What You Should Know
Turbinellus floccosus is characterized by orange, scaly, funnel-shaped fruiting body and a yellow to cream-colored wrinkled hymenium. It is native to Asia and North America. The lower surface, the hymenium, is covered in wrinkles and ridges rather than gills or pores, and is pale buff or yellowish to whitish. The shape is suggestive of the "true" chanterelle (e.g. Cantharellus californicus, Cantharellus formosus), but the hollow core and scaly pileus easily distinguish it.
This species has long been called Gomphus floccosus, but recent molecular evidence shows it belongs in a clade separate from true Gomphus, e.g. Gomphus clavatus.
Other names: Scaly Chanterelle, Woolly Gomphus, Scaly Vase, Woolly Chanterelle.
Turbinellus floccosus Mushroom Identification
Mycorrhizal with conifers (including pines, spruces, firs, and hemlocks); growing alone, scattered, or gregariously; summer and fall, or overwinter along the West Coast; originally described from Pennsylvania; widely distributed in northern and montane North America.
Vase shaped and fleshy; developing a shallow to deep central depression; 6–14 cm high and 4–11 cm across.
Moist when fresh; scaly, with appressed, soft scales that are roughly the same size; dark orange to reddish-orange or dull brownish orange, with yellowish spots and zones; margin thin and wavy.
Running deeply down the stem; covered with shallow longitudinal wrinkles and folds; folds often forked and/or cross-veined; bald; creamy when fresh; discoloring and maturing to brownish.
4–10 cm high; 2–3.5 cm wide; flaring into the cap, from which it is not distinctly separate; bald; colored like the undersurface, or with bright to dull yellow shades; discoloring brownish; basal mycelium white.
White to whitish; fibrous; unchanging when sliced, or sometimes discoloring brownish.
Odor and Taste
Odor not distinctive; taste sweet and slightly sour.
Ammonia negative on the upper surface. KOH negative on the upper surface. Iron salts negative on the upper surface, dark green on the undersurface.
Reported as yellowish. I have not verified the color.
Spores 11–16 x 5.5–7 µm; ellipsoid, with a snout-like apicular end; finely verrucose; hyaline to ochraceous in KOH; inamyloid. Basidia 50–80 x 7.5–10 µm; subclavate; 4-sterigmate. Cystidia not found. Clamp connections not found.
Turbinellus floccosus Look-Alikes
Has a pale brown cap. Younger specimens of the latter species also have a pungent smell.
Found in Japan. Has smaller spores than T. floccosus.
Turbinellus floccosus Medicinal Properties
In a search for antifungal components from 32 mushroom species, various extracts from G. floccosus were shown to have anti-yeast and antifungal activity. Additionally, the ethanol extract showed antifungal activity against Microsporum gypseum with a MIC of 1,000 µg/ml (Min et al., 1995). Recently, antifungal compounds known as oxylipins have been isolated and identified from the ethyl acetate fraction (Cantrell et al., 2008). The antifungal activity of the bioactive fatty acids (shown and named below) was tested against a variety of plant pathogens, including Colletotrichum fragariae, C. gloeosporioides, C. acutatum, Botrytis cinerea, Fusarium oxysporum, Phomopsis obscurans, and Phomopsis viticola. In some cases, the antifungal activity was comparable to the well-known fungicide captan.
Polysaccharides extracted from the mycelial culture of G. floccosus 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).
Turbinellus floccosus Taxonomy and Etymology
This species was first described as Cantherellus floccosus in 1834 by American mycologist Lewis David de Schweinitz, who reported it growing in beech woods in Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania. Its specific epithet is derived from the Latin floccus, meaning "tuft, or flock, of wool".
In 1839, Miles Joseph Berkeley named a specimen from Canada as Cantharellus canadensis based on a manuscript by Johann Friedrich Klotzsch, noting its affinity to C. clavatus. A large specimen collected in Maine by Charles James Sprague was described as Cantharellus princeps in 1859 by Berkeley and Moses Ashley Curtis.
In 1891, German botanist Otto Kuntze renamed Cantharellus canadensis as Trombetta canadensis, and C. floccosus as Merulius floccosus.
The genus Gomphus, along with several others in the Gomphaceae, was reorganized in the 2010s after molecular analysis confirmed that the older morphology-based classification did not accurately represent phylogenetic relationships. Thus the genus Turbinellus was resurrected and the taxon became Turbinellus floccosus. Giachini also concluded G. bonarii was the same species.
T. floccosus has been given the common names of scaly vase chanterelle, scaly chanterelle, woolly chanterelle, or shaggy chanterelle, though it is more closely related to stinkhorns than true chanterelles.
In Nepal, in the Sherpa language, it is known as diyo chyau or khumbhe chyau, from the words diyo, meaning "oil lamp" and chyau, meaning "mushroom", as the fruit bodies have a shape similar to the local oil lamps.
In Mexico, it is known as corneta or trompeta, or by the indigenous words oyamelnanácatl ("fir mushroom", from Nahuatl oyametl "fir", and nanacatl "mushroom"), tlapitzal (derived from tlapitzalli, Nahuatl for "trumpet") or tlapitzananácatl in Tlaxcala.
Photo 1 - Author: Ron Pastorino (Ronpast) (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Photo 2 - Author: Ron Pastorino (Ronpast) (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Photo 3 - Author: Ron Pastorino (Ronpast) (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
Photo 4 - Author: Jimmie Veitch (jimmiev) (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported)
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