Old Man of the Woods

Strobilomyces strobilaceus

Appears in

By Roger Phillips

Published 2006

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Old Man of the Woods Strobilomyces strobilaceus (Scop.) Berk. syn. S. floccopus (Vahl) P. Karst. (illustrated (b) 40% life size) Cap 5–12cm across; smoke-grey with white patches at first, soon cigar-brown or mouse-grey to olivaceous-black; covered in large, thick, concolorous, wart-like scales, some overhanging the margin, giving a ragged edge. Stem 80–120×10–20mm; mouse-grey to white above, concolorous with cap below; covered in large scales. Flesh white, gradually vinaceous to coral then brown on cutting; firm; taste and smell not distinctive. Tubes white to grey, bruising coral then red. Pores large, angular, colouring similar to the tubes. Spores 10–12×8.5–11¼, subglobose to broadly elliptical, reticulately ornamented. Spore print violaceous-black. Habitat in broad-leaved or coniferous woods; early autumn. Occasional, vulnerable on Red Data List. Edible when still young but not worthwhile. Note field photograph (d) was taken by Geoffrey Kibby.