Page author: Julie Jones
Thelephora palmata
fetid false coral, stinking earthfan

Distribution: T. palmata is widespread and fairly common in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Habitat: Occurs in conifer litter

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Identification Notes:

Thelephora palmata is a candidate for stinkiest fungus in the forest. The fetid odor, combined with the somewhat coralloid appearance, flattened branches, and brownish gray coloration, usually with the tips being noticeably paler than the lower portions, make it distinctive. It usually blends in with the conifer litter in which it grows and so may be smelled before it is seen. T. palmata has a tough texture and, along with the other species in the genus, often is referred to as a leather fungus. It and other thelephoras also share irregularly shaped, brown, warty spores, an ectomycorrhizal lifestyle, and close relationship with spine-fungi such as hydnellums.

Accepted Name:
Thelephora palmata Scop. ex Fr.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Thelephora palmata in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

CalPhotos: Thelephora palmata photos.

2 photographs:
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