• Proposed
  • 2Under Assessment
  • 3Preliminary Assessed
  • 4Assessed
  • 5Published

Phellodon atratus K.A. Harrison

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Scientific name
Phellodon atratus
K.A. Harrison
Common names
blue-black tooth
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Assessment status
Proposed by
Noah Siegel
Comments etc.
Noah Siegel

Assessment Notes

Taxonomic notes

Phellodon atratus was described from western North America, with the Type collection made in northern California, USA (Harrison 1964).

Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?

Phellodon atratus is an ectomycorrhizal ‘tooth fungus’ growing in association with Pinaceae, especially in wet coastal forest with Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis). 

Recognized by the tough, leathery texture, dark bluish gray color, spines on the underside, dark flesh, and white spores.

Population is widespread, and stable. I recommend listing as Least Concern.

Geographic range

Known from the Santa Cruz Mountains in California, north into southeast Alaska, in coastal and Coast Range forests.

Population and Trends

Population occurs over a widespread area, and can be locally common to abundant; more scattered on the southern and northern fringes.  Unlike many members of Bankeraceae, it can occur in younger forests. No decline has been noted.

Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology

Ectomycorrhizal with conifers, especially Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis) in coastal forests. Fruiting in late summer or early fall, fruitbodies long lasting, continuing growth into winter. Typically in large gregarious patches, and often mixed with other Phellodon and Hydnellum species.

Temperate Forest


No specific threats have been identified with regards to this species.

Conservation Actions

This species is included on the United States Forest Service Northwest Forest Plan Survey and Manage list of rare/old growth forests dependent fungi, and has been actively surveyed for since the late 1990’s. (Castellano et al. 2003).

Research needed

No specific research is needed with regards to this species.

Use and Trade

Phellodon atratus is a highly sought after dye fungus, and has the potential to be over harvested in some locations.

Other (free text)


Castellano, M.A., Cázares, E., Fondrick, B. & Dreisbach, T. 2003. Handbook to additional fungal species of special concern in the Northwest Forest

Desjardin, D.E., Wood, M.G. and Stevens, F.A. 2015. California Mushrooms: The Comprehensive Identification Guide. Timber Press: Portland, OR. 560 p.

Harrison, K.A. 1964. New or little known North American stipitate hydnums. Can. J. Bot. 42(9): 1205-1233. (Protologue)

Siegel, N. and Schwarz, C. 2016. Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast. Ten Speed Press: Berkeley, CA. 601 p.

Country occurrence

Regional Population and Trends

Country Trend Redlisted