Turbinellus floccosus

Turbinellus floccosus
Gomphus floccosus 6051.JPG
Found in Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
Scientific classification
T. floccosus
Binomial name
Turbinellus floccosus
(Schwein.) Earle ex Giachini & Castellano (2011)
Turbinellus floccosus
View the Mycomorphbox template that generates the following list
Mycological characteristics
ridges on hymenium
cap is infundibuliform
hymenium is decurrent
stipe is bare
spore print is brown
ecology is mycorrhizal
edibility: poisonous

Turbinellus floccosus, sometimes known as the shaggy, scaly, or woolly chanterelle, is a cantharelloid mushroom of the family Gomphaceae native to Asia and North America. It was known as Gomphus floccosus until 2011, when it was found to be only distantly related to the genus's type species, G. clavatus. It was consequently transferred from Gomphus to Turbinellus. The orange-capped vase- or trumpet-shaped fruiting bodies may reach 30 cm (12 in) high and 30 cm (12 in) wide. The lower surface, the hymenium, is covered in wrinkles and ridges rather than gills or pores, and is pale buff or yellowish to whitish.

T. floccosus forms symbiotic (ectomycorrhizal) relationships with various types of conifer, growing in coniferous woodlands across Eastern Asia, from North Korea to Pakistan, and in North America, more frequently in the west, in late summer and autumn. Though mild-tasting, they generally cause gastrointestinal symptoms of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea when consumed. T. floccosus is eaten by local people in northeastern India, Nepal and Mexico.



Oval spores in Melzer's solution, seen through a microscope

Adult fruit bodies are initially cylindrical, maturing to trumpet- or vase-shaped and reaching up to 30 cm (12 in) high and up to 30 cm (12 in) across.[1] There is no clear demarcation between the cap and stipe.[2] The stipe can be up to 15 cm (6 in) tall and 6 cm (2.4 in) wide, though it tapers to a narrower base. It is solid in younger specimens, though is often hollowed out by insect larvae in older.[1] At higher elevations, two or three fruit bodies may arise from one stipe. Colored various shades of reddish- to yellowish-orange, the cap surface is broken into scales, with the spaces between more yellow and the scales themselves more orange. The most colorful specimens occur in warm humid weather.[2] Older specimens are often paler.[3]

The white flesh is fibrous and thick, though thins with age.[2] Somewhat brittle, it can sometimes turn brown when cut or bruised. The smell has been reported as indistinct or "earthy and sweet", and the taste "sweet and sour".[1] The spore-bearing undersurface is irregularly folded, forked or ridged rather than gilled and is pale buff or yellowish to whitish in color.[4] These ridges are up to 4 mm (18 in) high,[1] and are decurrent—they extend below and run down the cap's attachment to the stipe, though irregularly so.[2] The spore print is brownish, the spores ellipsoid with dimensions of 12.4–16.8 × 5.8–7.3 μm.[4] The spore surface is roughened with ornamentations that can be made visible under the microscope by staining with methyl blue.[5]

The fruit bodies can last for some considerable time, growing slowly over a month. Mushrooms in subalpine and alpine areas are typically heavy-set with a short stipe, their growth slower in the cold climate. This latter form is seen at lower altitudes in colder seasons. Smith gave this the name forma rainierensis. Conversely, mushrooms at low altitudes, such as in the redwood forests, can grow and expand rapidly with large caps that have prominent scales. Smith described a paler form with a solid stipe from the Sierra Nevada as forma wilsonii.[2] American mycologist R. H. Petersen described an olive-capped form that is otherwise identical to the typical form.[6] These forms are not recognised as distinct.[7]

Similar species

Turbinellus fujisanensis
Turbinellus kauffmanii

The related Turbinellus kauffmanii, found in western North America, is similar-looking but has a pale brown cap.[8] Younger specimens of the latter species also have a pungent smell.[2] Turbinellus fujisanensis, found in Japan, is another lookalike that has smaller spores than T. floccosus.[9]

