Cerioporus squamosus

Polyporus squamosus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Polyporales
Family: Polyporaceae
Genus: Polyporus
Species: P. squamosus
Binomial name
Polyporus squamosus
(Huds.) Quélet (1886)

Cerioporus squamosus

Polyporus squamosus
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Mycological characteristics

pores on hymenium

cap is depressed

or offset
hymenium is decurrent
stipe is bare
spore print is white

ecology is saprotrophic

or parasitic

edibility: edible

or inedible

Polyporus squamosus aka Cerioporus squamosus (yet to be confirmed new taxonomy) is a basidiomycete bracket fungus, with common names including dryad's saddle and pheasant's back mushroom.[2] It has a widespread distribution, being found in North America, Australia, Asia, and Europe, where it causes a white rot in the heartwood of living and dead hardwood trees. The name "dryad's saddle" refers to creatures in Greek mythology called dryads who could conceivably fit and ride on this mushroom, whereas the pheasant's back analogy derives from the pattern of colors on the bracket matching that of a pheasant's back.


The species was first described scientifically by British botanist William Hudson in 1778, who named it Boletus squamosus.[3] It was given its current name "Polyporus Squamosus" in 1886 by Quélet.[4]


This mushroom is commonly attached to dead logs or stumps at one point with a thick stem. Generally, the fruit body is 8–30 cm (3–12 in) across and up to 10 cm (4 in) thick. The body can be yellow to brown and has "squamules" or scales on its upper side. On the underside one can see the pores that are characteristic of the genus Cerioporus; they are made up of tubes packed together closely. The tubes are between 1 and 12 mm long. The stalk is thick and short, up to 5 cm (2.0 in) long.[2] The fruit body will produce a white spore print if laid onto a sheet of paper. They can be found alone, in clusters of two or three, or forming shelves. Young specimens are soft but toughen with age. It is particularly common on dead elm and is also found on living maple trees.

Distribution and habitat

This organism is common and widespread, being found east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States and over much of Europe. It is also found in Australia and Asia. It commonly fruits in the spring, occasionally during autumn, and rarely during other seasons. Many mushroom hunters will stumble upon this when looking for morels during the spring as both have similar fruiting times, and this fungus can grow to a noticeable size of up to 50 cm (20 in) across.[5] It plays an important role in woodland ecosystems by decomposing wood, usually elm, but is occasionally a parasite on living trees. Other tree hosts include ash, beech, horse chestnut, Persian walnut, lime, maple, planetree, poplar, and willow.[6]

Edibility and uses

Edible. Young specimens are preferred, as they can become infested with maggots and become firm, rubbery and inedible as they mature. Cookbooks dealing with preparation generally recommend gathering these while young, slicing them into small pieces and cooking them over a low heat. Some people value the thick, stiff paper that can be made from this and many other mushrooms of the genus Cerioporus. The mushroom's smell resembles watermelon rind.[2] Polyporus squamosus has a mild nutty flavour.


  1. "Species synonymy for Polyporus squamosus (Huds.) Fr.". Index Fungorum. CAB International. Retrieved 2010-05-28.
  2. 1 2 3 Spahr DL. (2009). Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms of New England and Eastern Canada. Richmond, Calif: North Atlantic Books. pp. 131–35. ISBN 1-55643-795-1. Retrieved 2010-05-28.
  3. Hudson W. (1778). Flora Anglica (2 ed.). p. 626.
  4. Zmitrovich, Ivan V. (2016). "Lentinoid and Polyporoid Fungi, Two Generic Conglomerates Containing Important Medicinal Mushrooms in Molecular Perspective" (PDF). International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms. 18 (1): 23–38. doi:10.1615/intjmedmushrooms.v18.i1.40. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  5. Lonsdale D, Butin H. (1995). Tree Diseases and Disorders: Causes, Biology, and Control in Forest and Amenity Trees. Oxford [Oxfordshire]: Oxford University Press. pp. 170–71. ISBN 0-19-854932-6. Retrieved 2010-05-28.
  6. Schmidt O. (2006). Wood and Tree Fungi: Biology, Damage, Protection, and Use. Berlin: Springer. p. 199. ISBN 3-540-32138-1. Retrieved 2010-05-28.
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