Tinder fungus pit

Tinder fungus (Lentinus arcularius) Tinder fungus (Lentinus arcularius) Tinder fungus (Lentinus arcularius)

Tinder fungus (Lentinus arcularius)


  • Department: Basidiomycota (Basidiomycetes)
  • Subdivision: Agaricomycotina (Agaricomycetes)
  • Class: Agaricomycetes (Agaricomycetes)
  • Subclass: Incertae sedis (undefined)
  • Order: Polyporales
  • Family: Polyporaceae (Polyporous)
  • Genus: Lentinus (Saw-leaf)
  • Species: Lentinus arcularius (Polypore pit)


  • Polyporus arcularius

  • Pit polyporus

  • Polyporus casket-shaped
  • Decorated polyporus
  • Vase-like polypore
  • Vaulted polypore
  • Tinder box-shaped

Tinder fungus (Polyporus arcularius)

This small tinder fungus appears on hardwood in the spring and is often found by morel hunters. Sometimes it can grow on coniferous trees. It is rather small, with a central peduncle and whitish angular pores. The most distinctive feature of Polyporus arcularius is its exquisitely colored, fine hairy ('ciliated') bonnet. The cap color ranges from dark brown to light brown.

Polyporus arcularius will probably be assigned to a different genus in the not too distant future. Microscopic examination carried out in 2008 showed that this species, along with Polyporus brumalis (Winter tinder fungus), is much closer to the Lentinus species – Saw leaves (which have plates!) And Daedaleopsis confragosa (Polyporus lumpy) than with other species Polyporus.


Ecology: Saprophyte on hardwood, especially oak, causes white rot. Grows alone or in small groups. Sometimes it grows from the remains of wood buried in the ground, and then it seems that it is growing from the ground. Appear in spring, there is information that occurs before the end of summer.

Hat: 1-4 cm, in very exceptional cases – up to 8 cm. Convex when young, then flat or slightly depressed. Dry. Dull brown. Covered with small concentric scales and hairs of brown or golden brown color. The edge of the cap is decorated with tiny, but well-visible, protruding hairs.

Tinder fungus (Polyporus arcularius)

Hymenophore: porous, descending, whitish in young mushrooms, then brownish. Does not separate from the flesh of the cap. Pores 0.5-2 mm across, hexagonal or angular, radially arranged.

Tinder fungus (Polyporus arcularius)

Leg: central or slightly off-center; 2-4 (up to 6) cm long and 2-4 mm wide. Smooth, dry. Brown to yellowish brown. Covered with small scales and hairs. Rigid, pronounced longitudinal fibrous.

Tinder fungus (Polyporus arcularius)

Flesh: White or creamy, thin, tough or leathery, does not change color if damaged.

Smell: slight mushroom or indistinguishable.

Taste: no particular taste.

Spore powder: Creamy white.

Microscopic characteristics: spores 5-8.5 1.5-2.5 microns, cylindrical, smooth, colorless. Basidia 27-35 µm long; 2-4 spore. Hymenal cystidia are absent.


The information is contradictory. One thing can be said with a great deal of certainty: the mushroom is not poisonous. European tradition classifies it as an inedible mushroom, although, like many other polypores, it is quite edible at a young age, before the pulp becomes too tough. Another thing is that his leg is hard almost always, and in the cap the layer of pulp is catastrophically thin, about one millimeter, and there is nothing special there. Tinder fungus is on edible mushroom lists in countries such as Hong Kong, Nepal, Papua New Guinea and Peru.

Similar species

Cell polypore (Neofavolus alveolaris)

Cell polypore (Neofavolus alveolaris)

It is also a fairly early mushroom, it has been growing since April, has a similar color and a very similar hymenophore, however, it should be noted that the honey fungus has practically no leg. Tinder fungus (Cerioporus varius)

Tinder fungus (Cerioporus varius)

in a variation with a centrally located leg it may look like a Pit tinder fungus, however, a variable tinder fungus, as a rule, has a black stem and a smooth surface of the cap. Tuberous polypore (Polyporus tuberaster)

Tuberous polypore (Polyporus tuberaster)

much larger. These views can be similar only in photographs. Winter polypore (Lentinus brumalis)

Winter polypore (Lentinus brumalis)

also slightly larger on average, differs in a darker color of the cap, often with a pronounced concentric pattern of alternating darker and light brown zones.

In the gallery of the article used photos: Alexander Kozlovskikh.

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Hunting, Fishing and Mushrooms: a magazine for hunters and fishers.
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