Phellodon alboniger (Peck) Banker is a mycorrhiza toothed fungus commonly found growing in association with conifers but is sometimes found under hardwood. Specimen PLP847_2018_191 was found growing gregariously in the soil beneath forest of mixed hardwoods and conifers (Figure 1). The cap is white and velvety with a gray underside. The flesh is leathery and consists of two layers. The upper layer, toward to apex of the cap, is lighter in color and spongy while the lower layer is black (Figure 2-A). Spines or teeth on the underside of the cap are decurrent, whitish but bruising brown and small (~3 mm). The stem thicker at the apex and colored dark brown (Figure 2-B). KOH test on the teeth is blue to blue black (Figure 2-C). Spore print is white and spores are globose with spines (Figure 2-D). There is a distinctive maple syrup smell especially prevalent in the dried specimen.
Other Notes: One possible lookalike is Hydenellum caerulem but an orange stem and brown spore print allow it to easy differentiated from P. alboniger. Also, P. niger is listed is almost identical in morphology but reported to have a shallower depression in the cap and darker color.
Basidiomycota, Agaricomycetes, Thelephorales, Bankeraceae, Phellodon, alboniger
Kuo, M. and Methven, A.S. 2014. Mushrooms of the Midwest. University of Illinois Press
Urbana, Chicago, and Springfield.
Kuo, M. (2009, April). Phellodon alboniger. Retrieved from the MushroomExpert.Com
Web site: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/ phellodon_alboniger.html