Major Groups > Crust Fungi


Crust Fungi

by Michael Kuo

I'm using the unscientific term "crust fungi" to refer to various wood-decomposing mushrooms that have a smooth to pimpled or wrinkled spore-bearing surface; they lack the pores that typify polypores, or the teeth that typify the toothed mushrooms. One good way to see the difference is to compare two classic and common wood rotters: the polypore Trametes versicolor and the crust fungus Stereum ostrea (sometimes called the "Turkey Tail" and the "False Turkey Tail," respectively). From above these mushrooms look very similar, but when turned over the polypore has very tiny pores, while the crust fungus has a smooth undersurface.

My treatment of crust fungi is unfortunately cursory (for the time being, at least), and centered around the larger, fruiting-body-developing species; there are multitudes of resupinate crusts that require painstaking microscopic analysis for accurate identification, and my interests tend to be more "mushroom" oriented. But I find the crusts interesting, and hope to give them, some day, the attention they deserve.

Aleurodiscus oakesii
Biscogniauxia atropunctata
Byssocorticium atrovirens
Kretzschmaria deusta
Peniophora rufa
Phlebia coccineofulva
Phlebia incarnata
Phlebia radiata
Phlebia tremellosa
Phlebiopsis crassa
Podoscypha aculeata
Stereum complicatum
Stereum gausapatum
Stereum hirsutum
Stereum ostrea
Thelephora americana
Thelephora cuticularis
Thelephora multipartita
Thelephora terrestris
Thelephora vialis
Xylobolus frustulatus


Stereum ostrea

Phlebia radiata

Xylobolus frustulatus


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Kuo, M. (2008, December). Crust fungi. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site:

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