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

Laetiporus conifericola Burdsall & Banik
chicken mushroom

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

Introduction to the Macrofungi

© Judith Holm  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #77999)

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Distribution of Laetiporus conifericola
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Species Information

Laetiporus conifericola forms conspicuous annual shelving masses of orange or yellow, semicircular to fan-shaped fruiting bodies with a yellow pore surface. It is common in the Pacific Northwest. This species has long been known under the name Laetiporus sulphureus (Bull.: Fr.) Murrill, but that taxon has been found to represent several species including Laetiporus conifericola characterized by habitat on conifer species, far western distribution in North America, and spores 6.5-8 x 4.0-5.0 microns, (Burdsall(6)). L. conifericola is found in BC, WA, OR, ID, and elsewhere including AK, CA, NV, (Burdsall).
up to 25cm along wood, projecting 15cm, and 3cm thick, shelving, dimidiate [roughly semicircular]; bright orange to salmon orange, (Burdsall), 5-50(70)cm long and up to 4cm thick, fan-shaped to elongated along wood or semicircular; red-orange to bright orange, yellow-orange, sulphur-yellow, or salmon (margin usually yellow), fading when old to yellowish, buff or dull whitish; "smooth to suedelike, often uneven or wrinkled", (Arora), up to 40cm wide, semicircular to fan-shaped, yellow to orange when fresh, fading to brownish or even whitish when old or drying; minutely tomentose to bald, not zoned to faintly zoned, radially furrowed; margin the same color, often wavy, rounded, (Gilbertson)
up to 2cm thick; pale yellow, (Burdsall), thick, soft, and watery when fresh, becoming tough and then crumbly; "white to pale yellow or salmon-tinged"; when very young often exuding yellow or orange droplets, (Arora), up to 2cm thick, "brittle and sappy or succulent when fresh, drying crumbly or chalky"; white, not zoned, (Gilbertson)
2-4 per mm, nearly circular at first, becoming more angular when old, decurrent on stem to its attachment, 1-5mm long, (Burdsall), 2-4 per mm, bright sulphur yellow "but often darkening when bruised and fading slowly in age", tube layer 0.1-0.4cm thick, (Arora), 3-4 per mm, angular, walls of pores thin and becoming torn, sulphur yellow when fresh, drying pale tan, tube layer up to 0.4cm thick, sulphur yellow when fresh, drying pale buff; sometimes underside of cap is sterile, (Gilbertson)
absent or with broad lateral stem, (Burdsall), absent or present only as a narrowed base, (Arora), absent or lateral and not well developed, (Gilbertson)
fungal or rather pungent (Arora), nut-like, pleasant, (Gilbertson)
nearly mild or acidic becoming quite sour or unpleasant when old, (Arora), nut-like, pleasant, (Gilbertson), of chicken (Schalkwijk-Barendsen)
spores 6.5-8 x 4.0-5 microns, broadly oval, smooth, inamyloid, colorless, thin-walled; basidia 4-spored, 15 x 7.5 microns, pyriform, colorless, thin-walled, lacking a basal clamp connection; hymenium composed of basidia; subhymenium of tightly interwoven, frequently septate, thin-walled, colorless hyphae lacking clamp connections, giving rise to hymenial elements; pore trama dimitic, consisting of generative hyphae and skeletal hyphae, the generative hyphae nearly parallel in arrangement, 3-5 microns wide, thin-walled, colorless, regularly septate, lacking clamp connections, remaining intact in 2% KOH, the skeletal hyphae 4-6 microns wide, "nearly parallel but somewhat sinuous and undulating, occasionally branched and septate, lacking clamp connections", walls 1-1.5 microns thick, dissolving nearly completely in 2% KOH; cap context dimitic, composed of generative and binding hyphae, the latter 4-12 microns wide, mostly long cylindric hyphae with dendroid side branches, colorless, smooth, occasionally septate, lacking clamp connections, walls 1-3 microns thick, dissolving nearly completely in 2% KOH; cap surface a tissue of compactly interwoven hyphae 30-50 microns thick, hyphae up to 7 microns wide, but mostly collapsed, walls up to 1 micron thick, colorless, smooth, septate, lacking clamp connections, grading rather abruptly into cap context, (Burdsall), spores 5-7 x 3.5-5 microns, broadly elliptic to nearly round, smooth, (Arora), spores 5-8 x 4-5 microns, oval to elliptic, smooth, inamyloid, colorless; basidia 4-spored, 20-25 x 6-9 microns, clavate, simple septate at base; cystidia absent; generative hyphae of context 6-12 microns wide, thin-walled, colorless, simple-septate, with rare branching, binding hyphae of context 3-20 microns wide, firm-walled to thick-walled, colorless, nonseptate, much branched and interlocking, hyphae of trama 4-6 microns wide, thin-walled to firm-walled, with occasional branching, simple-septate, (Gilbertson)
Spore Deposit:
white (Arora)

Habitat / Range

on mature conifer, (Burdsall), annual, single or more often in overlapping clusters on dead stumps and logs, or sometimes on living trees or from roots, (Arora), single or in shingled clusters up to a square meter or more in extent, causes brown cubical butt rot of living hardwoods and conifers, "also on dead standing and fallen trees, stumps, and utility poles", (Gilbertson), fruiting in fall, taking about 4 weeks to develop, (Schalkwijk-Barendsen)

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Range and Status Information Links


delicious when thoroughly cooked, but caution advised because poisoning has occurred, this species should never be eaten raw, tough and sour when not young, margin more tender than the rest of the fruiting body, (Arora), allergic and gastrointestinal symp

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

Species References

Gilbertson(1) (as L. sulphureus), Burdsall(6), Arora(1)* (as L. sulphureus), Phillips(1)* (as L. sulphureus), Lincoff(2)* (as L. sulphureus), Schalkwijk-Barendsen(1)* (as L. sulphureus), Breitenbach(2)* (as L. sulphureus), Sept(1)* (as L. sulphureus), Mil

References for the fungi

General References