Northern Tooth

(Climacodon septentrionalis)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

Northern Tooth

NatureServe

not listed

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Widespread and fairly common in northeastern United States

Season

July to October

Photo by Jeff Lindbom
Habitat/Hosts

Living hardwoods, especially sugar maple, but also other maples

 

Identification

This is a widespread and fairly common tooth fungus. It is not poisonous but is not edible due to a bitter taste and a tough texture.

The fruiting body is annual and often massive, up to 20 tall and 10 wide. It consists of tight, overlapping layers of shelf-like caps joined at the base by a whitish plate. It lives high on the trunks if living hardwood trees (parasitic), especially sugar maple, but also other maples, green ash, and beech. It is sometimes found on recently dead trees and stumps but is rarely found on fallen logs. It enters the tree through a wound and causes heartwood rot. It has a sour smell when it is fresh, an unpleasant, rancid odor as it dries.

There is no stem.

The brackets (caps) are fan-shaped; convex, flat, or slightly depressed; 4 to 6 across; 1 to 4¾ deep; and ¾ to 2 thick at the base, becoming thinner toward the margin. They are cream-colored to chamois yellow when fresh, turning brownish when dry. The upper surface is dry and rough to the touch and may be densely hairy. It has very faint concentric zones. The margin is sharp and becomes rolled inward when dry.

The pore surface on the underside of the bracket consists of numerous, tightly packed, downward-pointing spines. The spines are cylinder-shaped, up to ½ long, and sharply pointed. They are tapered from the base to the tip, so that spores falling straight down will not be obstructed by the surface of the tooth further down. They are creamy yellow when fresh, becoming brownish and fragile when dry. The sport print is white.

The flesh is white and tough.

 
Similar
Species

 


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 4, 24, 26, 29, 30.


Comments

Taxonomy
Tooth fungi do not form a single taxonomic group. They are characterized by having a spore-producing surface with spines, or “teeth”, instead of pores or tubes.


Taxonomy

Division:

Basidiomycota (club fungi)

  No Rank:

Agaricomycotina (jelly fungi, yeasts, and mushrooms)

 

Class:

Agaricomycetes (mushroom-forming fungi)

 

No Rank:

Agaricomycetes incertae sedis

 

Order:

Polyporales

 

Family:

Meruliaceae

 
Synonyms

Climacodon septentrionale

Creolophus septentrionalis

Hydnum septentrionale

Hydnum septentrionale var. hortense

Hydnum septentrionale f. ramicola

Hydnum septentrionale var. septentrionale

Hydnum septentrionale f. septentrionale

Steccherinum septentrionale

 
Common
Names

Northern Tooth

Northern Tooth Fungus


 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

parasitic

Obtaining nutrients from another living organism.

       

Visitor Photos

   
Share your photo of this fungi or lichen.

Kirk Nelson


Growing on a silver maple

  Northern Tooth    
       

Same specimen, two months later

  Northern Tooth    

Jeff Lindbom


  Northern Tooth   Northern Tooth

Bill Reynolds


Parasitic; in dense overlapping clusters on trunks of living deciduous trees, particularly maple and beech

  Northern Tooth    

       
       
       

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  Northern Tooth Mushroom - Climacodon Septentrionalis
Mariana Roberts
 
   
 
About

Published on Aug 3, 2013

Northern Tooth (Climacodon Septentrionalis)

More Information: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/climacodon_septentrionalis.html

Identification: Overlapping yellowish-white annual shelves with toothed undersides found on living hardwoods, especially maples.

Season of fruiting: Late summer-fall

Ecosystem function: Spongy heart rot

Fungal Note: This fungus fruits only occasionally on individual trees, and its teeth can reach 10-15 mm in length.

 
     

 

Camcorder

         

Visitor Sightings

   
Share your sighting of this fungi or lichen.

Kirk Nelson
10/16/2016

Location: Lebanon Hills Regional Park

Same specimen, two months later

Northern Tooth


Kirk Nelson
8/21/2016

Location: Lebanon Hills Regional Park

Growing on a silver maple

Northern Tooth


Jeff Lindbom
9/1/2014

Location: Marinette County, Wisconsin

Northern Tooth


Bill Reynolds
10/2/2005

Location: growing on the side of a Maple in Cook Co Mn

Parasitic; in dense overlapping clusters on trunks of living deciduous trees, particularly maple and beech

Northern Tooth


     
     
 

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