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Peniophora rufa

[ Basidiomycetes > Russulales > Peniophoraceae > Peniophora . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

Peniophora rufa is a distinctive crust fungus that forms small, bright red, cushion-shaped structures on the dead but still bark-covered branches and trunks of aspens, including quaking aspen and big-toothed aspen. Although a microscope is probably not needed in order to identify Peniophora rufa successfully, the fungus has fascinating microscopic features, including prominent gloeocystidia.


Ecology: Saprobic and apparently sometimes pathogenic on the wood of aspens (quaking aspen and big-toothed aspen), and occasionally on the wood of other hardwoods; erupting through the still-attached bark; spring, summer, and fall; fairly widely distributed where the host trees are present (northern and montane North America).

Fruiting Body: Resupinate; usually growing in patches of cushion-shaped individual fruiting bodies measuring up to about 1 cm across and 2 mm high; surface waxy, wrinkled, red to orange-red when fresh (sometimes with a whitish dusting), becoming purplish with age.

Flesh: Hard; whitish to grayish.

Spore Print: White.

Microscopic Features: Spores 6-9 x 2-3 µ; smooth; cylindrical to sausage-shaped; inamyloid. Basidia 4-sterigmate. Gloeocystidia pear-shaped to clavate; 10-25 µ across. Cystidia cylindric to fusiform; scarcely projecting; 5-8 µ wide; with encrusted apices. Hyphal system monomitic. Clamp connections present.

REFERENCES: (Fries, 1828) Boidin, 1958. (Saccardo, 1888; McKay & Lentz, 1960; Chamuris, 1988; Lincoff, 1992; Evenson, 1997; Barron, 1999; McNeil, 2006.) Herb. Kuo 05230506; DBG RMNP 2008-006.

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Peniophora rufa

Peniophora rufa

Peniophora rufa

Peniophora rufa

Peniophora rufa

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Kuo, M. (2009, February). Peniophora rufa. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: