Coltricia perennis: The Ultimate Mushroom Guide
About The Coltricia perennis Mushroom
Coltricia perennis is an annual polypore that is very unusual in that it grows in the soil rather than on dead wood. It is inedible and prefers humus-rich sandy soil on woodland edges and acidic heathland.
This mushroom has a rather slender, tough, brown, velvety stipe, and a funnel-shaped, velvety cap with concentric zones of grayish brown, golden to cinnamon brown, or darker brown, and usually a pale irregular edge. The flesh is brown, thin, and leathery. The tubes are decurrent with pores that are yellowish-white to brownish and bruise brown when handled. C. perennis can be found during much of the mushroom season. It is ectomycorrhizal, often grows in groups, and may have fused cap edges. The closely related C. cinnamomea has a silky, shiny, reddish-brown cap with less well-defined zonation.
Important identifying features are a tomentose cap surface and a usually decurrent tube layer.
Other names: Tiger's Eye.
Coltricia perennis Identification
1.0-7.0 cm broad, plano-depressed to funnel-form or umbilicate; margin straight to wavy, frequently deflexed at maturity; surface dull, matted-tomentose (use hand-lens), sometimes faintly wrinkled, with usually well-defined bands of cinnamon-brown, beige, yellowish-brown and greyish-tan, the actively growing margin lighter; specimens in exposed locations greyish with age; context pliant when fresh, rigid and hard when dry, medium-brown to rust-brown, 1.0-3.0 mm thick, blackish with 3% KOH; odor and taste untried.
Pore layer subdecurrent to decurrent, buff-brown to pale cinnamon-brown; pores 3-4/mm, elongate, eventually angular; tubes up to 3 mm long, colored like the pore surface.
0.5-5.0 cm long, 3-7 mm thick, central, round to compressed, solid, equal except swollen at the base; surface tomentose to velutinate, dingy orange-brown; context leathery when fresh, rigid when dry, colored like the stipe surface.
6.0-8.5 x 4.0-4.5 µm, elliptical to oblong-elliptical, smooth, thin-walled, inequilateral in profile, i.e. slightly flattened on one side, hilar appendage inconspicuous, single guttule present, weakly dextrinoid in Melzer's reagent; spore deposit not seen.
Solitary, gregarious, or clusters, usually associated with conifers, often growing in disturbed areas, e.g. roadsides, trails, moss-banks, etc., rarely on rotting wood; also found early in the successional sequence after burns; occurring throughout the mushroom season in lowland forests, fall and spring in the Sierra Nevada; common but inconspicuous, easily overlooked.
Coltricia perennis Look-Alikes
Turkeytail, sometimes zoned produces rosettes but they are grown from wood, are generally lobed, and produce white spores.
Has a faintly-zoned, reddish-brown fruiting body. The cap surface of C. cinnamomea is covered with appressed fibrils rather than a tomentum. These fibrils sometimes give the species a shiny or glistening appearance.
These can be told apart by their lignicolous habit and non rusty-brown context.
Another terrestrial, stipitate polypore, but it can be distinguished by a relatively thick, indistinctly-zoned cap and microscopically by the presence of setae.
Coltricia perennis Medicinal Properties
Anti-tumor effects. Polysaccharides extracted from the mycelial culture of C. perennis and administered intraperitoneally into white mice at a dosage of 300 mg/kg inhibited the growth of Sarcoma 180 and Ehrlich solid cancers by 100% and 90%, respectively (Ohtsuka et al., 1973).
Coltricia perennis Taxonomy & Etymology
Tiger's Eye was described in 1753 by Carl Linnaeus, who gave it the name Boletus perennis. It was American mycologist William Alphonso Murrill (1869 - 1957) who, in 1903, transferred this species to the genus Coltricia, thus establishing its currently-accepted scientific name Coltricia perennis.
Synonyms of Coltricia perennis include Boletus perennis L., Coltricia connata Gray, Polyporus perennis (L.) Fr., and Polystictus perennis (L.) P. Karst.
The origin of the generic name Coltricia is Latin and means a couch or a seat.
The specific epithet perennis is straightforward and means, just as it sounds, perennial.
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