What You Should Know
Climacocystis borealis is a widespread polypore that lives in conifer trees. It has a one-year-old wedge-shaped fruit body. It is honey-yellow when young and grows lighter with age. The lower surface pore layer is labyrinthine. It has a pleasant scent and its color changes from light to yellow in the rain. It forms spectacular multi-fruit body growths that make it easy to recognize. Its prevalence varies greatly from year to year.
This fungus causes a butt rot and root rot of conifers. It continues as a saprobe on dead roots and stumps.
In Europe, it is found predominantly on Pinaceae like Abies, Larix, Picea, and Pinus and noted also on Pseudotsuga and Tsuga in North America. A recent study has revealed that the genus Climacocystis consists of two species, the type species C. borealis and C. montana found only in high altitudes in the southwestern mountains of China.
Climacocystis borealis Mushroom Identification
Parasitic and saprophytic; solitary or as overlapping clusters at the base of and on roots of living conifers and logs and stumps; found year-round.
Caps 4-15 cm wide; 3-15 cm long; 0.5-4 cm thick.
Whitish at first, yellowish in age; hairy; soft and watery when fresh.
White, yellowish on drying; 1-3 per mm; pore openings may be irregular and angular.
Climacocystis borealis Taxonomy
First described in 1821 by Swedish mycologist Elias Magnus Fries, it has since acquired an extensive synonymy of alternate scientific names. Until 2014, it was the sole member of the Climacocystis, a genus circumscribed by Czech mycologists František Kotlaba and Zdeněk Pouzar in 1958 when the newly described Chinese species Climacocystis montana was added to the genus.
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