Scientific name: Stereum complicatum (Fries) Fries
Derivation of name: Complicatum means "folded back
Synonyms: S. rameale
Common name(s): Crowded parchment
Occurrence on wood substrate: Saprobic; crowded on
dead twigs, branches, and stumps of deciduous trees; July
through January, overwinters.
Dimensions: Shelf-like caps 0.3 to 1.5 cm wide.
Sterile upper surface: The upper surface of these fan-
semicircular caps are orange-cinnamon to
zoned, and silky-hairy. Caps often overlap
and are laterally
Fertile lower surface: The smooth lower surface is orange,
to a cream color. Slight ridges occur where the caps
This is a very common species. There are a
number of closely related Stereum
species. Some species
"bleed" (e.g., S. gausapatum, figures 7,8) a red
scratched, others do not. The variability
species is such that some mycologists group
hirsutum, Stereum complicatum, and even
gausapatum as varieties of a single species. The
below explore some of the confusion regarding
application of certain names to certain Stereum species.
More information at MushroomExpert.com:
More information at TomVolkFungi.net:
Figure 1. Crowded parchment on a dead tree.
Photo © Gary Emberger.
Figure 2. Note the zoned, fan-shaped basidiocarps. The
margins of this fungus are often lighter in color,
shiny. Photo © Gary Emberger.
Figure 3. The fertile, smooth underside is visible on the
compared to the sterile upper surface on the left.
Photo © Gary Emberger.
Figure 4. This log is almost completely covered by
complicatum. Photo © Gary Emberger.
Figure 5. Colonies on a portion of the log in Figure 4. The
slight ridges (observed as darker lines between colonies) on
the fertile lower
are regions where the separate
fruit bodies have
laterally. Photo © Gary Emberger.
Figure 6. This particular view of Stereum complicatum
shows the effused-reflexed
habit of this fungus. Part
of the fungus is spread out flat
and part forms shelf-like caps
(reflexed portions) projecting
away from the substrate. Photo © Gary Emberger.
Figure 7. Stereum gausapatum, one of the "bleeding"
Stereum species. See Figure 8. Photo © Rick van de Poll.
Figure 8. Close-up of a portion of Figure 7. Note the
blood-like latex on the scratched specimens to the right.
Photo © Rick van de Poll.