What You Should Know
Lentinellus cochleatus is a wood-inhabiting fungus. The color of the cap is very variable, with some specimens creamy-yellow while others are as dark as chestnut brown. Grows in clusters from rudimentary or absent stem on wood stumps of deciduous trees (oak, ash, etc.) in late summer and autumn.
Edible and has a mild aniseed odor and flavor. The aromatic compounds involved in the aniseed odor are also found in Clitocybe odora, and other mushrooms. They are a potential source for the flavor industry.
Other names: Aniseed Cockleshell, Anis-Zähling (German), Lentine en colimaçon (French).
Lentinellus cochleatus Mushroom Identification
3 to 7 cm in diameter; a shell-shaped or sometimes funnel-shaped cap with a split down one side and the stipe offset from center.
Decurrent, crowded, and very narrow with toothed edges; almost white, becoming pink and sometimes with inter-vein brown marks.
Eccentric, tough, and the same color as the cap, becoming rusty brown at maturity.
Broadly ellipsoidal to subglobose, smooth or very finely warted, 4.0-5.5 x 3.2-4.5µm; amyloid.
Odor and Taste
Sometimes not distinctive, but there is a commonly occurring form with an aniseed taste and smell.
Habitat & Ecological Role
Saprobic, on or beside rotting stumps, usually of broadleaf trees; also beside woodland footpaths.
Could be confused with the Branched Oyster Mushroom, Pleurotus cornucopiae, which is typically much larger and usually paler with gills that do not have toothed edges.
Lentinellus cochleatus Bioactive Compounds
Three previously identified sesquiterpenoids of the lactarane and secolactarane type, deoxylactarorufin A, blennin A and blennin C, were obtained from cultures of Lentinellus cochleatus. These compounds are known to be potent inhibitors of leukotriene biosynthesis in rat basophilic leukemia (RBL-1) cells and human peripheral blood leukocytes.
Additionally, the new metabolites (Z)-2-chloro-3-(4-methoxyphenyl)-2-propen-1-ol and lentinellone (a protoilludane derivative) were identified (Wunder et al., 1996).
Lentinellus cochleatus Medicinal Poperties
Dichloromethane extracts of this fungus were shown to be antibacterial to Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli, fungicidal towards Candida albicans and Cladosporium cucumerinum, and molluscicidal towards Biomphalaria glabrata. The methanol extract was antibacterial towards both Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli (Keller et al., 2002).
Lentinellus cochleatus Taxonomy and Etymology
In 1821 Christiaan Hendrik Persoon established the basionym of this species when he described it and gave it the binomial scientific name Agaricus cochleatus. The currently accepted scientific name of this species, Lentinellus cochleatus, dates from an 1879 publication by the Finnish mycologist Petter Adolf Karsten (1834 - 1917).
Synonyms of Lentinellus cochleatus include Agaricus cornucopioides Bolton, Merulius cornucopioides (Bolton) With., Agaricus cochleatus Pers., Agaricus confluens Sowerby, Omphalia cochleata (Pers.) Gray, and Lentinus cochleatus (Pers.) Fr.
Lentinellus, the genus name, was established in 1879 by Finnish mycologist Petter Adolf Karsten; the name comes from Lentinus, a similar mushroom genus, via the Latin lent- meaning pliable and -inus meaning resembling. Lentinellus is the diminutive form of Lentinus and it suggests pliable mushrooms similar to those in the genus Lentinus but rather smaller.
The specific epithet cochleatus comes from Greek and means to twist or to spiral.
In the past, many field guides used the common name Tawny Cockleshell mushroom when referring to Lentinellus cochleatus.
Photo 1 - Author: Holger Krisp (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)
Photo 2 - Author: GLJIVARSKO DRUSTVO NIS from Serbia (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic)
Photo 3 - Author: Jerzy Opioła (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International, 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic)
Photo 4 - Author: Jerzy Opioła (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)
Photo 5 - Author: Jerzy Opioła (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International, 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic)
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