Trametes pubescens: The Ultimate Mushroom Guide
About The Trametes pubescens Mushroom
Trametes pubescens is a small, thin polypore bracket fungus. It has a cream-colored, finely velvety cap surface. The brackets are semicircular, up to 8cm, and typically 5mm deep.
Trametes pubescens is an annual, saprobic fungus, a decomposer of the deadwood of hardwoods, growing in clusters on logs, stumps and downed branches. (It is rarely reported on conifer wood.) It is a purported plant pathogen, infecting peach and nectarine trees.
Few of the polypores can honestly be described as beautiful, but when you come across young fruitbodies of Trametes pubescens on a nice sunny day you may well agree that they look gorgeous in their white velvet gowns. Unfortunately, these brackets soon lose their pristine appearance, developing brown radial lines and deep furrows near the margin on the upper surface and a yellowish tinge to the fertile underside. Aged specimens are often devoid of the velvety coating and hence more difficult to identify.
In Japan, this bracket fungus has reportedly been prescribed as an adjunct to other treatments for cancer of the colon.
Trametes pubescens Identification
Saprobic on the deadwood of hardwoods (rarely reported on conifer wood); annual; causing a white rot; growing in clusters on logs and stumps; summer and fall; widely distributed across North America.
Up to 8 cm across and 5 cm deep; semicircular, irregularly bracket-shaped, or kidney-shaped; sometimes fusing laterally with other caps; velvety to finely velvety, sometimes becoming nearly bald with age; often finely, radially lined and furrowed, especially on the margin; cream-colored; sometimes with faint textural zones but without contrasting zones of color.
Creamy, becoming yellowish with age; with 3-5 angular pores per mm; tubes to 6 mm deep.
Insubstantial; whitish; tough and corky.
Spore Print: White.
Trametes pubescens Taxonomy & Etymology
Described scientifically in 1803 by the Danish mycologist Heinrich Christian Friedrich Schumacher (1757 - 1830), who gave it the binomial scientific name Boletus Pubescens (at a time when anything with pores was placed in the Boletus genus, later redistributed across several other new genera), this species was renamed Trametes pubescens in 1939 by the Czech mycologist Albert Pilát (1903 - 1974).
Synonyms of Trametes pubescens include Boletus velutinus Pers., Boletus pubescens Schumach., Polyporus pubescens (Schumach.) Fr., Polyporus velutinus (Pers.) Fr., Polystictus velutinus (Pers.) Cooke, Coriolus pubescens (Schumach.) Quél., Polystictus pubescens (Schumach.) Gillot & Lucand, Leptoporus pubescens (Schumach.) Pat., and Tyromyces pubescens (Schumach.) Imazeki.
Trametes, the genus name, comes from the prefix tram- meaning thin - hence the implication is that fruitbodies of fungi in this genus are thin in section.
The specific epithet pubescens is a reference to the fine downy hairs on the velvety upper surfaces of young brackets of this species.
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