What You Should Know
Panellus stipticus is a species of fungus in the family Mycenaceae, and the type species of the genus Panellus. A common and widely distributed species, it is found in Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America, where it grows in groups or dense overlapping clusters on the logs, stumps, and trunks of deciduous trees, especially beech, oak, and birch.
This mushroom has reportedly been used as a styptic (blood thickening) agent, and it has luminescent gills.
Other names: Bitter Oyster, The Astringent Panus, The Luminescent Panellus, The Stiptic Fungus.
Panellus stipticus Mushroom Identification
Saprobic on the deadwood of hardwoods; usually growing in shelving clusters; spring through fall (also overwinter in warm climates, or during winter warm spells in temperate areas); widely distributed in North America but more common in the east.
0.5–2 cm wide; convex with an inrolled margin, becoming planoconvex with the margin even or slightly curved under; semicircular to kidney-shaped in outline; dry; finely velvety to woolly; often becoming wrinkled and somewhat cracked-scaly in age; tan to pale yellowish-brown or orangish brown, sometimes fading to off-white.
Terminating abruptly at the stem; crowded; short-gills frequent; often forked; with cross-veins; pale golden tan.
Up to about 3 x 3 mm; lateral or off-center; fuzzy-velvety with whitish, tan, or rusty brown fuzz.
Flesh: Whitish or pale brownish; tough.
Spore Print: White.
Panellus stipticus Similar Species
Is superficially quite similar and grows on dead wood, but its spore print is brown.
Usually produces larger fruitbodies and its gills are not cross veined.
Has yellowish veins and produces much larger spores.
Panellus stipticus Bioluminescence
Bioluminescence refers to the ability of certain living things in the environment to produce light by the action of enzymes. Bioluminescent fungi are widespread, and over 70 species are known.
Although the intensity of their luminescence is generally low compared to many other bioluminescent organisms, fungi glow continuously for days, so their total emission is comparable with that of most brightly luminescent organisms, such as fireflies. Luminous fungi are found growing on decaying wood, leading to the popular name of "foxfire" or "glow wood" when their glow is visible at night.
The responsible oxidative enzymes—known generically as luciferases—produce light by oxidizing a pigment called a luciferin. In some areas, P. stypticus is bioluminescent, and the fruit bodies of these strains will glow in the dark when fresh or sometimes when revived in water after drying.
An early record of luminescence noted in P. stypticus was made by the American naturalist Thomas G. Gentry in 1885. Job Bicknell Ellis, reporting on the phenomenon for the Journal of Mycology, wrote:
By careful examination, the luminosity was found to proceed from the gills and not the stipe, nor from any fragment of rotten wood attached to the specimen. This phosphoresence was not observed in all specimens brought in for examination, and seemed to depend on some peculiar condition of the air, having been noticed only in specimens gathered in damp weather or just before a storm.
Canadian mycologist Buller in 1924 described the gills of P. stipticus in North America as luminescent, and noted that the fungus glows most strongly at the time of spore maturation. Bioluminescence has not been observed in European specimens, in Pacific North American collections, nor in strains collected from New Zealand, Russia, and Japan.
Although a number of reports have confirmed that eastern North American strains are luminescent, non-luminescent North American strains are also known. In general, the intensity of fungal bioluminescence decreases after exposure to certain contaminants; this sensitivity is being investigated as a means to develop bioluminescence-based biosensors to test the toxicity of polluted soils. Most known luminescent fungi are in the genus Mycena or closely allied genera; this grouping of fungi—known as the "mycenoid lineage"—includes P. stipticus and three other Panellus species.
Panellus stipticus Cultivation
Purchase spawn and the prepared mushroom grow bag with the rye grain pocket from a mushroom supplier. Order the 10cc syringe of Panellus stipticus spawn and the sterilized mushroom grow bag with injection site and rye grain pocket. The additional grain makes it easier for the spawn to colonize the bag of sterilized growing medium.
Purchase an 18-gallon plastic container with a lid before the arrival of the spawn and growing medium.
Add 1/4 cup bleach to the quart-size bottle sprayer, on the day the spawn and growing medium arrive in the mail. Spray the interior of the 18-gallon plastic container and the inside of the lid with the bleach mixture. Wipe dry with a paper towel. Close the lid to keep out spores that may be in the air.
Spray the kitchen counter with the bleach solution and wipe dry with a paper towel. Place the bag of growing medium and the syringe on top of the counter workspace and have the 18-gallon container nearby.
Attach the needle to the syringe by twisting it into place, remove the needle guard, and place the needle tip into the marked injection site on the bag. Depress the plunger to empty the contents of the syringe into the rye grain pocket. Place the inoculated bag into the 18-gallon plastic-container grow chamber. Snap the lid into place.
Check on the development of mycelium daily. Keep it in an area where temperatures range from 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Fan the bag using the lid of the container because this type of mushroom loves fresh air.
Cut open the top of the bag when the mycelium has colonized the grain pocket with white fluffy growth (this should take about two weeks). Add 1/4 cup of distilled water. Squeeze the bag to distribute the fluffy white mycelium throughout the rest of the growing medium. Close the bag by folding down the top of the bag and securing it with a clothespin. Place it back into the growing chamber for about a week.
Open and observe the development of the mycelium daily. When the entire bag becomes colonized with white mycelium, move the container to the outdoors in an area where temperatures range from 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut off the top of the bag to expose the colonized substrate to fresh air. Place the container without the lid in an area protected from rain and sunlight where the mushroom colony can receive lots of fresh air.
Observe the colony daily for fruiting bodies (which look like little mushroom caps). Fill a new quart-size sprayer bottle with distilled water, and moisten the surface daily to keep it from drying out. Transport the fully developed bag of fruiting bodies, which look like traditional mushroom caps, into a dark area for observation of the green glowing bioluminescence.
Panellus stipticus Taxonomy and Etymology
French mycologist Jean Baptiste Francois (Pierre) Bulliard described the Bitter Oysterling in 1773, giving it the binomial scientific name Agaricus stipticus. It was Finnish mycologist Petter Adolf Karsten (1834 - 1917) who in 1879 transferred this species to its present genus, thus establishing its currently-accepted scientific name Panellus stipticus.
Synonyms of Panellus stipticus include Agaricus lateralis Schaeff., Agaricus stipticus Bull., Crepidotus stipticus (Bull.) Gray, Panus stipticus (Bull.) Fr., Pleurotus stipticus (Bull.) P. Kumm., and Panus stipticus var. albidotomentosus (Cooke & Massee) Rea.
Panellus stipticus is the type species of the genus Panellus.
The specific epithet stipticus refers to styptic properties (constricting damaged blood vessels and so stemming bleeding from wounds) ascribed to this mushroom.
Photo 1 - Author: Björn S... (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic)
Photo 2 - Author: Michel Langeveld (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)
Photo 3 - Author: Ylem (Public Domain)
Photo 4 - Author: Michel Langeveld (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)
Photo 5 - Author: Michel Langeveld (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)