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Turbinellus floccosus

[ Basidiomycota > Gomphales > Gomphaceae > Turbinellus . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

You have probably met several people in your life who should have been named Turbinellus Floccosus. If you haven't, try to picture in your mind what someone so-named would look like. Then turn your vision into a mushroom, and I'll bet you've pretty much got an idea of what Turbinellus floccosus, the mushroom, looks like.

And what a goofy little guy he is! Shriveled-looking but stout, this vase-shaped and fleshy mushroom is fairly variable in its colors, ranging from bright reds and oranges to duller shades of orange (but not pale tan, like Turbinellus kauffmanii). It grows under conifers in northern and montane North America, and is probably mycorrhizal.

Your field guide may call this mushroom "Gomphus floccosus," but research by Giachini (2004, 2010, 2011) has removed this species away from the genus Gomphus, and broadened the species concept to include several species previously separated on the basis of minor differences in physical features, including Gomphus bonarii, Gomphus canadensis, and Gomphus wilkinsae.

Thanks to Laurence Boomer for collecting, documenting, and preserving Turbinellus floccosus for study; his collection is deposited in The Herbarium of Michael Kuo.


Ecology: Mycorrhizal with conifers (including pines, spruces, firs, and hemlocks); growing alone, scattered, or gregariously; summer and fall, or over winter along the West Coast; originally described from Pennsylvania; widely distributed in northern and montane North America. The illustrated and described collections are from California, Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio.

Fruiting Body: Vase shaped and fleshy; developing a shallow to deep central depression; 6–14 cm high and 4–11 cm across.

Upper Surface: Moist when fresh; scaly, with appressed, soft scales that are roughly the same size; dark orange to reddish orange or dull brownish orange, with yellowish spots and zones; margin thin and wavy.

Undersurface: Running deeply down the stem; covered with shallow longitudinal wrinkles and folds; folds often forked and/or cross-veined; bald; creamy when fresh; discoloring and maturing to brownish.

Stem: 4–10 cm high; 2–3.5 cm wide; flaring into the cap, from which it is not distinctly separate; bald; colored like the undersurface, or with bright to dull yellow shades; discoloring brownish; basal mycelium white.

Flesh: White to whitish; fibrous; unchanging when sliced, or sometimes discoloring brownish.

Odor and Taste: Odor not distinctive; taste sweet and slightly sour.

Chemical Reactions: Ammonia negative on upper surface. KOH negative on upper surface. Iron salts negative on upper surface, dark green on undersurface.

Spore Print: Reported as yellowish. I have not verified the color.

Microscopic Features: Spores 11–16 x 5.5–7 µm; ellipsoid, with a snout-like apicular end; finely verrucose; hyaline to ochraceous in KOH; inamyloid. Basidia 50–80 x 7.5–10 µm; subclavate; 4-sterigmate. Cystidia not found. Clamp connections not found.

REFERENCES: (Schweinitz, 1832) Earle ex Giachini & Castellano, 2011. (Saccardo, 1887; Coker, 1919; Corner, 1966; Petersen, 1968; Smith, 1968; Petersen, 1971; Smith, 1975; Bigelow, 1978; Smith, Smith & Weber, 1981; Thiers, 1985; Arora, 1986; States, 1990; Phillips, 1991/2005; Lincoff, 1992; Bessette, Miller, Bessette & Miller, 1995; Barron, 1999; Pilz et al., 2003; Roody, 2003; Giachini, 2004; Hosaka et al., 2006; McNeil, 2006; Miller & Miller, 2006; Trudell & Ammirati, 2009; Giachini et al., 2010; Kuo & Methven, 2010; Giachini & Castellano, 2011; Kuo & Methven, 2014; Desjardin, Wood & Stevens, 2015; Evenson, 2015; Siegel & Schwarz, 2016; Baroni, 2017; Elliott & Stephenson, 2018; Sturgeon, 2018; McKnight et al., 2021; MacKinnon & Luther, 2021.) Herb. Kuo 09039509, 08180605, 09111008, 07171501.

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


Turbinellus floccosus

Turbinellus floccosus

Turbinellus floccosus

Turbinellus floccosus

Turbinellus floccosus

Turbinellus floccosus

Turbinellus floccosus

Turbinellus floccosus
Iron salts

Turbinellus floccosus

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Kuo, M. (2021, August). Turbinellus floccosus. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: