Major Groups > Polypores > Albatrellus


The Genus Albatrellus  

[ Basidiomycetes > Polyporales / Russulales > "Albatrellaceae" . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

Members of the genus Albatrellus are mycorrhizal associates with hardwoods and conifers across North America. They are polypores--but they are terrestrial and have central stems. The tube layer on the underside of the cap is not easily removed, which helps separate the dozen or so species from the boletes.

Identifying species of Albatrellus is not an insurmountable task, although there a few instances in which microscope work will make things easier. For the most part, however, identifying features are macroscopic and easily observed. I've included Albatrellus with similar mushrooms from a few other genera in a key to stemmed, pale-fleshed polypores .

Preliminary DNA studies (Miller and collaborators, 2006; Hibbett & Binder, 2002) have supported the idea that Albatrellus is not actually a natural genus. Surprisingly, some species, including Albatrellus confluens and Albatrellus fletii, appear to belong in the Russulales--while others belong in the Polyporales where they have traditionally resided. To my knowledge an extensive contemporary study of Albatrellus has not been completed to sort through these findings and address the taxonomic questions they raise.

Species Pages

Albatrellus caeruleoporus
Albatrellus confluens
Albatrellus cristatus
Albatrellus ovinus
Albatrellus pes-caprae


Albatrellus confluens

Albatrellus caeruleoporus

Albatrellus cristatus


Canfield, E. R. & R. L. Gilbertson (1971). Notes on the genus Albatrellus in Arizona. Mycologia 63: 964-971.

Gilbertson, R. L. & Ryvarden, L. (1986). North American polypores. Vol. 1. Oslo: Fungiflora.

Gilbertson, R. L. & Ryvarden, L. (1987). North American polypores. Vol. 2. Oslo: Fungiflora.

Hibbett, D. S. & M. Binder (2002). Evolution of complex fruiting-body morphologies in homobasidiomycetes. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 269: 1963-1969.

Miller, S. L., E. Larsson, K. H. Larsson, A. Verbeken & J. Nuytinck (2006). Perspectives in the new Russulales. Mycologia 98: 960-970.

Overholts, L. O. (1953). The Polyporaceae of the United States, Alaska and Canada. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. 466 pp. (Note: species of Albatrellus are treated as species of Polyporus.)

Smith, A. H., Smith, H. V. & Weber, N. S. (1981). How to know the non-gilled mushrooms. Dubuque, Iowa: Wm. C. Brown. 324 pp.

Stalpers, J. A. (1992). Albatrellus and the Heriaceae. Persoonia 14: 537-541.

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Kuo, M. (2010, March). The genus Albatrellus. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site:

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