Major Groups > Polypores > Trametes elegans


Trametes elegans

[ Basidiomycetes > Polyporales > Polyporaceae > Trametes . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

This polypore is thoroughly confused. It can't make up its mind what kind of pore surface it wants to have: one with normal-looking, angular to roundish pores, or one with pores that are "daedaloid" or nearly "lamellate," to use the official terms in Mycologese that mean "maze-like" and "gill-like," respectively. In fact you are likely to find all three conditions represented on the same mushroom--which turns out to help, rather than hinder, the identification process.

Other identifying features of Trametes elegans include its tough white flesh; its whitish cap, which is lumpy towards the point of attachment and smoother toward the margin; and its ecological role, serving to decompose the deadwood of hardwoods in eastern North America, south of the Great Lakes. A frequently encountered pale version of Daedaleopsis confragosa is very similar in appearance, but has a more thoroughly maze-like pore surface that bruises reddish.

Daedalea ambigua and Daedaleopsis ambigua are synonyms--and it is a shame that the species epithet ambigua, which communicates the ambiguous pore surface so efficiently, had to be dropped in order to comply with the rules for naming species.


Ecology: Saprobic on the deadwood of hardwoods; annual or occasionally perennial; causing a white rot of the sapwood; growing alone or gregariously on logs and stumps; spring through fall; widely distributed in eastern North America from the Great Lakes southward (although I have found something very similar to Trametes elegans in northern Michigan).

Cap: Up to 35 cm across and 3 cm thick; semicircular, irregularly bracket-shaped, or kidney-shaped; flattened-convex; lumpy near the point of attachment, smoother toward the thin margin; often with concentric zones of texture; whitish to buff; sometimes becoming darker with age, especially near the point of attachment or along the margin.

Pore Surface: Whitish; variable, ranging from poroid with round to angular pores (1-2 per mm), to maze-like, with slots up to 2 mm wide, to gill-like (often with all three of these conditions present); tubes or gills up to 6 mm deep; not bruising or bruising yellowish in some collections.

Stem: Usually absent, but occasionally present as a stubby lateral structure.

Flesh: Whitish; tough and corky.

Chemical Reactions: KOH yellow on flesh.

Spore Print: White.

Microscopic Features: Spores 5-7 x 2-3 µ; smooth; cylindric to long-elliptic; hyaline in KOH; inamyloid Cystidia absent. Hyphal system trimitic.

REFERENCES: (Sprengel, 1820) Fries, 1838. (Fries, 1821; Saccardo, 1888; Overholts, 1953; Gilbertson & Ryvarden, 1987.) Herb. Kuo 07120302, 08280403, 10260402, 10290401, 10310401, 09190606, 04280704.

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Trametes elegans

Trametes elegans

Trametes elegans

Trametes elegans

Trametes elegans

Trametes elegans

Trametes elegans

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