Major Groups > Toothed Mushrooms > Hydnellum > Hydnellum spongiosipes


Hydnellum spongiosipes

[ Basidiomycetes > Thelephorales > Bankeraceae > Hydnellum ... ]

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.

Hydnellum velutinum, in the sense of some North American authors (e.g. Coker & Beers, 1951), is a synonym.


Ecology: Mycorrhizal with oaks (especially white oak) and other hardwoods; growing alone or gregariously; summer and fall; widely distributed 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.

REFERENCES: (Peck, 1897) Pouzar, 1960. (Saccardo, 1899; Coker & Beers, 1951; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1981; Baird, 1986; Baird & Kahn, 1986; Lincoff, 1992; Barron, 1999.) Herb. Kuo 06249605, 07170405.

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


Hydnellum spongiosipes

Hydnellum spongiosipes

Hydnellum spongiosipes

Hydnellum spongiosipes

© MushroomExpert.Com

Cite this page as:

Kuo, M. (2009, April). Hydnellum spongiosipes. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: