Public Description of Albatrellus ovinus (Fr.) Kotl. & Pouz.

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Name: Albatrellus ovinus (Fr.) Kotl. & Pouz.
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Description status: Unreviewed

Taxonomic Classification:

Domain: Eukarya
Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Russulales
Family: Albatrellaceae

General Description:

Albatrellus ovinus is a white to cream-colored mushroom, but is often tan and drab colored and less distinctive. Unlike many related members of the genus Albatrellus, A. ovinus is mycorrhizal as it is found on the ground near coniferous trees, rather than a saprophyte or parasite on wood. Mycorrhizal in coniferous forests in temperate and boreal climates; appearing in late summer and autum. Pileus 4-20 cm across, 3-10 mm thick, fleshy, usually circular but sometimes irregular; slightly convex, flat, or shallowly depressed in age; rarely fused; dry; smooth at first, then becoming cracked with pale to yellowish flesh exposed inside cracks; whitish or buff when young, aging to tan. Pore surface desceding the stem. Flesh is whitish aging to yellowish. Stipe 3-10 cm long, 1-4 cm wide; central or a bit off-center; whitish to tan; smooth or very finely velvety. White spore print.

Basidiospores 4-5 × 2.5-3.5 micrometers in size; smooth; hyaline; subglobose to broadly elliptic; inamyloid in Melzer’s Reagent; walls fairly thick. The hyphal strucutre is monomitic.

Application of KOH instantly turns the usually whitish flesh to golden yellow in color. Grows gregariously, sometimes in dense clusters. Both odor and taste are not distinctive.

Common name: Sheep polypore. Polyporus ovinus is a previous, out-dated scientific name.

Diagnostic Description:

Unlike most members of the genus Albatrellus, A. ovinus is mycorrhizal mushroom as it is found on the ground near conifer trees.


Albatrellus ovinus is found within the United States in both the Rocky and Appalachian Mountains and also coastal California. It can also be found in Finland and other parts of Europe. Prefers to grow in high elevations; mountainous regions.


Mycorrhizal mushroom in association with conifer trees. Found on the ground in coniferous forests in temperate and boreal climates. It is also found under Englemann spruce, subalpine fur, Norway spruce, and under other various firs, pines, and spruces.

Look Alikes:

Albatrellus confluens is closely related and also very similar looking. The distinguishing characteristic between the two species is that with the application of KOH, the flesh of A. confluens turns purple, while the flesh of A. ovinus turns golden yellow.


This mushroom is considered to be a fine edible in Finland. Considered edible when young. There have been reports of problems after eating Albatrellus ovinus, such as “laxative effects” when consumed in large quantities and also “intoxication from eating it.”


Created by Zach Duga
November 2008
UW-La Crosse Mycology

Current Name:

Albatrellus ovinus (Schaeff.) Kotl. & Pouzar, Česká Mykol. 11(3): 154 (1957)

Albatrellus albidus (Pers.) Gray, Nat. Arr. Brit. Pl. (London) 1: 645 (1821)
Boletus albidus Pers., Syn. meth. fung. (Göttingen) 2: 515 (1801)
Boletus carinthiacus Pers., Syn. meth. fung. (Göttingen) 2: 514 (1801)
Boletus fragilis Pers., Observ. mycol. (Lipsiae) 1: 84 (1796)
Boletus ovinus Schaeff., Fung. Bavar. Palat. 4: 83 (1774)
Caloporus ovinus (Schaeff.) Quél., Enchir. fung. (Paris): 164 (1886)
Polyporus limonius Velen., České Houby 4-5: 668 (1922)
Polyporus lutescens Velen., České Houby 4-5: 669 (1922)
Polyporus ovinus (Schaeff.) Fr., Syst. mycol. (Lundae) 1: 346 (1821)
Polyporus subsquamosus var. luteolus Beck, Verh. zool.-bot. Ges. Wien 36: 469 (1886)
Scutiger ovinus (Schaeff.) Murrill, Mycologia 12(1): 20 (1920)

Description authors: Tom Volk, Zach Duga (Request Authorship Credit)
Description editors: Nathan Wilson, walt sturgeon

Created: 2008-12-26 11:46:56 AEDT (+1100) by Tom Volk (TomVolk)
Last modified: 2012-01-04 15:26:07 AEDT (+1100) by walt sturgeon (Mycowalt)
Viewed: 1617 times, last viewed: 2019-06-14 20:19:01 AEST (+1000)