Distribution and habitat

The fungus appears to form symbiotic (ectomycorrhizal) relationships with various conifers including Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), fir (Abies) species such as momi fir (Abies firma), European silver fir (A. alba) and Khinghan fir (A. nephrolepis), Pine (Pinus) species such as Pinus densiflora and western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla).[1][6] In Mexico, the fungus associates with Abies religiosa[10]—the mycorrhizal association between these two species has been synthesized under controlled laboratory conditions.[11] T. floccosus is more abundant in older stands of trees and places where there is more decomposed wood on the forest floor.[1] The species occurs in coniferous forests in North America, particularly the western states in late summer and autumn. It is most abundant in rainy parts of the Pacific Northwest,[6] northern California and the Sierra Nevada.[3] It also occurs across Asia, having been recorded from Japan,[12][13] North Korea,[14] China,[12] Tibet,[6] India,[15] Nepal and Pakistan.[2][12] Turbinellus floccosus has been occasionally recorded from introduced conifer plantations in Australia.[16]


α-tetradecylcitric acid

Turbinellus floccosus is poisonous to some people who eat it, but has been consumed without incident by others.[17] Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea may occur, though are sometimes delayed by up to 8–14 hours. A tricarboxylic acid known as α-tetradecylcitric- or norcaperatic acid may be responsible for the extreme gastrointestinal symptoms.[4][18] Laboratory experiments showed it increased tone of guinea pig smooth muscle of the small bowel (ileum), and that when given to rats, it led to mydriasis, skeletal muscle weakness, and central nervous system depression.[18] The concentration (4.4%) of the presumed active ingredient—norcaperatic acid—extracted from fruit bodies of Turbinellus floccosus was more than double that extracted from the related T. kauffmanii.[19]

Despite its toxicity, T. floccosus is one of the ten wild mushrooms most widely consumed by ethnic tribes in Meghalaya, northeast India,[20] and is highly regarded by the Sherpa people in the vicinity of Sagarmatha National Park in Nepal.[21] What is not known is whether the populations there of T. floccosus are lacking in the toxin, or whether the local people have developed an immunity to it.[22] It is also eaten in Mexico.[23] Mycologist David Arora reported some enjoyed it while he felt it had a sour taste that he found off-putting.[3]

The fruit body of T. floccosus produces oxylipin (biologically active lipids generated from fatty acids) that have antifungal activity against the plant pathogens Colletotrichum fragariae, C. gloeosporioides, and C. acutatum.[24] Extracts of the fungus have shown in standard laboratory tests to have antimicrobial activity against several human pathogenic strains.[22] T. floccosus also contains the spermidine derivative pistillarin, a bioactive compound that inhibits DNA damage by hydroxyl radicals generated by the Fenton reaction.[25] Pistillarin is responsible for the green color obtained when iron salts are applied to the fruit body surface.[5]



