Trametes versicolor

Scientific name:   Trametes versicolor (L.) Lloyd
Derivation of name:  Trametes means "one who is thin";
versicolor means "of various colors" in reference to the
strongly zonate cap.
Synonymy:   Polyporus versicolor L.: Fr.; Boletus
L.; Coriolus versicolor (L.) Quel.
Common names:   Turkey tail; Many-zoned polypore.
Phylum:   Basidiomycota
Order:   Polyporales
Family:   Polyporaceae
Occurrence on wood substrate:  Saprobic to weakly
parasitic; clustered, usually overlapping or in fused rosettes
on dead deciduous wood or on dying trees, rarely on
conifer wood; May through December, found year-round.  
Dimensions:  Caps 2.5-8 cm wide and 1-3 mm thick.   
Upper surface: Multicolored with yellowish, orangish,
grayish, bluish, blackish, and reddish-brown concentric
zones; outermost zone usually pale; hairy velvety zones
alternating with almost glabrous zones.
Pore surface: White to yellowish, pores 3-5 per mm.
Edibility: Inedible.
Comments: This very colorful polypore may be the most
common decomposer of hardwoods in North America.

More information at   
More information at

Figure 1. Trametes versicolor. These specimens are rich
in brownish zones. Photo © David Work.

Figure 2. Compared to the specimens in Figure 1, these
specimens are rich in grayish (or even bluish) zones.
Photo © David Work.

Figure 3. Note the prominent white growing margin of these
specimens. Photo © Nathan Wilson.

Figure 4. Overlapping rosettes of fused polypores are a
common growth form when Trametes versicolor is on
horizontal surfaces. Photo © Noah Siegel.

Figure 5. These speciemens were collected during a NEMF
foray. Photo © Gary Emberger.

Figure 6. On casual inspection, the typically white pore
surface looks almost poreless because the pores are quite
small. Photo © Gary Emberger.

Figure 7. The thin margins give evidence of the overall thin
caps of Trametes versicolor. Photo © Gary Emberger.


Home | Shape key | Glossary

This page © 2008 by Gary Emberger, Messiah College