|Major Groups > Polypores > Trametes elegans|
by Michael Kuo
This polypore is thoroughly confused. It can't make up its mind what kind of pore surface it wants to have: one with normal-looking, angular to roundish pores, or one with pores that are "daedaloid" or nearly "lamellate," to use the official terms in Mycologese that mean "maze-like" and "gill-like," respectively. In fact you are likely to find all three conditions represented on the same mushroom--which turns out to help, rather than hinder, the identification process.
Other identifying features of Trametes elegans include its tough white flesh; its whitish cap, which is lumpy towards the point of attachment and smoother toward the margin; and its ecological role, serving to decompose the deadwood of hardwoods in eastern North America, south of the Great Lakes. A frequently encountered pale version of Daedaleopsis confragosa is very similar in appearance, but has a more thoroughly maze-like pore surface that bruises reddish.
Ecology: Saprobic on the deadwood of hardwoods; annual or occasionally perennial; causing a white rot of the sapwood; growing alone or gregariously on logs and stumps; spring through fall; widely distributed in eastern North America from the Great Lakes southward (although I have found something very similar to Trametes elegans in northern Michigan).
Cap: Up to 35 cm across and 3 cm thick; semicircular, irregularly bracket-shaped, or kidney-shaped; flattened-convex; lumpy near the point of attachment, smoother toward the thin margin; often with concentric zones of texture; whitish to buff; sometimes becoming darker with age, especially near the point of attachment or along the margin.
Pore Surface: Whitish; variable, ranging from poroid with round to angular pores (1-2 per mm), to maze-like, with slots up to 2 mm wide, to gill-like (often with all three of these conditions present); tubes or gills up to 6 mm deep; not bruising or bruising yellowish in some collections.
Stem: Usually absent, but occasionally present as a stubby lateral structure.
Flesh: Whitish; tough and corky.
Chemical Reactions: KOH yellow on flesh.
Spore Print: White.
Microscopic Features: Spores 5-7 x 2-3 µ; smooth; cylindric to long-elliptic; hyaline in KOH; inamyloid Cystidia absent. Hyphal system trimitic.
Daedalea ambigua and Daedaleopsis ambigua are synonyms--and it is a shame that the species epithet ambigua, which communicates the ambiguous pore surface so efficiently, had to be dropped in order to comply with the rules for naming species.
Cite this page as:
Kuo, M. (2005, March). Trametes elegans. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/trametes_elegans.html