Laetiporus conifericola Burdsall & Banik
chicken mushroom
Fomitopsidaceae

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

Introduction to the Macrofungi

Photograph

© Judith Holm     (Photo ID #77999)


Map

E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Laetiporus conifericola
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Odor:
fungal or rather pungent (Arora), nut-like, pleasant, (Gilbertson)
Taste:
nearly mild or acidic becoming quite sour or unpleasant when old, (Arora), nut-like, pleasant, (Gilbertson), of chicken (Schalkwijk-Barendsen)
Microscopic:
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)
EDIBILITY
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

Habitat and Range

SIMILAR SPECIES
Laetiporus gilbertsonii has smaller spores and grows on hardwoods (especially on Eucalyptus and Quercus) in the US states bordering Mexico and the Pacific Ocean and (var. pallidus) in US states bordering the Gulf of Mexico, (Burdsall). Laetiporus huroniensis occurs on mature and overmature conifers (on old large diameter conifers), in eastern North America and in its Great Lakes region [known as far west as Wisconsin], and has spores 5.0-7.0 x 4.2-5.0 microns, (Burdsall). Laetiporus sulphureus, found in temperate parts of the eastern US [documented as far west as Minnesota], grows on hardwoods and has smaller spores (5.5-7 x (3.5)4-5 microns) than L. conifericola, (Burdsall). Laetiporus sulfureus sensu stricto could either represent a clade that is found in Europe, North America and South America exclusively on hardwoods or a clade that appears to be restricted to Europe and occurs on hardwoods and conifers, (Banik).
Habitat
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)