What You Should Know
Trametes suaveolens is a species of fungus belonging to the family Polyporaceae. It is often tinged green by algae. This persistent fungus is seen rather infrequently, mainly on living or dead broad-leaved trees - notably poplar and willow. It is a tough and inedible fungus.
The anise smell of young specimens is quite distinctive together with the bruising reaction and overall whitish color. Dyers are particularly interested in this species as it yields a much sought purple dye.
Other names: Fragrant Bracket.
Trametes suaveolens Mushroom Identification
This bracket is unusual in that it is creamy-white or very light grey throughout, although often tinged with green algae on its finely downy, undulating upper surface.
Brackets are 6 to 12cm across and start off rounded but as they mature they develop sharper edges at the interface between the fertile (lower) and infertile (upper) surfaces. There is no stem, and the flesh is very tough.
Tubes and Pores
The white tubes are 10 to 15mm deep and terminate in roundish or slightly elongated white, buff, or pale gray-yellow pores spaced at 0.5 to 1mm.
The pore surface turns brownish if it is bruised.
Allantoid (sausage-shaped), smooth, 8-12 x 4-4.5; inamyloid.
Odor and Taste
Fresh specimens smell strongly of aniseed but have little taste.
Habitat & Ecological Role
On living or dead hardwood trees, notably poplars and willows.
Tyromyces chioneus is smaller and grows in tiers on rotting deadwood; its flesh is juicy and its pores are more rounded and much smaller than those of Trametes suaveolens.
Trametes suaveolens Taxonomy and Etymology
Described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753 and given the name Boletus suaveolens, this bracket fungus was transferred to the genus Trametes in 1838 by the great Swedish mycologist Elias Magnus Fries, thus establishing its currently-accepted scientific name as Trametes suaveolens.
Synonyms of Trametes suaveolens include Boletus suaveolens L., Daedalea suaveolens (L.) Pers., Polyporus suaveolens (L.) Fr., Trametes bulliardii Fr., Trametes odora Fr., Trametes
Trametes, the genus name, comes from the prefix tram- meaning thin and -etes meaning 'one which is' - hence the implication is that fruit bodies of fungi in this genus are thin in section, at least on their outer edges.
The specific epithet suaveolens means 'sweet-smelling' - a reference to the strong aniseed (anise) scent given off by fresh young specimens, most noticeably if the pores are rubbed or a bracket is cut or broken. The scent is barely detectable when brackets grow old and dry out.
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