This page is used to feature mushrooms that are prevalent for the particular time of the year or, during the winter months, to feature some of the less desirable or hard to find mushrooms. To see some of our previous stars follow this link to an index of previously featured mushrooms.
May's Mushroom of the Month
Photo Credit: Noah Siegel.
Pycnoporus cinnabarinus is a very distinct polypore because of its color that fruits throughout the year when conditions allow. It is usually found on dead oak and especially cherry. It is a plant pathogen on apricot, peach and nectarines.
Pycnoporus cinnabarinus fruits as a semi-circular to fan-shaped to an elongated shelf on mostly hardwood logs. The cap is 1 to 5 inches (2 to 12 cm.) long and 1 to 2 inches (2 to 5 cm.) wide. The top of the cap is bright red to orange red to orange to cinnabar red when fresh that fades to and orangish duff with age. The dry cap surface ranges from smooth to finely hairy to wrinkled to warty. The pores are bright red to red-orange to bright orange that do not fade with age. The tough flesh is yellowish-red to red. There is no stalk. The spore print is white.
This is one mushroom that is a joy to see in the early spring when one finds the orange caps with bright red pores providing the first bright colors of the spring. Pycnoporus cinnabarinus are too tough to be edible but they make a bright ornament.