruise darker brown; the brown, velvety cap surface; the "duplex" flesh (with a soft, spongy layer and a harder, dark layer beneath it); the convex cap that becomes flat with age but not, typically, depressed or vase-shaped; and the spongy, swollen stem that gives the species its Latin name. Hydnellum spongiosipes grows under oaks east of the Rocky Mountains.
Cap: Single or fused with other caps; 2-10 cm wide; convex, becoming broadly convex to flat; cinnamon brown to dark brown; velvety; sometimes rugged or pitted; paler areas bruising dark brown.
Undersurface: Running down the stem; covered with crowded spines that are 4-7 mm long; pale to lilac brown; sometimes bruising dark brown; darker brown in age.
Stem: 3-10 cm long; 1-3 cm thick at apex; club-shaped; swollen and much thicker below; spongy; dark brown; velvety.
Flesh: Upper layer pale brown and fairly soft; lower layer dark brown to purplish brown and corky.
Odor and Taste: Odor mealy or not distinctive; taste mealy or mild.
Chemical Reactions: KOH on flesh olive green to blackish or slowly black.
Spore Print: Brown.
Microscopic Features: Spores 4.5-7 x 4-5.5 µ; subglobose or irregular; prominently tuberculate. Clamp connections absent.
Hydnellum velutinum, in the sense of some North American authors (e.g. Coker & Beers, 1951), is a synonym.
Further Online Information:
Hydnellum spongiosipes at Roger's Mushrooms
Cite this page as:
Kuo, M. (2009, April). Hydnellum spongiosipes. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/hydnellum_spongiosipes.html