Cerrena unicolor

Scientific name:   Cerrena unicolor (Bull.) Murrill
Derivation of name:   Cerrena is from an Italian fungus
name; unicolor means "of one color."
Synonymy:   Daedalea unicolor Bull.:Fr.
Common names:   Mossy maze polypore. Dr. Don Davis
(personal communication) suggests that mossy maze
polypore is a misnomer since moss is rarely found on the
caps of this fungus. Algae is much more frequent. Perhaps
a better common name for this species is "algae-topped
maze polypore" or something similar.
Phylum:   Basidiomycota
Order:   Polyporales
Family:   Polyporaceae
Occurrence on wood substrate:  Parasitic or saprobic;
forming overlapping clusters most often on deciduous trees,
stumps, and logs; year-round.
Dimensions: Caps are 0.5-10 cm wide.    
Upper surface:  White to grayish or grayish-brown;
densely hairy; zonate; often algae-covered.       
Pore surface: White to smoky; typically becoming maze-
like to tooth-like.
Edibility: Inedible.
Comments:  Cerrena unicolor may be sessile, effused-
reflexed or rarely almost entirely resupinate on horizontal
surfaces. If cut or torn, a thin black zone (appearing as
a line) separates the flesh of the cap from the surface.
There is a remarkable relationship between this
fungus and two wasp species. Information on this
relationship is available at the website below.

More information at MushroomExpert.com:

Figure 1. Overlapping caps of mossy maze polypore with
algae-covered caps. Photo © Tom Volk.

Figure 2. A young specimen with brownish cap and without
algae. Photo © Gary Emberger.

Figure 3. These herbarium specimens don't look a lot
different from mature living specimens or from dead
specimens in the field. Photo © Gary Emberger.

Figure 4. Note the conspicuous pubescence, green algae, and
zonate appearance of this cap. Photo © Gary Emberger.

Figure 5. The pores quickly become maze or tooth-like.
Photo © Gary Emberger.

Figure 6. This Cerrena unicolor specimen was collected
during a NEMF foray. The green algae-covered caps are
not unusual but the orange-colored pore surfaces are. An
orange-colored ascomycete fungus, Hypomyces aurantius,
is responsible. See Figure 7. Photo © Gary Emberger.

Figure 7. The orange (and whitish) mycelium of Hypomyces
aurantius covers most of the pore surface. The fungus is
considered a facultative saprotroph, meaning that it can exist
as a saprotroph or parasite. It is found on a variety of agaric
and polypore species and on wood and decaying litter.
Photo © Gary Emberger.


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