Cerioporus leptocephalus: The Ultimate Mushroom Guide
About The Cerioporus leptocephalus Mushroom
Cerioporus leptocephalus is an inedible species of mushroom in the genus Cerioporus. It usually grows on the branches of broad-leaved trees. Formerly placed in the genus Polyporus (Polyporus leptocephalus), this species was moved into Cerioporus in 2016.
The cap is convex when young and soon flattens out into a mostly irregular shape. It is red-brown when young, yellowish-grey when old, and usually about 2–5 cm in diameter. The pores are white, turning slightly brown when bruised, and the spores are white. The stem is light yellowish brown often with a black base.
Other names: Blackfoot Polypore, Löwengelber Stielporling (German), Polypore variable (French), Mustasukkakääpä (Finnish).
Cerioporus leptocephalus Identification
Fruiting body annual, stipitate, cap 2.0-5.0 cm broad, convex, becoming convex-umbillicate to funnel-form in profile, round to kidney-shaped in outline; margin incurved, decurved to nearly plane in age, often wavy, not striate; upper surface glabrous, cream to tan-brown; context up to 5 mm thick, pliant, tough, colored like the cap surface, unchanging when injured, cork-like when dried; odor slightly aromatic, sharp; taste, mild to slightly astringent.
Pores 5-6 per mm, rounded, angular to occasionally elongated into slits, descending the stipe a short distance, cream-buff when young, tan-brown at maturity, unchanging when bruised; Tubes up 2.0 mm in length, not separable from the cap.
0.5-6.0 cm long, 4.0-8.0 mm thick, rarely absent, solid, tapering to a narrowed base, variable in the attachment: central, eccentric or lateral; surface cream-buff at apex, blackish-brown below, irregularly roughened, sometimes wrinkled or checked like tree bark, occasionally peeling away revealing a brownish under-layer; context tough, pliant, colored like that of the cap, unchanging.
Spores 7.5-9.0 x 2.0-3.5 µm, oblong-ellipsoid, smooth, thin-walled, inamyloid; spores white in deposit.
Solitary or in small groups, primarily on hardwood branches or logs; fruiting from early to late winter.
Cerioporus leptocephalus Look-Alikes
A shiny red-brown to the purple-black cap which can grow up to 20 cm across, and the dark brown.
Tends to grow from buried wood, has a reddish-brown to the dark-brown cap, and a dark-colored, centrally attached stipe.
Similar but does not have a black stem base.
Similar but has larger pores and does not have a black stem base.
Has a red-brown cap and generally has larger caps.
Cerioporus leptocephalus Medicinal Properties
Antitumor effects. Polysaccharides extracted from the mycelial culture of P. leptocephalus and administered intraperitoneally into white mice at a dosage of 300 mg/kg inhibited the growth of both Sarcoma 180 and Ehrlich solid cancers by 60% (Ohtsuka et al., 1973).
Cerioporus leptocephalus Taxonomy & Etymology
The basionym of this species dates from 1778, when Dutch naturalist Nicolaus Joseph von Jacquin (1727 - 1817) described this polypore and gave it the binomial scientific name Boletus leptocephalus. It was Swedish mycologist Elias Magus Fries who, in 1821, transferred this species to the genus Polyporus, thereby establishing its currently accepted scientific name.
Synonyms of Polyporus leptocephalus include Boletus leptocephalus Jacq., Boletus elegans Bull., Boletus nummularius Bull., Coltricia leptocephala (Jacq.) Gray, Boletus varius Pers., Grifola varia (Pers.) Gray, Polyporus nummularius (Bull.) Pers., Polyporus elegans (Bull.) Trog., and Cerioporus leptocephalus (Jacq.) Zmitr.
Polyporus, the genus name, comes from poly, meaning many, and poros, meaning passage - in this instance, the tubular holes known as pores on the fertile (spore-producing) underside of the cap and within which spores develop.
The specific epithet leptocephalus comes from the Greek adjective lept- meaning slim or slender, and -kephale meaning a head - hence by implication this polypore has a slim head or cap.
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