Rhodotus palmatus: The Ultimate Mushroom Guide
About The Rhodotus palmatus Mushroom
Rhodotus palmatus is a stunning and unmistakable mushroom with a highly reticulated (webbed) cap and bright orange/pink coloration.
Depending on the source consulted, the edibility of Rhodotus palmatus is typically listed as unknown or inedible. The species has no distinguishable odor, and a "bitter" taste, although one early description referred to the taste as "sweet".
Rhodotus palmatus found in several countries of northern and central mainland Europe including the Scandinavian countries as well as Germany, Poland, and Italy. This remarkable mushroom is also reported from parts of Asia and North America.
This fungus is a pioneer species when it comes to decomposition. Unlike many Galerina species that prefer latter succession woody substrates largely broken down by subsequent fungi, R. palmatus has an affinity for freshly felled hardwoods. Many specimens are found fruiting from elm trees, with a lesser occurrence found on horse chestnut, basswood, and maple. Many species that specialize on freshly fallen trees tend to be latently present within the wood. Spores of latently present saprotrophs that land on a living suitable host tree can live in a dormant state within the tree for several years until the plant finally dies.
Other names: Wrinkled Peach.
Rhodotus palmatus Identification
Saprobic; growing alone, scattered, or (more commonly) in troops on the wet, well-decayed wood of hardwoods; late spring through fall; widely distributed east of the Great Plains.
2-9 cm; convex with an incurved margin when young, becoming broadly convex or flat; slimy and gelatinous; conspicuously netted with whitish ridges and veins - or without veins and ridges; salmon to pinkish-orange.
Attached to the stem; close; whitish when young, becoming pink to salmon from spores.
1.5 to 5 cm long; up to 1 cm thick; pinkish; slightly hairy; often off-center; tough.
Pinkish; rubbery and gelatinous.
Spore Print: Pinkish.
Rhodotus palmatus Antimicrobial Activity
As part of a Spanish research study to evaluate the antimicrobial activity of mushrooms, Rhodotus palmatus was one of 204 species screened against a panel of human clinical pathogens and laboratory control strains. Using a standard laboratory method to determine antimicrobial susceptibility, the mushroom was shown to have moderate antibacterial activity against Bacillus subtilis, and weak antifungal activity against both Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Aspergillus fumigatus.
Rhodotus palmatus Taxonomy & Etymology
The Wrinkled Peach was described in 1785 by French naturalist Jean Baptiste Francois (Pierre) Bulliard, who named it Agaricus palmatus.
It was another Frenchman, mycologist René Charles Joseph Ernest Maire (1878 - 1949), who transferred this species to a new genus Rhodotus, which he created in 1926 to accommodate this unique mushroom, whereupon the currently-accepted scientific name Rhodotus palmatus was established.
Not surprinsingly for such a beautiful mushroom, the list of synonyms of Rhodotus palmatus is quite substantial and includes Agaricus palmatus Bull., Pleurotus palmatus (Bull.) Gray, Agaricus subpalmatus Fr., Crepidotus palmatus (Bull.) Gillet, Pleurotus subpalmatus (Fr.) Gillet, Entoloma cookei Richon, Pleurotus palmatus Bull.) Quél., and Agaricus phlebophorus var. reticulatus Cooke.
Rhodotus palmatus is the type species of the monotypic (meaning that there is only one known species) genus Rhodotus.
The specific epithet palmatus is a reference to the wrinkles on the cap surface, which resemble (somewhat) the lines on the palm of a hand.
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