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Summer 2021


Saprobic; growing on dead and rotting hardwoods often in shelving clusters. This species grows in the spring through fall and sometimes in warm winters or warm winter spells. It’s distribution ranges from North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia although is more commonly found in the east. This mushroom’s cap is 0.5-3 cm wide, convex and has an enrolled margin with a semicircular to kidney shape. It is dry, smooth to velvety and often becomes cracked with age. It ranges in color from off-white to brown. Gills end at the stem, are crowded, often forked or short, containing cross-veins, and are a light golden brown. It’s stem is approximately 3 mm long and 3 mm wide, though often indistinguishable from its cap. It is off-centered and attached to rotting hardwood. Similar to the cap, the stem is velvety and ranges from off-white to brown. This species has a bitter taste, a white spore print, and tough white to pale brown flesh. Distinctive to this species is its bioluminescent gills. It’s gills emit a dull yellow glow that can often be seen in the dark. Commonly known as the bitter oyster or the luminescent panellus, this species has several unique features. The origin of bioluminescence in the gilled mushrooms is understudied. One researcher suggested that the lineages of all gilled mushrooms share a common luminescent ancestor (Oliveira et al. 2012). It was found that luminosity in this species is inherited by a pair of alleles with luminosity being dominant over non-luminosity (Macrae 1942). More research is required to understand the phylogenetic lineage of luminescent fungi, their dominant characteristics, and their relationship with gilled fungi as a whole. This species has also been used in traditional Chinese medicine as a blood thickener (Hobbs 2003) and has shown the potential to be used in bioremediation (Sato et al. 2002) and assist in the conversion and breakdown of toxic industrial waste. ID number:


Location: East Brook Valley, Walton, NY (TC - Tsuga Creek)

Panellus stipticus