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

Albatrellus ovinus (Schaeff.: Fr.) Murrill
sheep polypore

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

Introduction to the Macrofungi

© Michael Beug  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #18561)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Albatrellus ovinus
Click here to view our interactive map and legend
Details about map content are available here
Click on the map dots to view record details.

Species Information

Features include a cream to buff cap with pale yellow color in the cracks, small white to pale yellow pores, a shallow tube layer, a central to lateral stem, and growth on the ground. Albatrellus avellaneus and Albatrellus subrubescens have colors that overlap and those species are reliably differentiated by their spores.

It is found in BC, WA, OR, ID, AB, MB, ON, PQ, AZ, CA, CO, MA, ME, MT, NM, NY, TN, UT, VT, WI, and circumboreal, (Gilbertson).
4-15(20)cm, circular or irregular, convex becoming flat or slightly depressed, often with wavy margin; "usually whitish at first, but often yellow, ocher, buff, pinkish, or tan (especially at center) in age"; dry, smooth or when old scaly, (Arora, who it must be noted treats A. avellaneus as a purple-capped form), up to 15cm, circular to kidney-shaped, cream to buff, with pale yellow color in the cracks, drying grayish or pale olivaceous, sometimes with a faint tinge of pink; bald, usually becoming areolate [cracked like dried mud] drying rugose [wrinkled], (Gilbertson)
thick, firm, rather tough; white or yellow, (Arora), up to 2cm thick near stem, fleshy when fresh, drying firm, cream to pinkish straw colored to darker pinkish brown, with a dark layer next to tubes, (Gilbertson)
2-4 per mm, usually decurrent; white but often becoming yellow or yellowish when old or bruised; tube layer 0.1-0.2cm thick, (Arora), 3-5 per mm, circular near margin, angular near stem, decurrent, walls becoming thin and fringed or torn; "pale yellow when fresh, drying dark-olivaceous to pinkish olivaceous or cinereous"; tube layer up to 0.4cm thick, yellowish when fresh, drying pinkish buff or olivaceous buff, (Gilbertson)
3-10cm x 1-3(4)cm, "central or slightly off-center, equal or enlarged below with a narrowed base", solid, firm; "whitish or tinged cap color, but sometimes staining pinkish", (Arora), up to 7cm x 3.5cm, central to lateral, usually single but occasionally confluent; cream to brownish; very finely tomentose, drying rugose [wrinkled], (Gilbertson)
aromatic with pleasant odor (Gilbertson), mild (Lincoff(2)), somewhat acid, fruity, (Lincoff(1))
mild, sometimes bitterish (Lincoff(2)), sweet, of almonds, sometimes a little bitter, (Lincoff(1))
spores (3.6)4.0-4.8(5.0) x (2.8)3.2-3.8 microns, (Ginns(1)), spores 4-5 x 3-3.5 microns, oval to nearly round, smooth, inamyloid, colorless, with slightly thickened walls, (Gilbertson); basidia 4-spored, 20-26 x 5-7 microns, simple-septate at base, often bent sharply at base; cystidia absent; hyphae monomitic, hyphae of context highly variable in width with irregular swellings and constrictions, ranging from 4-30 microns wide, thin-walled, simple-septate, with frequent branching, gloeoplerous hyphae also present, up to 13 microns wide, refractive in Melzer''s reagent, often sinuous and with bulbous swellings, hyphae of trama more uniform in width, 2.5-4 microns wide, simple-septate, with occasional branching, "amyloid reactions in context and trama in scattered areas, large, irregular golden brown globules exuded from tissue in Melzer''s reagent", (Gilbertson)
Spore Deposit:
white (Arora)

Habitat / Range

annual; single to scattered or gregarious, sometimes in fused clusters, on ground in mixed woods and under conifers, (Arora), on ground in coniferous forest, (Gilbertson), late summer and fall (Miller)

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Athelia fuscostratum (Burt) Donk
Corticium fuscostratum Burt
Polyporus ovinus (Schaeff.) Fr.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Range and Status Information Links


edible when cooked well, but large quantities can have laxative effects (Arora)

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

Species References

Gilbertson(1), Ginns(1), Arora(1)*, Phillips(1)*, Lincoff(2)*, Lincoff(1)*, Miller(14)*, Buczacki(1)*, Ginns(28)*, Marrone(1)*, McBride(1)*

References for the fungi

General References