Trametes versicolor

Trametes versicolor – also known as Coriolus versicolor and Polyporus versicolor – is a common polypore mushroom found throughout the world. Meaning 'of several colours', versicolor reliably describes this fungus that displays different colors. For example, because its shape and multiple colors are similar to those of a wild turkey, T. versicolor is commonly called turkey tail.

Trametes versicolor
Trametes versicolor G4 (1).JPG
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Polyporales
Family: Polyporaceae
Genus: Trametes
T. versicolor
Binomial name
Trametes versicolor
(L.) Lloyd (1920)

Boletus versicolor L. (1753)
Polyporus versicolor (L.) Fr. (1821)
Coriolus versicolor (L.) Quél. (1886)

Trametes versicolor
View the Mycomorphbox template that generates the following list
Mycological characteristics
pores on hymenium
cap is offset or indistinct
hymenium is decurrent
lacks a stipe
spore print is white to yellow
ecology is saprotrophic
edibility: inedible

Description and ecologyEdit

The top surface of the cap shows typical concentric zones of different colours. The flesh is 1–3 mm thick and has leathery texture. Older specimens, such as the one pictured, can have zones with green algae growing on them, thus appearing green. It commonly grows in tiled layers. The cap is rust-brown or darker brown, sometimes with blackish zones. The cap is flat, up to 8 × 5 x 0.5–1 cm in area. It is often triangular or round, with zones of fine hairs. The pore surface is whitish to light brown, pores round and with age twisted and labyrinthine. 3–8 pores per millimeter.

It may be eaten by caterpillars of the fungus moth Nemaxera betulinella and by maggots of the Platypezid fly Polyporivora picta.[1] and the fungus gnat Mycetophila luctuosa,[2] but is considered inedible to humans.[3]


Trametes versicolor contains polysaccharides under basic research, including the protein-bound PSP and β-1,3 and β-1,4 glucans. The lipid fraction contains the lanostane-type tetracyclic triterpenoid sterol ergosta-7,22,dien-3β-ol as well as fungisterol and β-sitosterol.[4][5]

Research and usesEdit

This mushroom, known as yun zhi [雲芝] in China, is used in traditional Chinese medicine;[6] it is supposed to boost the immune system and have anticarcinogenic properties. Its polysaccharides are thought to be the effective constituents.

Clinical trials in people with breast cancer, leukemias, and liver cancer remain inconclusive as of 2016.[7]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Chandler, Peter J. (2001), The Flat-footed flies (Opetiidae and Platypezidae) of Europe, Fauna Entomologica Scandinavica, 36, Leiden: Brill, pp. 1–278, ISBN 90-04-12023-8
  2. ^ Jakovlev, Jevgeni (2011), "Fungus gnats (Diptera: Sciaroidea) associated with dead wood and wood growing fungi: New rearing data from Finland and Russian Karelia and general analysis of known larval microhabitats in Europe", Entomologica Fennica, 22 (3), doi:10.33338/ef.4693
  3. ^ Meuninck, Jim (2017). Foraging Mushrooms Oregon: Finding, Identifying, and Preparing Edible Wild Mushrooms. Falcon Guides. p. 51. ISBN 978-1-4930-2669-2.
  4. ^ Yokoyama, A (1975). "Distribution of tetracyclic triterpenoids of lanostane group and sterols in higher fungi especially of the polyporacea and related families". Phytochemistry. 14 (2): 487–497. doi:10.1016/0031-9422(75)85115-6.
  5. ^ Endo, S (1981). "Lipids of five species of polyporacea". Tokyo Gakugei. 16.
  6. ^ Meuninck, Jim (2017). Foraging Mushrooms Oregon: Finding, Identifying, and Preparing Edible Wild Mushrooms. Falcon Guides. p. 52. ISBN 978-1-4930-2669-2.
  7. ^ "Coriolus versicolor". Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY. 2016. Retrieved 20 October 2016.

External linksEdit