Observation 75122: Amylocystis lapponicus (Rom.) Singer

When: 2011-08-27

Collection location: Shrine Pass, Eagle Co., Colorado, USA [Click for map]

Who: Danny Newman (myxomop)

Specimen available

This represents two separate collections. The fruiting body in the top of the frame I collected from a downed, decorticated confier log beside a stream in Fulford, CO. The other two were taken from the above location in spruce/fir habitat by two other collectors. The watery, gelatinous texture, irregular pore arrangement and strong smell of chloraseptic was common to each collection. All tissues latently bruised reddish brown, drying to approximately the same color.

Collected for the 4th Annual Eagle Mushroom Festival.

Species Lists


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Proposed Names

-29% (1)
Recognized by sight
87% (1)
Eye3 Eyes3
Recognized by sight
Used references: Lowe, Josiah L. Polyporaceae of North America : The Genus Tyromyces. Mycotaxon 2(1) pp. 1-82, 1975. (key from pp. 9-14) accessed from CyberLiber
-29% (1)
Based on chemical features: odor listed as strong, “non-mushroomy,” or conky in various texts. fits the general macromorphological description, though no pure white was observed on this or any similar specimens of any age.
29% (1)
Recognized by sight

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Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
This was collected again
By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2013-10-01 03:07:38 CEST (+0200)

in the Sierras this past weekend. Same fungus in every way, including the very distinct odor. Microscopy done by Dr. Desjardin showed “beautiful thick-walled, crystal-incrusted, amyloid cystidia” — the lynchpin feature not found in my original microscopy attempts, but as the saying goes: the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.

a detailed observation from fresh material is forthcoming.

By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2013-09-23 09:34:33 CEST (+0200)

Short characteristic
A medium sized polypore with annual, soft fruitbodies with a striking odour.

Basidiocarps annual, pileate, margin sometimes lobed, medium sized, normally no longer than 15 cm along the wood and 8 cm across, sappy when fresh with a pleasant odour of Ledum palustre, hard when dry. Upper surface at the beginning cream coloured later more or less spotted with rusty brown areas, hairy. Pore surface at first dirty white, later brownish especially when bruised, pores very small, 2-3 pro mm.

Distribution and status
Widespread in the taiga-region from Scandinavia and East-Europe to Siberia, Russian Far East (Kamchatka) and the United States, but rare and localised.

Saprotrophic on old dead logs and trunks of spruce (Picea) in virgin coniferous forests.


Amylocystis lapponica is a medium-sized bracket fungus. The fruiting body is hairy and cream coloured, developing rusty brown spots as it ages (2). The fleshy fruiting body gives off a pleasant, and distinctive, odour (2).


By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2011-11-10 00:10:51 CET (+0100)

A. lapponcus is the closest match yet, though no description I can find makes any mention of the strong, chloraseptic smell. This specimen and several of the same collected from other locations seem to push the upper limits of A. lapponicus’ described thickness and width as well.

from Lowe (as Tyromyces lapponicus):

Effused-reflexed to sessile, solitary, taste mild; pileus white or pinkish throughout when fresh, on bruising or on drying darkening to reddish- or red-brown, applanate to convex, up to 5 × 10 × 2.5 cm, above fibrillose or scabrous to glabrous on drying, azonate, the margin thin, below fertile to edge; pore surface dull, the pores round to angular or sinuate, about 1-3 per mm, dissepiments thin, somewhat lacerate with age; tubes waxy-brittle when dry, up to 7 mm long; context fibrous-fragile when dry, up to 2 cm thick.

Sporophore monomitic, the context of rarely branched, thick-walled to solid, frequently nodose-septate generative hyphae 4-7 μ in diaml trama of similar hyphae except more slender, 2.5-5 μ in diam, amyloid; cystidia usually abundant and conspicuous, sometimes capitate-incrusted, amyloid or dextrinoid, cylindrical, 20-35 × 5-7 μ, imbedded or projecting to 30 μ; basidia clavate, 22-29 × 6-7 μ; spores hyaline, smooth, inamyloid, cylindrical to cylindric-ellipsoid, 8-10 × 2.5-3.5 μ.

On wood of gymnosperms in northern United States and southern Canada; associated with a brown rot, see Hepting (1971). The amyloid reaction of the cystidia with Melzer’s solution led Bondartsev and Singer (Ann. Mync 39:52. 1941) to propose a separate genus (Amylocystis) for this species.

If the structures pictured below even are cystidia, the water mount prevents them from giving away any potential amyloidity. What’s more, not being certain that the spores shown below even belong to the specimen in question renders contrasting and comparing them to Lowe’s measurements a pretty fruitless exercise.

The next one will be scoured for spores and cystidia and mounted in the proper reagent.

just found this again
By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2011-10-08 09:59:53 CEST (+0200)

this time at the SFSU Sierra Nevada Field Campus. No species description I’ve read so far has been a sure match, but I’m admittedly light on Tyromyces literature. A bright white and considerably smaller Tyromyces was also brought in on the same field trip, this one staining bright reddish-pink and resisting identification just as adamantly.

Created: 2011-09-02 18:23:10 CEST (+0200)
Last modified: 2013-10-01 03:04:00 CEST (+0200)
Viewed: 373 times, last viewed: 2018-04-20 10:23:53 CEST (+0200)
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