Merulius trembling (Phlebia tremellosa) photo and description

Merulius trembling (Phlebia tremellosa)

  • Department: Basidiomycota (Basidiomycetes)
  • Subdivision: Agaricomycotina (Agaricomycetes)
  • Class: Agaricomycetes (Agaricomycetes)
  • Subclass: Incertae sedis (undefined)
  • Order: Polyporales
  • Family: Meruliaceae (Meruliaceae)
  • Genus: Phlebia (Phlebia)
  • Species: Phlebia tremellosa (Merulius trembling)
    Other names for the mushroom:

  • Phlebia trembling

Synonyms :

  • Merulius trembling

  • Merulius tremellosus

  • Agaricus betulinus
  • Xylomyzon tremellosum
  • Sesia tremellosa
  • Boletus arboreus

Merulius trembling - Phlebia tremellosa

Name history:

Originally named Merulius tremellosus (Merulius trembling) Schrad. (Heinrich Adolf Schrader), Spicilegium Florae Germanicae: 139 (1794)

In 1984, Nakasone and Burdsall transferred Merulius tremellosus to the genus Phlebia (Phlebia) called Phlebia tremellosa based on morphology and growth studies. More recently, in 2002, Moncalvo et al. Based on DNA studies confirmed that Phlebia tremellosa belongs to the genus Phlebia.

Thus, current name: Phlebia tremellosa (Schrad.) Nakasone & Burds., Mycotaxon 21: 245 (1984)


This bizarre mushroom is widespread in different continents. It can be found on dead hardwood or sometimes softwood. The typical form of Phlebia quivering is a classic example of what mycologists call "effused-reflexed" by the fruiting body: the spore-bearing surface spreads through the wood, and only a small amount of pulp appears as a slightly expanded and a tucked-in top edge.

Other distinctive features include a translucent, orange-pinkish spore-bearing surface, in which pronounced deep folds and pockets are visible, and a whitish, pubescent top edge.

Fruit body : 3-10 cm in diameter and up to 5 mm thick, irregular in shape, prostrate on the substrate with hymenium on the surface, except for a small upper "influx".

The upper tucked edge is pubescent, whitish or with a white coating. Under the bloom, the color is beige, pinkish, maybe with a yellowish tint. As the quivering Phlebia grows, its upper, turned edge takes on a slightly sinuous shape, and zoning may appear in the color.

Merulius trembling - Phlebia tremellosa

Lower surface : translucent, often somewhat gelatinous, from orangeish to orange-pink or orange-red, to brownish in age, often has a pronounced zoning - almost white to the edge. Covered in a complex wrinkled pattern, creating the illusion of irregular porosity. The trembling merulius changes greatly with age, this is especially evident from how the hymenophore changes. In young specimens, these are small wrinkles, folds, which then deepen, acquiring an increasingly bizarre appearance, reminiscent of a complex maze.

Leg : absent.

Flesh : whitish, very thin, elastic, slightly gelatinous.

Smell and taste : no particular taste or smell.

Spore powder : White.

Spores : 3.5-4.5 x 1-2 microns, smooth, smooth, non-amyloid, sausage-like, with two drops of oil.

Merulius trembling - Phlebia tremellosa


Saprophyte on dead deciduous wood (prefers broad-leaved) and, rarely, conifers. Fruiting bodies are solitary (rarely) or in small groups, they can grow together into rather large clusters. Cause white rot.

Season and distribution

From the second half of spring until frost. Fruiting bodies are annual, can grow on the same trunk annually until the substrate is depleted.

Merulius quivering is widespread in almost all continents.


Unknown. The mushroom is obviously not poisonous, but it is considered inedible.

Photo: Alexander.