Search on : Taxa descriptions


Page number:54 
Remarks (internal):If well-developed, Hericium erinaceus is unmistakable. In some cases, however, it is by no means easy to differentiate certain growth forms of this species from H. coralloides, which has spores of the same size. As a rule H. coralloides is a much branched species, but greatly contracted forms are known to exist in which the basidiome, instead of forming long and graceful branches, consists of a massive body very much like that of H. erinaceus. In such cases it is a great help to know the host, for, although my experience is still somewhat limited, it would seem correct to state that H. coralloides is a parasite of conifers, H. erinaceus of deciduous trees. Consequently, I am inclined to think that the species recorded by BALFOUR-BROWNE (1955:192) from Tibet as Hydnum erinaceus actually refers to Hericium coralloides because it was found to grow on a conifer.
In Lloyd Mycological Herbarium (No. 45863, BPI) there is a fragment from Hobart, Tasmania, collected by L. Rodway, which to judge from -its properties is a true Hericium. The spores are 4.9-5.3 x 3.8-4.3 µm, amyloid and rather strongly warted ; they are probably too large for H. clathroides, rather narrow for H. erinaceus, but possibly immature. Since the general appearance seems unlike that of H. coralloides, the specimen is very doubtfully referred to H. erinaceus. Massee had named it Hydnum caput-medusae, which is nothing else but a growth form. Properly speaking, Lloyd was right in stating on the label: "Too frustular to name."
Description type:Non-original description 
Description:HERICIUM ERINACEUS (Bull. ex Fr.) Pers. -Figs. 64-67
Basidiome of variable size and shape, pendent from a lateral thick rooting stem, massive, subglobose to obovoid, more or less distinctly lobed, bearing dense masses of spines on the outside. Spines up to 25 mm long, very crowded, subulate, white when fresh, drying dingy brownish yellow to dark reddish brown; the spines covering the upper side of the basidiome shorter and irregularly flexuous. Context characterized by elliptic to circular patches, or lacunose and showing cavities, white when fresh, drying dingy yellowish to red-brown, amyloid.
Context monomitic, consisting of generative hyphae. Generative hyphae 3.5-20 µm wide, thin-walled to thick-walled (cell-walls up to 4.5 µm thick, the narrower hyphae often solid), inflating, branched, septate, with clamp connections. Context of the spines similar. Basidia 25-36 x 6-8 µm, slender clavate, with clamp-connection at the base, with 4 sterigmata up to 4.5 µm long. Spores 5.2-6.1 x 4-5 µm, broadly ellipsoid to ovoid, fairly thick-walled, smooth or minutely verrucose (the warts showing up only when stained in Melzer's reagent), colourless, amyloid, with an oil-drop, with small apiculus. Gloeocystidia 6-12.5 µm wide, the apical part more or less strongly bent, projecting beyond the hymenium, thin-walled, fusiform or cylindrical, the tip sometimes constricted and capitate; the oily contents staining purplish brown in sulpho-anisealdehyde.
Taxon name: