Observation 212070: Laetiporus conifericola Burds. & Banik

Found at 5000ft. elevation on multiple Spruce stumps. Most were Englemenn spruce.

Temp: low 70’s.

Low precipitation and record high temps apparently did not affect the saprophytes this season so far!

Species Lists


Fruiting on spruce stumps everywhere in this canopy.
Left hand for scale.
Bright yellow pore surface underneath. These always smell so pungent when it is dry in that canopy. I could smell them from our car when we parked initially. Odor is akin to Fomitopsis pinicola but with a rubbery, fresh tennis ball and caramel scented terpene sprinkled in.

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Daniel, thanks for sharing that story. There are so many
By: Judi T. (AvidAmateur)
2015-08-09 12:24:38 CDT (-0400)

interesting challenges in the field of mycology and SO much to learn. The study of fungi calls for a mind-set open to life-long learning. For sure it’s never boring!

Yes, Judi.
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2015-08-09 00:32:43 CDT (-0400)

But keep in mind that until 2001, Laetiporus conifericola was referred to as Laetiporus sulphureus. Earlier reports of L. sulphureus causing poisoning therefore are suspect, just because of the name change.

I recall buying a quantity of Laetiporus sulphureus to innoculate at Paul Bishop’s Jones Creek Tree Farm in 2001 from Fungi Perfecti, which were placed in Douglas-fir stumps for colonization. Not one produced Laetiporus. Stamets then announced that the conifer-bearing Laetiporus was a separate species, making my colonization of several hundred stumps invalid, because I used the wrong species.

Laetiporus sulphureus is used to colonize hardwoods; L. conifericola is used to colonize conifers. Had I known that in 2001, I could have saved myself many many days worth of work. Ironically, the stumps produced many fungi, including Tuber oregonense for up to 3 years after being created: which generally requires a live host tree…

In 2006 NAMA published a paper summarizng
By: Judi T. (AvidAmateur)
2015-08-08 19:26:03 CDT (-0400)

all reports of symptomatic poisoning from their database. This report was published in McIlvainea 16 (2) Fall 2006, pp. 46-68. Those without access to this journal can find NAMA’s report (Beug, Michael, Marilyn Shaw and Kenneth W. Cochran, “Thirty-Plus Years of Mushroom Poisoning: Summary of the Approximately 2,000 Reports in the NAMA Case Registry”) on the NAMA website. It’s an interesting read and contains some surprises, e.g., mushrooms which are generally considered to be non-poisonous (including some choice edible) in every genus from A through X are included in the data base, albeit for more minor adverse reactions such as gastrointestional distress, shortness of breath, hives, etc. There is even one reported death within 19 hours after ingesting only three bites of L. sulphureus. It was thought that this case represented an idiosyncratic response to the mushroom, i.e., a severe allergic reaction. However, one is reminded that it is always best to take it slow (just q few bites) the first time you eat any wild mushroom you haven’t eaten before and to save a piece for a day or so for analysis in case you have an adverse reaction.

Only Laetiporus I’ve heard making people ill
By: Daniel B. Wheeler (Tuberale)
2015-08-07 20:56:37 CDT (-0400)

grew on Eucalyptus. L. conifericola grows only on conifers (i.e. Western hemlock, spruce, Douglas-fir, etc.). Another reason for knowing what trees are present.

Thanks for all the good info and advice, Drew.
By: Judi T. (AvidAmateur)
2015-08-07 09:47:02 CDT (-0400)

Lately I’ve been seeing more L. cincinnatus than anything else. Those “chicks” seem to be developing a reputation in our area for having the most tender caps and mildest flavor of all. Your post has put a third species on my radar. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

They always are for my wife and I-
By: Drew Henderson (Hendre17)
2015-08-06 19:31:59 CDT (-0400)

We cut only about an inch or two from the leading edge where the flesh is always fresh and tender. The thicker pieces are almost like eating compressed styrofoam. Some folks are made ill by Laetiporus species. I have never had a scare after over 5 years of eating them.

If you do find them… Take lots of pics(as I know you will-fantastically I might add) and only cook a small amount the first time. Coat with oil and sauté on medium heat. Dry sauté for these turns them into chalk in my experience, unless in a glowing hot wok. I look forward to hopefully hearing your experiences and if u made it out unscathed. These are striking and beautiful against the lush summer canopy and can be seen from easily 50 yards in some cases. Read up on recipes for L. Conifericola and all other Laetiporus online. I have eaten L.sulphureus multiple times in the Midwest and find them milder and a bit less bitter, especially if tasted raw. NEVER EAT ANY LAETIPORUS RAW, JUST TASTE IF NEED BE-then spit out. The conifer growing sulphur shelves have alpha pinene and other terpenes and tri terpenes that can sometimes make them gross and bitter. Younger the better. If they are rock hard and dry leave me be.

Gooooood luck with this species :-)


Keep me posted!

Spores truly,


Drew, do you know if these are a popular edible
By: Judi T. (AvidAmateur)
2015-08-06 19:16:56 CDT (-0400)

like the L. sulphureus and L. cincinnatus?

Created: 2015-08-06 12:41:15 CDT (-0400)
Last modified: 2015-08-09 00:33:08 CDT (-0400)
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