Danny’s DNA Discoveries – Hydnaceae of the PNW
Click here for my Pictorial Key to Chanterelles and Hedgehogs.
Did you ever think you found a chanterelle and then looked underneath it and saw teeth instead of veins and realized it was a hedgehog? Some of the hedgehogs' closest relatives are chanterelles, and many people consider both to be choice edibles. Hydnums were named before chanterelles, so the family is named after the hedgehogs instead of the chanterelles.
There are many unrelated false chanterelles and false hedgehogs not covered here. Real chanterelles are smoothish capped orange and black species with a particular veined to wrinkled look under the cap that runs strongly decurrent down the stem. False chanterelles have true gills or a scaly cap with a different kind of veining. Real hedgehogs have spines under the cap, "clean" orange to white cap colours and a white spore print. False hedgehogs have more sordid colours.
Note that Sistotrema is polyphyletic and the type species, Sistotrema confluens, is closely related to Hydnum and is discussed on this page, but other species, like Sistotrema brinkemanii need to be moved to a new genus near Multiclavula.
A good overview of the Cantharellales can be found here. Every species on this page is mycorrhizal.
abundant common uncommon rare - colour codes match my Pictorial Key and are my opinions and probably reflect my bias of living in W WA. Rare species may be locally common in certain places at certain times.
Click here to download the FASTA data of all my DNA sequences
Summary of Interesting Results
Here are some of the newest, most interesting results of the study:
Cantharellus - click to expand
Strongly decurrent veins/ridges under the cap that are more blunt than true gills, but can somewhat resemble true gills. Orange to whitish coloured smooth cap that may be slightly indented, but not deeply funneled. Solid stems, unlike Craterellus, whose wrinkles/veins may be very subtle and might not resemble true gills at all.
Cantharellus formosus BC - our most slender species, uniformly orange, abundant west of the cascades. Formerly, it was thought that we had the EU species Cantharellus cibarius here, until we described our own species.
Cantharellus cascadensis OR - east of the cascades and southern. Yellow fading to white in the centre, with pale veins. Stocky, clavate stem.
Cantharellus roseocanus BC - pale cap with a hint of rose. Veins brighter than the cap. Often but not always with spruce and pine. Also stocky.
unsequenced Cantharellus formosus © Steve Trudell, unsequenced C. cascadensis © Noah Siegel, unsequenced C. roseocanus © Steve Trudell
Cantharellus subalbidus WA/OR/CA - this stocky species starts out all white, but stains orange in age.
Cantharellus californicus CA - a uniformly orange stocky species. Our only hardwood species, found with oaks in CA and southern OR so far.
unsequenced Cantharellus subalbidus © Noah Siegel, unsequenced C. californicus © Christian Schwarz
Craterellus - click to expand
Strongly decurrent veins or wrinkles (sometimes almost smooth) that may or may not resemble true gills at all. Slightly to strongl funnel shaped caps. Orange-brown or black colours. Hollow stems, unlike Cantharellus.
Craterellus calicornucopioides CA - deeply funnel shaped (almost tubular) "black trumpet" mushroom with subtle wrinkling down the entire stem, but no veins nor gills. It is usually black, but may be brownish and may have small cap scales. Craterellus cornucopioides is the European species. Our west coast species has a unique name only because ITS DNA differs by >3%, although Michael Kuo said "it seems different to me". It would be nice if somebody could elucidate a morphological or ecological difference to help tell them apart besides the location they were found. Craterellus fallax is the eastern NA species that does have slight morphological differences. C. calicornucopioides ranges from BC to CA, usually under oak, but a few collections have been sequenced without oak around.
Craterellus atrocinereus CA - this black trumpet is less tubular and has prominent veining and is even rarer in the PNW. Craterellus cinereus is the EU species, from which it is also separated mostly by DNA, so more differences need to be looked for. It is known from OR and CA.
Craterellus neotubaeformis n.p. - the "winter chanterelle" has veins that almost look like gills and might be mistaken for a Cantharellus, but instead has a hollow stem. It is a small orange-brown species. It too differs from its lookalike EU species Craterellus tubaeformis mostly through DNA. Unlike the other two, this one has not had its new name formalized yet.
Craterellus calicornucopioides © Christian Schwarz (unsequenced), Michael Beug, and Jeannette Barreca, Craterellus atrocinereus © Jonathan Frank
unsequenced Craterellus neotubaeformis n.p. © Steve Trudell
Hydnum and Sistotrema - click to expand
Spines under the cap. Clean pale orange colouration and white spores. A recent study clarified most of the species of Hydnum around the world and can be found here. Unfortunately, many can only be distinguished microscopically at best or by DNA at worst, and morphological and ecological differences have not always been found to back up the DNA differences yet. They are not going to be identifiable on sight.
Sistotrema cf confluens EU - a small mushroom (<2cm) with odd teeth that are often somewhat poroid, an eccentric stem and a white to pale orange cap. Most other Sistotrema species are crusts and unrelated and will need to be moved to other genera. This species is probably closely related to Hydnum and in the same family, but it's possible it might go into it its own family if it turns out to be less related than thought. It seems to be a species complex in the EU. We don't have local DNA yet, but I suspect it's going to be different enough to merit its own species name.
Sistotrema cf confluens © Andrew Parker
Stocky Hydnums (subgenus Hydnum) - larger species up to 15 cm or more across with decurrent spines. Easily confused with the intermediate species described below without a microscope. Both species below used to go by the European name Hydnum repandum, until a recent DNA study showed that we do not appear to have that species here, but instead have these two lookalikes.
Hydnum olympicum WA - known from WA. Spores average 8.6 x 7.3u.
Hydnum washingtonianum WA - known from BC, WA and CA. Spores average 7.6 x 6.6u.
Hydnum washingtonianum © Marty Kranabetter
Slender Hydnums (subgenus Rufescentes, section Rufescentes) - smaller species <5 cm across, with non-decurrent spines. All species below used to go by the European name Hydnum umbilicatum until a recent DNA study showed we actually have several lookalikes here instead.
Hydnum 'umbilicatum PNW03' -differs from the NY species by 2% in ITS. Eurasian sequences are similarly distinct. The study did not find clear enough differences to split the species, but until it is formally accepted as the same species worldwide, I am giving the west coast species this provisional name. It is known from WA and BC. Spores average 8.7 x 8.1u.
Hydnum oregonense OR - known from BC and OR. Spores average 9.5u x 9.0u.
Hydnum melitosarx AK - known from AK, WA and OR. Spores average 7.9 x 7.2u.
Hydnum PNW01 - 4% different than Hydnum melitosarx, this undescribed species is probably in this section. It was not found in the study so nothing is known about it. Two sequences have been found, one in WA and one in BC, but I don't have a photo (not that that would help).
Hydnum 'umbilicatum PNW03' © Eric Chandler (2 images), H. melitosarx © Daniel Winkler
Intermediate Hydnums (subgenus Rufescentes, section Magnorufescentes) - potentially stocky or slender, with decurrent spines, making the stocky ones difficult to tell apart from the above stocky species without a microscope, but these intermediate Hydnums have slightly rounder spores, with Q<1.15 (instead of up to 1.3 for the stocky Hydnums). The species in this clade are little known, as it was previously thought that all our Hydnums fell into one of the two categories above.
Hydnum 'jussii PNW04' - medium to large with decurrent spines, a sister to the EU species differing by >2% in ITS. It is known from the interior (ID and BC). The EU species has spores averaging 7.5 x 7.0u. Unlike our H. 'umbilicatum PNW03', the study found this likely to be a unique species in need of its own name. A description of it will have to tell us how to tell it apart from H. melleopallidum, something currently not known.
Hydnum melleopallidum BC - small to medium, but the spines are decurrent. It is known from boreal BC and WA. Spores average 7.5 x 6.7u, very similar to Hydnum 'jussii PNW04'.
Hydnum melleopallidum © Shannon Adams
Hydnum PNW02 - sequenced from OR (from a fruiting body) and CA (from a soil sample), this genetic species is not close enough to any other species for me to know what section it is in. Our one fruiting body was small (or young) and did not seem to have decurrent gills, making it resemble one of the "slender Hydnums", but nothing is really known about it.
Hydnum PNW02 © NAMA and the Field Museum of Natural History
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