  1. ^ a b c d e f Giachini A (2004). Systematics, Phylogeny, and Ecology of Gomphus sensu lato (Ph.D. thesis). Corvallis, Oregon: Oregon State University.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Smith AH, Morse EE (1947). "The Genus Cantharellus in the Western United States". Mycologia. 39 (5): 497–534 [499–500, 519–21]. doi:10.2307/3755192. JSTOR 3755192. PMID 20264537.
  3. ^ a b c Arora D (1986). Mushrooms Demystified: a Comprehensive Guide to the Fleshy Fungi. Berkeley, California: Ten Speed Press. pp. 661–62. ISBN 978-0-89815-169-5.
  4. ^ a b c Ammirati JF, Traquair JA, Horgen PA (1985). Poisonous Mushrooms of the Northern United States and Canada. Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. pp. 252–54. ISBN 978-0-8166-1407-3.
  5. ^ a b Kuo M, Methven A (2010). 100 Cool Mushrooms. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press. p. 81. ISBN 978-0-472-03417-8.
  6. ^ a b c d Petersen DH. (1971). "The genera Gomphus and Glococantharellus in North America". Nova Hedwigia. 21: 1–118.
  7. ^ "Record Details: Turbinellus floccosus (Schwein.) Earle". Index Fungorum. CAB International. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  8. ^ Davis RM, Sommer R, Menge JA (2012). Field Guide to Mushrooms of Western North America. Oakland, California: University of California Press. p. 276. ISBN 978-0-520-95360-4.
  9. ^ Roberts P, Evans S (2011). The Book of Fungi. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press. p. 483. ISBN 978-0-226-72117-0.
  10. ^ Burrola-Aguilar C, Garibay-Orijel R, Argüelles-Moyao A (2013). "Abies religiosa Forests Harbor the Highest Species Density and Sporocarp Productivity of Wild Edible Mushrooms among Five Different Vegetation Types in a Neotropical Temperate Forest Region". Agroforestry Systems. 87 (5): 1101–15. doi:10.1007/s10457-013-9623-z.
  11. ^ Lamus V, Franco S, Montoya L, Endara AR, Caballero LA, Bandala VM (2015). "Mycorrhizal Synthesis of the Edible Mushroom Turbinellus floccosus with Abies religiosa from Central Mexico". Mycoscience. 56 (6): 622–26. doi:10.1016/j.myc.2015.07.001.
  12. ^ a b c Corner EJH (1966). "A Monograph of the Cantharelloid Fungi". Annals of Botany Memoirs. 2. London, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press: 1–255. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  13. ^ Masui K (1926). "A Study of the Mycorrhiza of Abies firma, S. et Z., with Special Reference to its Mycorrhizal Fungus Cantharellus floccosus, Schw". Memoirs of the College of Science. Kyoto Imperial University. Series B. 2 (1): 1–84.
  14. ^ Wojewoda W, Heinrich Z, Komorowska H (1993). "[Macromycetes Korei Pòłnocnej] Macrofungi of North Korea". Wiadomości Botaniczne. 37 (3/4): 125–28.
  15. ^ Verma RN, Singh SM, Singh TG, Bilgrami KS (1989). "Gomphus floccosus – A New Record for India". Current Science. 58 (24): 1370–71.
  16. ^ Fuhrer BA (2005). A Field Guide to Australian Fungi. Melbourne, Victoria: Bloomings Books. p. 206. ISBN 978-1-876473-51-8.
  17. ^ Smith AH, Weber NS (1980) [1958]. The Mushroom Hunter's Field Guide. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press. p. 83. ISBN 978-0-472-85610-7.
  18. ^ a b Carrano RA, Malone MH (1967). "Pharmacologic Study of Norcaperatic and Agaricic Acids". Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. 56 (12): 1611–14. doi:10.1002/jps.2600561216.
  19. ^ Henry ED, Sullivan G (1969). "Phytochemical Evaluation of Some Cantharelloid Fungi". Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. 58 (12): 1497–1500. doi:10.1002/jps.2600581216. PMID 5353267.
  20. ^ Khaund P, Joshi SR (2014). "DNA Barcoding of Wild Edible Mushrooms Consumed by the Ethnic Tribes of India". Gene. 550 (1): 123–30. doi:10.1016/j.gene.2014.08.027. PMID 25130907.
  21. ^ Giri A, Rana R (2009). "Ethnomycological Knowledge and Nutritional Analysis of Some Wild Edible Mushrooms of Sagarmatha National Park (SNP), Nepal". Journal of Natural History Museum. 23: 65–77.
  22. ^ a b Khaund P, Joshi SR (2014). "The Gomphus Paradox of Meghalaya: Wild Edible Fungus or a Poisonous Mushroom?". In Kharwar RN, Upadhyay RS, Dubey NK, Raguwanshi R (eds.). Microbial Diversity and Biotechnology in Food Security. New Delhi, India: Springer India. pp. 171–76. ISBN 978-81-322-1800-5.
  23. ^ González-Ávila PA, Luna-Vega I, Ríos MV, Saade RL, Blanco JC (2013). "Current Knowledge and Importance of the Order Gomphales (Fungi: Basidiomycota) in Mexico" (PDF). Nova Hedwigia. 97 (1–2): 55–86. doi:10.1127/0029-5035/2013/0099.
  24. ^ Cantrell CL, Case BP, Mena EE, Kniffin TM, Duke SO, Wedge DE (2008). "Isolation and Identification of Antifungal Fatty Acids from the Basidiomycete Gomphus floccosus". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 56 (13): 5062–68. doi:10.1021/jf8008662. PMID 18557621.
  25. ^ Lee IK, Ki DW, Kim SE, Yeom JL, Kim YS, Yun BS (2011). "Pistillarin Salt, a Dicatecholspermidine Family Member from Gomphus floccosus, Inhibits DNA Single Strand Breakage by the Fenton Reaction". Journal of the Korean Society for Applied Biological Chemistry. 54 (2): 312–15. doi:10.3839/jksabc.2011.050.

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