Major Groups > Polypores > Coltricia cinnamomea


Coltricia cinnamomea

[ Basidiomycetes > Hymenochaetales > Hymenochaetaceae > Coltricia . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

Here is a beautiful little vase-shaped polypore, recognized by its silky, cinnamon cap. It is frequently found in moss along trails. When fresh, the cap surface has a sheen and is delicately zoned with concentric bands of cinnamon brown. The flesh is tough and leathery, and when sliced open is rusty brown or even orange. Coltricia cinnamomea and the handful of other species in Coltricia are the only polypores with central stems and flesh that turns instantly black with the application of KOH--though I doubt this test is needed for positive identification.

Coltricia cinnamomea is easy to dry; just set it on the table for a few days and it will harden, retaining much of its original beauty. What you do with it then, of course, is up to you--but since you are reading an obscure Web page about a tiny little fungus that you probably brought home with you, I will assume that you too are a mushroom geek, and that you won't laugh when I suggest making little Coltricia arrangements to brighten your home. When you get rich selling your arrangements at craft shows and on e-Bay, just remember where your inspiration came from.

Coltricia perennis is larger and has duller brown colors; it is often found in burn sites and in conifer woods.


Ecology: Apparently mycorrhizal, at least facultatively (see Tedersoo and collaborators, 2007); possibly also saprobic; growing alone or in small groups under hardwoods in packed soil, often along paths and roadways; infrequently on deadwood; found east of the Rocky Mountains and on the West Coast.

Cap: 1-5 cm; more or less round in outline; flat or vase-shaped; dry; silky-shiny when fresh; cinnamon brown, usually with concentric bands of colors; the margin straight and thin, sometimes eroding in age.

Pore Surface: Yellowish brown to brown or cinnamon brown; running down the stem or not; pores angular to circular, 2-3 per mm; tubes 3 mm deep at most; not bruising.

Stem: 1-5 cm long; 1-4 mm thick; dry; brown to cinnamon brown; velvety; more or less equal; tough.

Flesh: Rusty brown to orange; thin; tough.

Chemical Reactions: Flesh instantly black with KOH.

Spore Print: Yellowish brown.

Microscopic Features: Spores 6-10 x 4.5-7 µ; smooth; elliptical; weakly dextrinoid. Setae absent. Hyphal system monomitic. Clamp connections absent.

REFERENCES: (Jacquin, 1786) Murrill, 1904. (Persoon, 1825; Saccardo, 1888; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1981; Arora, 1986; Phillips, 1991/2005; Lincoff, 1992; Barron, 1999; McNeil, 2006.) Herb. Kuo 06249604, 06180304, 09120511, 07120702.

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


Coltricia cinnamomea

Coltricia cinnamomea

Coltricia cinnamomea

Coltricia cinnamomea

Coltricia cinnamomea

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Kuo, M. (2010, March). Coltricia cinnamomea. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: