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Stereum hirsutum - False Turkey Tail
Stereum hirsutum - False Turkey Tail
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Division: Basidiomycota
Class: Agaricomycetes
Order: Russulales
Family: Stereaceae
Genus: Stereum
Hill ex Pers. (1794)
Type species
Stereum hirsutum
(Willd.) Pers. (1800)

Stereum is type genus of the Stereaceae family of fungi, in the Russulales order. Until recently, the genus was classified in the Corticiaceae family, of the Corticiales order. However, it was given its own family as a result of the split-up of the Corticiales. Common names for species of this genus include leaf fungus, wax fungus, and shelf fungus. Fungi having a shape similar to a Stereum are said to have a stereoid shape. Stereum contains 27 species that have a widespread distribution.[3]


Stereum species are found to live on all kinds of deadwood or hardwood or dead leaves (they are therefore said to be saprobic). Sometimes they are also found on living leaves.


Stereum species are wood decay fungi that do not have tubes. They are simply small bracket-shaped membranes appearing on dead wood. The underside of the membrane contains spores but no ornament, i.e. gills, of any kind. Like most members in the family, Stereums lack clamp connection and have amyloid spores.

The species can be divided into two groups: the bleeders (those that exude a red liquid at cut surfaces, similarly to Lactarius species) and the non-bleeders (those that do not). In 1959, Zdenek Pouzar created a distinct genus, Haematostereum, for the bleeding species of Stereum, including H. gausapatum, H. rugosum, and H. sanguinolentum.[1] Index Fungorum does not consider Haematostereum to have distinct taxonomic significance and folds it into synonymy with Stereum.[2]


S. hirsutum and S. ostrea are members of a species complex, some members of which can cannot be reliably distinguished without microscopic analysis.

There are numerous species in this genus (and family), the commonest one being by far Stereum hirsutum.


  1. ^ a b Pouzar Z. (1959). "New genera of higher fungi III". Ceská Mykologie. 13 (1): 10–19. 
  2. ^ a b "Synonymy: Stereum Hill ex Pers". Species Fungorum CAB International. Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  3. ^ Kirk MP, Cannon PF, Minter DW, Stalpers JA (2008). Dictionary of the Fungi (10th ed.). Wallingford, UK: CAB International. p. 665. ISBN 0-85199-826-7. 
  4. ^ a b c See the entries in Index Fungorum for the current names and synonyms.

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