E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Hericium americanum Ginns
no common name

Species account author: Ian Gibson.
Extracted from Matchmaker: Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest.

Introduction to the Macrofungi

© Michael Beug  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #14670)

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Distribution of Hericium americanum
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Species Information

Arora discusses nomenclatural intricacies in this genus, and the approach of Ginns(5) from 1993 is used here, in which H. ramosum as referred to by Arora is called H. coralloides (Scop.: Fr.) Pers. and H. coralloides, as the hardwood lover similar to H. abietis with pure white color when fresh, slightly longer spines up to 4cm, and slightly larger spores is called H. americanum Ginns. Ginns(22) in publishing the new name specifies the description as that of H. coralloides in Harrison(6), from which the description below is derived except where specified. Ginns(5) gives distribution as BC, WA, OR, ID, NS, ON, PE, PQ, AZ, CO, GA, IA, ME, MI, MN, MT, NC, NH, NY, PA, TN, VT, and WV.
up to 30cm across, main branches stout and branching repeatedly; white, becoming cream-colored when old, one collection vinaceous pink when young
fleshy, brittle to tough; white
0.5-1.5cm long, "stout, tapering to a slender tip, in terminal clusters on the ends of branches and from lateral nodules"; white becoming cream-colored when old
represented by a short pseudorhiza that soon branches, or as a tubercle with short branches, attached by strands penetrating the rotting wood
Chemical Reactions:
flesh amyloid in Melzer's reagent, but no color reaction to KOH
spores 5.5-7.0 x 4.5-6.0 microns, round to nearly round, finely roughened to almost smooth, amyloid, white; basidia 25-30 x 5-6 microns, clamped; gloeocystidia frequently projecting 25 microns above hymenium, arising from deep within context, "sharp-pointed or beaded on tips, 6-9 microns wide", "filled with oily contents that may ooze out as droplets in KOH mounts", the droplets often hardening into conidia-like shapes; hyphae of trama monomitic, hyphae up to 20 microns wide, "variably inflated, thick-walled, with lumen almost closed in some, and septa usually with clamps", the amyloid reaction of tramal hyphae can vary in intensity
Spore Deposit:
white (Miller)

Habitat / Range

found on wood of hardwoods and conifers, (Ginns(5)), on old logs, dead stubs, or cankers on living trees with heart rot, (Harrison), late summer and fall (Miller)

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Hericium coralloides sensu N. Amer. aucts.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Range and Status Information Links

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

Species References

Harrison(6), Ginns(5), Ginns(22), Miller(14)*, Arora(1)

References for the fungi

General References