Major Groups > Polypores > Laetiporus cincinnatus


Laetiporus cincinnatus

[ Basidiomycetes > Polyporales > Polyporaceae > Laetiporus . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

Recent DNA studies and mating analyses have separated several species of Laetiporus from the "true" chicken of the woods, Laetiporus sulphureus. One recently published eastern North American species is Laetiporus cincinnatus, which is apparently genetically different, and which cannot "mate" with Laetiporus sulphureus.

Laetiporus cincinnatus has a white, rather than yellow, pore surface. Like Laetiporus sulphureus, it prefers oaks, and is found east of the Rocky Mountains (though not too far east of them, as is evidenced by contributor Ronald Meyers's photo, to the right, of the species in Kansas). Laetiporus cincinnatus creates a butt or root rot, so it fruits at the base of the tree or from roots (thus appearing terrestrial)--which helps to separate it from Laetiporus sulphureus, which typically fruits on logs or well above the ground on stumps and trees.


Ecology: Parasitic and saprobic on living and dead oaks; causing a brown rot of the butt and roots; growing alone or gregariously; summer and fall, rarely in winter and spring; fairly widely distributed east of the Rocky Mountains.

Fruiting Body: Up to 60 cm across; usually consisting of several to many caps in a rosette but very rarely consisting of a shelving array near the base of the tree.

Caps: 5-15 cm across and up to 20 cm deep; up to 3 cm thick; fan-shaped to irregularly lobed; smooth to wrinkled; suedelike; bright to pale orange, often with vague concentric bands of alternating shades of color; frequently fading in maturity and with direct sunlight.

Pore Surface: Whitish; with 2-4 circular to angular pores per mm; tubes to 5 mm deep.

Stem: More or less central; whitish; usually poorly defined.

Flesh: Thick; soft and watery when young, becoming tough, eventually crumbling away; white.

Odor and Taste: Not distinctive.

Spore Print: White.

Microscopic Features: Spores 4.5-5.5 x 3.5-4 µ; smooth; broadly elliptical to ovoid; inamyloid. Cystidia absent. Hyphal system dimitic. Clamp connections absent.

REFERENCES: (Morgan, 1885) Burdsall, Banik & Volk, 1998. (Overholts, 1953; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1981; Phillips, 1991/2005; Burdsall & Banik, 2001; Volk, 2001; Roody, 2003; Kuo, 2007; Binion et al., 2008.) Herb. Kuo 08150501.

Laetiporus sulphureus var. semialbinus Peck is a synonym; Laetiporus sulphureus var. cincinnatus (Morgan) Overholts is a former name.

Further Online Information:

Laetiporus cincinnatus at Tom Volk's Fungi
Laetiporus cincinnatus at Roger's Mushrooms


Laetiporus cincinnatus

Laetiporus cincinnatus

Laetiporus cincinnatus

Laetiporus cincinnatus

Laetiporus cincinnatus

Laetiporus cincinnatus

Laetiporus cincinnatus

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Kuo, M. (2005, March). Laetiporus cincinnatus. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: