Lentinus levis

Scientific name:  Lentinus levis (Berk. & M.A. Curtis)
Murrill
Derivation of name:  Levis means polished or smooth.
SynonymsPleurotus levis (Berk. & M.A. Curtis)
Singer; Panus strigosus Berk. & M.A. Curtis; Panus
levis Berk. & M.A. Curtis 
Common name(s):  Giant Panus.
Phylum:   Basidiomycota
Order:   Polyporales
Family:   Polyporaceae
Occurrence on wood substrate: Parasitic or saprobic;
solitary to several, often growing from wounds on living
trees (often high up in the tree) as well as on dead wood;
summer through fall. 
Dimensions:  Caps 10-40 cm or more wide; stipes
2-15 cm long and 2-4 cm thick.   
Cap:  Dry; white to cream when young, yellowish with age;
short erect or matted coarse hairs present on cap when
young, becoming smooth in age.
Gills: Decurrent; white, becoming yellowish with age;
edges entire.
Spore print: White.
Stipe: Central to mostly eccentric or lateral; densely coated
with coarse white hairs, especially toward base.
Veil: Absent.
Edibility: Reported to be edible but tough.
Comments: This species resembles Pleurotus dryinus
but is smaller and lacks a veil.


Figure 1. Collected during an Eastern Penn Mushroomers
foray in 2004, this is the first specimen of Lentinus levis
I ever saw. Photo © Gary Emberger.     


Figure 2. Lentinus levis ages yellowish.
Photo © John Plischke III.


Figure 3. The next time Lentinus levis came to my
attention was in 2011 at the NAMA foray at Clarion
University, PA. The cap of this specimen measured 20 by
21 cm. It was placed on the grass in order to take the
picture. Photo © Gary Emberger.  


Figure 4. Close-up of cap surface in Figure 3 showing
coarse erect or matted hairs. Photo © Gary Emberger.  


Figure 5. Specimens in Figure 3 flipped over to show
decurrent gills and hairy stipes. Photo © Gary Emberger.  


Figure 6. The stipes are densely hairy. Note the smooth
gill edges. Photo © Gary Emberger.  

 

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