Major Groups > Polypores > Trichaptum abietinum


Trichaptum abietinum

[ Basidiomycota > Polyporales > Polyporaceae > Trichaptum . . . ]

by Michael Kuo

The gorgeous, purple-when-fresh pore surface and the habitat on wood of conifers make Trichaptum abietinum fairly easy to identify. Its closest look-alike is Trichaptum biforme, which does look nearly identical--but which inhabits the wood of hardwoods and is thus easily separated. Trichaptum fuscoviolaceum grows on the wood of conifers, but its undersurface is more toothed (or even gill-like) than poroid. Within the boreal range of tamarack, Trichaptum laricinum is also similar, inhabiting the deadwood of tamarack; its undersurface is slot-like or gill-like. All of these species are virtually inseparable microscopically.

Mating studies (Macrae 1967) and early molecular studies (Ko et al. 1997; Kauserud & Schumacher 2003a, 2003b) have more or less upheld the species set forth above, but Trichaptum abietinum has shown fairly significant genetic variation; more than one species may be involved.

"Trichaptum abietinus" is an error in Latin perpetuated by several field guides. Hirschioporus abietinus is a synonym.


Ecology: Saprobic on the dead or dying sapwood of conifers, especially firs; growing in overlapping clusters on logs and stumps; spring through fall; widely distributed in North America. The illustrated and described collections are from Colorado.

Cap: Sometimes absent, or present as merely a folded-over edge, but usually present and semicircular to fan-shaped; 1-4 cm wide; up to 3 cm deep; thin; dry; fuzzy to hairy; with concentric zones of texture and color; shades of gray, with a purplish marginal zone when fresh; often hosting algae and becoming green.

Pore Surface: Purple when fresh, especially near the margin; fading to lilac or brownish with age; with 2-3 angular pores per mm; often tooth-like with age or in capless areas; not bruising.

Stem: Absent.

Flesh: Whitish; tough and leathery.

Chemical Reactions: KOH negative on flesh.

Spore Print: Not verified by me; reported as white.

Microscopic Features: Spores 6-8 x 2-3 µ; smooth; cylindric to slightly allantoid; hyaline in KOH; inamyloid. Cystidia abundant; 20-30 x 5-10 µ; clavate to obutriform; smooth overall but developing distinctive crystalized apices; walls 0.5 µ thick; hyaline in KOH. Hyphal system dimitic; skeletal hyphae 4-9 µ wide, thick-walled, unclamped; generative hyphae 2.5-5 µ wide, thin-walled, clamped.

REFERENCES: (J. J. Dickson, 1793) Ryvarden, 1972. (Fries, 1821; Saccardo, 1888; Overholts, 1953; Macrae, 1967; Arora, 1986; Breitenbach & Kränzlin, 1986; Gilbertson & Ryvarden, 1987; Ko et al., 1997; Barron, 1999; Kauserud & Schumacher, 2003a; Kauserud & Schumacher, 2003b; McNeil, 2006; Grand et al., 2008; Desjardin, Wood & Stevens, 2015.) Herb. Kuo 08041002.

Further Online Information:

Trichaptum abietinum at MykoWeb
Hirschioporus abietinus at Roger's Mushrooms


Trichaptum abietinum

Trichaptum abietinum

Trichaptum abietinum

Trichaptum abietinum

Trichaptum abietinum

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Kuo, M. (2016, June). Trichaptum abietinum. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com Web site: