TOOTHED (Spines)

Toothed fungi have a fertile hymenium (spore-producing surface) consisting of downward pointing spinesAlthough all the fungi listed below share the same toothed morphological characteristic, most are not closely related. 

Some toothed fungi grow from decaying wood (Hericium spp., Mucronella spp., Radulomyces copelandiiSpongiopellis pachyodonSteccherinum ochraceum, etc.). Others grow from the ground (Hydnum spp., Hydnellum spp., Phellodon spp., Sarcodon spp.). Trichaptum biforme, a polypore, has pores that split as they expand producing a tooth-like fertile surface. 

Hericiums, such as ‘The Lion's Mane, are more closely related to the gilled russulas and lactarius than they are to any other toothed fungus. They tend to be white and their spines release white spores. They are parasites and saprotrophs of trees.

Hydnums are more closely related to edible chanterelles than they are to other terrestrial toothed fungi. Most Hydnum species are white, pale tan, yellowish to orange in color and in terms of their texture as well as their color they should remind you of chanterelles. A fleeting glance of them might lead you to think you have found a chanterelle.  Like chanterelles, Hydnum umbilicatum and Hydnum repandum), for example, are mycorrhizal partners with many forest trees and bushes. Hydnums have white spores.  Phellodons are also mycorrhizal. They also have white spines and white spores.  

Hydnellums (‘ellum’ meaning ‘resembling’, in this case Hydnum') have brown spores and tend to engulf nearby forest debris as they expandSarcodons are mycorrhizal with pine, and also have brown spores and a tan hymenium that turns brownBoth sarcodons and hydnellums are in the Bankeraceae family of the Thelephorales order. To view photos of toothed fungi and read descriptions of their characteristics, click on the names below.

Hydnellum scabrosum (Sarcodon scabrosus) 1151

Bristle-like spines or ‘teeth’ of Hydnellum scabrosus



HERICIUM____americanum,_____coralloides, _____erinaceus

HYDNELLUM _____aurantiacum,_____caeruleum,_____concrescens,_____cristatum,_____diabolus,

    _____ferrugineum, _____peckii,_____scrobiculatum,_____spongiosipes,_____suaveolens

HYDNUM_____albidum,____albomagnum _____repandum ‘group’, _____rufescens,_____umbilicatum

IRPEX _____lacteus


MYCORRHAPHIUM _____adustum






SARCODON_____atroviridis,_____cristatus, _____scabrosus,_____underwoodii




TRICHAPTUM_____abietinum, _____biforme,_____subchartaceum