What You Should Know
Sarcodon leucopus is a mycorrhizal species associated with old-growth forests of Pinus sylvestris on calcareous soil. Found in Asia and Europe, it was described as new to science in 1825 by Christian Hendrik Persoon. Fruit bodies are pale purplish-brown to dark brown with flattened to slightly depressed caps. The surface texture, initially finely felt-like, later cracks to form shiny scales.
Fruit bodies of Sarcodon leucopus contain novel compounds called sarcoviolins that have been shown to have antioxidative and α-glucosidase inhibitory activity.
Sarcodon leucopus occurs in mountain areas forming ectomycorrhiza with Pinus sylvestris (Scots pine). It inhabits nutrient-poor sites, on dry to mesic, calcareous soils. Old, sunny, semi-open forests are suitable environment. The species produces sporocarps in late summer and autumn.
Other names: Name-shishi-take (Japan), Plompe stekelzwam (Netherlands), Lošák hladký (Czech Republic), Glatter Braunsporstacheling (Austria), Jelenkovec hladký (Slovakia).
Sarcodon leucopus Mushroom Identification
Up to 20 cm (8 in) in diameter. The surface texture, initially finely felt-like, later cracks to form shiny scales. Its color is pale purplish-brown to dark brown.
The stem measures 4–8 cm (1.6–3.1 in) long by 2–6 cm (0.8–2.4 in) thick.
On the cap underside are up to 15 mm long and about 1 mm thick.
The flesh has a disagreeable odor, and a bitter taste.
Roughly spherical, typically measuring 7.2–7.9 by 4.5–5.6 µm.
Habitat and Ecology
It is an ectomycorrhizal fungus of Pinus sylvestris in old, often open coniferous forests on very dry to mesic, base-rich to calcareous soils, often on thin soils above bedrock (Nitare 2006, Brandrud 2009). In Central Europe, the species mainly has a montane to subalpine distribution (Breitenbach and Kranzlin 1986, Krieglsteiner 2000). In Norway, S. leucopus is especially found in forests above olivine/serpentine rocks, a habitat strongly threatened by quarrying (Brandrud 2009).
Photo 1 - Author: federicocalledda (Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International)
Photo 2 - Author: vvolkotrub (Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International)
Photo 3 - Author: vvolkotrub (Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International)
Shape: ConvexTooth Fungi
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