Public Description of Polyporus admirabilis Peck

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Name: Polyporus admirabilis Peck
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 Draft For 2008/2009 Eol University Species Pages Initiative By Justin Beams (Private)

Description status: Approved
 (Latest review: 2010-04-12 22:18:46 CDT (-0400) by nathan)

Taxonomic Classification:

Domain: Eukarya
Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Polyporales
Family: Polyporaceae

General Description:

Polyporus admirabilis is often distinguished by odor. It has a very strong and unpleasant smell that can often be described as sickeningly sweet. Specimens are often found in clusters of four or more laterally attached caps. Occasionally a single, rosette-shaped pileus can be found; esp. in a young specimen. Cap size varies from 10 to 36cm in mature fruiting bodies. Pileus can be concave or depressed when viewed from above and older samples may have the appearance of a rudimentary stalk.

The flesh of the fruiting body is generally a light cream color and is thick, tough and fibrous. Mature specimens can reach a thickness of up to five cm. The spore bearing surface is usually a clean white with 3-5 pores per mm2. Many specimen have round, congruous pores but on occasion the pores may become angular, especially with age.

Diagnostic Description:

P. admirabilis leaves a white spore print when collected on black paper. Spores are smooth, cylindrical, hyaline and can range in size from 3-3.5 × 7-9 µm. Basidia can be observed under ocular microscope with 4 sterigmata producing one basidiospore each. The basidia can vary from 5-7 µm in width by 15-20 µm in height.

Hyphae are thick walled and dimitic with only occasional branching. Skeletal hyphae vary from 2-9 µm in diameter while generative hyphae range from 3-4.5 µm in diameter. Generative hyphae are thin walled with clamps and junctions.


The specimen are relatively rare but when found in a particular area can be quite common in the surrounding acres. This is thought to be due to its favoring injured, living hardwoods.


P. admirabilis is found primarily in the upper New England States. It is found growing on the lower area of the trunks of hardwoods. It seems to favor areas of the tree that have sustained injury with noticeable portions of the tree’s bark removed.

Look Alikes:

P. admirabilis is most commonly mistaken to be Polyporus coronadensis. P. coronadensis is found primarily in the region surrounding and including Arizona. P. coronadensis has a significantly larger pileus than P. admirabilis.


P. admirabilis is not known to be edible and has no current economic value or use to humans. However, it does contribute to the decay of wood, returning nutrients to the ecosystem.


Bessette, A., & Fischer, D. (1997). Mushrooms of Northeastern North America.Hong Kong: PrintNet.

Description authors: Tom Volk, Justin Beams (Request Authorship Credit)
Description editor: Nathan Wilson