Bryant is the author of today’s entry. He writes:
For me, fall is for fungi and in this series I will cover a few of my favourite fruiting bodies!
Hydnellum aurantiacum (commonly known as the orange tooth fungus) is an inedible member of the Bankeraceae. As the common name suggests, it has spines (or teeth) on the underside of the cap–these range from 2-5mm in length. The upper side of the mature cap is flat or slightly depressed, and 3-10cm (~1″-4″) wide with coarse protrusions and sometimes aborted micro-caps (as seen in the centre of the one in today’s photograph). The surface of this particular specimen is slightly reminiscent of 3-dimensional sound maps or spectrograms (via the weblog Bassoon Operator). In young specimens, the margin of the cap and spines is distinctly whitish in colour, a key feature for distinguishing this species from other orange and red Hydnellum species.
Hydnellum aurantiacum is mycorrhizal with conifers, primarily with pines and eastern hemlock in eastern North America, and firs and Douglas-fir in western North America. However, the species has also been observed growing under hardwoods. It is widely distributed in North America and some parts of Europe, but there has been a decline in sightings of this species in the United Kingdom. It has recently been labeled as critically endangered there. To learn more about recent declines of toothed fungi in Caledonian Forest habitat and actions to prevent further loss, visit Pinewood Tooth Fungi @ Trees For Life.