Scientific name: Lentinellus ursinus (Fr.) Kuhner
Derivation of name: Lentus means "pliable" and
"tenacious" as in chewy and ellus is the diminutive form.
Urs- means "bear" in reference to
the hairy brown cap.
Synonyms: Lentinus ursinus (Fr.) Fr.
Common name(s): Bear Lentinus.
Occurrence on wood substrate: Saprobic; solitary to
more often in groups and overlapping clusters on decaying
deciduous wood and sometimes conifer wood; summer
Dimensions: Caps 2.5-10 cm wide.
Cap: Reddish brown, paler toward the margin; surface
covered with dark brown hairs especially toward the base.
Gills: Whitish to pinkish-brown; radiating from point of
attachment to substrate; edges coarsely serrated, irregularly
Spore print: White.
Edibility: Inedible, bitter.
Comments: There are a number of other Lentinellus
species (e.g., Figure 6 shows Lentinellus vulpinus)
and all are too bitter to be edible. My keys include
only two of the more common and conspicuous
Lentinellus omphalodes and Lentinellus
The presence of amyloid spores distinguishes
Lentinellus from the genus Lentinus.
More information at MushroomExpert.com:
Figure 1. Overlapping clusters of bear lentinus on
© Larry Grand.
Lentinellus ursinus. Photo © George
Figure 3. Here and in Figure 1. note that the cap margins are
often lobed. Photo © William Roody.
Figure 4. Serrate gill edges and torn gills are characteristic of
Lentinellus ursinus. Photo © Gary Emberger.
Figure 5. At first, this seems like a typical specimen of
Lentinellus ursinus. The surprise was in the nature of the
gills. See Figure 6.
© Bill Bakaitis.
Figure 6. Note the gills that are somewhat poroid and the
lack of clearly serrated gill edges. The specimen in Figure 5
and 6 was
photographed by Bill Bakaitis and distributed to
several mycologists who agreed that the mushroom, while
unusual, was Lentinellus ursinus. Photo
© Bill Bakaitis.
Figure 7. Lentinellus ursinus as it might appear on the
collection tables during a
foray. Photo © Gary Emberger.
Figure 8. This is a photograph of Lentinellus vulpinus
which resembles L. ursinus in several respects. Unlike L.
ursinus, L. vulpinus caps are attached to short, lateral
stalks that narrow downward and fuse with others to form
a common base.