What You Should Know
Sarcodon scabrosus is another large, stipitate hydnum that is common in the PNW, although not as common as S. imbricatus. It is similar in size and general appearance to the latter species but differs by having a relatively smooth reddish-brown cap when young (the scales develop with age, but do not become prominently upturned like those of S. imbricatus), a greenish-black stipe base, and a moderate to strong farinaceous odor and strong bitter farinaceous taste. It occurs in conifer forests in the PNW, especially in second-growth stands of western hemlock and Douglas-fir with a salal understory.
Other names: Bitter Hedgehog, Scaber Hydnum, Bitter Tooth.
Sarcodon scabrosus Mushroom Identification
As a species group, mycorrhizal with conifers and hardwoods; growing alone or gregariously; summer; widely distributed in North America.
3-10 cm wide; convex to broadly convex with a central depression; dry; when young appressed-hairy to sub-scaly; with maturity developing well-defined scales with darkened tips; reddish-brown to purplish-brown; the margin often inrolled.
Running down the stem; covered with crowded spines or "teeth" that are 2-8 mm long; pale brown with whitish tips at first, becoming darker brown overall with age.
4-10 cm long; 1-2.5 cm thick; often tapered to the base, which frequently extends into the ground like a root; dry; fairly smooth, except where punctuated by aborted spines; pale or brownish; base with prominent white to pink mycelium over a greenish to bluish or black ground color.
Whitish to pinkish; gray to black or greenish in stem base; soft.
Odor and Taste
Taste bitter (sometimes developing slowly); odor mealy, or not distinctive.
Flesh and cap surface at the first green with KOH, then resolving to gray.
Spores 5-7.5 µ; irregularly globose to subglobose; nodulose. Clamp connections absent.
Sarcodon scabrosus Look-Alikes
Has a whitish base and its cap spines are more or less straight rather than recurved.
A European species whose presence in North America is uncertain.
Has a cracked gray-violet cap, cinnamon stipe, and flesh that turns pinkish when cut.
Also with flesh that turns pinkish, but with pallid spines, farinaceous odor, green stipe base, and a scaly brown cap without reddish tones.
Has fragile spines, a milder odor, and no green on the stipe base.
Photo 1 - Author: caspar s (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic)
Photo 2 - Author: Dick Culbert from Gibsons, B.C., Canada (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic)
Photo 3 - Author: caspar s (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic)
Shape: ConvexTooth Fungi
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