Pluteus fenzlii is a rare and iconic gilled fungus distinguished by
its bright yellow pileus and annulate stipe, a character very unusual in the genus Pluteus.
The species was described as Agaricus fenzlii Schulzer (Schulzer et al. 1866). First detailed revision was published by Singer (1979) under name Chamaeota fenzlii (Schulzer) Singer.
Pluteus fenzlii (Schulzer) Corriol & P.-A. Moreau, Persoonia 19(2): 248 (2007) – Figs. 1-10
= Agaricus fenzlii Schulzer, in Schulzer, Kanitz & Knapp, Verh. zool.-bot. Ges. Wien 16(Abh.): 49 (1866).
= Annularia fenzlii (Schulzer) Schulzer, in Kalchbrenner, Icon. Sel. Hymenomyc. Hung. (Budapest): tab. 10, fig. 1 (1874).
= Chamaeota fenzlii (Schulzer) Singer, Sydowia 31(1-6): 198 (1979).
= Pluteus fenzlii (Schulzer) E.F. Malysheva, O.V. Morozova & Zvyagina, Acta Mycologica, Warszawa 42(2): 155 (2007), superfluous combination (see Borovička 2008) published 23 days after the same act was carried out by Corriol & P.-A. Moreau (2007).
There is a very similar species in North America, Pluteus mammillatus (Longyear) Minnis, Sundb. & Methven (Minnis et al. 2006), originally described as Annularia mammillata Longyear (Longyear 1902), which differs from P. fenzlii only by white to greyish-red lamellar edge (yellow in P. fenzlii).
Pluteus fenzlii is a very rare fungus known only from several countries in Europe and Asia. It inhabits wood of broadleaved tree species. The most frequent substrate in Europe is Quercus cerris. Basidiomata grow on fallen trunks with different diameters (including their branches) and branches separated from old living trees and lying on soil.
Pluteus fenzlii is a Eurasian species with a distribution hot-spot in Central Europe. Currently, Slovakia (8 localities) and Hungary (5 localities) are countries with the highest number of P. fenzlii localities. There is also an increasing number of records from Siberia.
Slovakia (8 localities), Hungary (5 localities), France (4 localities), Poland (1 locality).
The recent increase of P. fenzlii localities might be connected also with the global warming. An indication of this is the fact that there are no recent records in Balkan countries (Serbia – country of type locality, Croatia, Slovenia; too hot for P. fenzlii at present?) but the species is
found in regions located more north (Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, continental Russia).
Pluteus fenzlii grows in different ecosystems: the forest-steppe and taiga zone, and taiga belt, in humid and swamped birch, and mixed forests, on birch windfall. Feature common for all localities is the more or less natural broadleaved (or mixed) vegetation, often protected in nature reserves of various rank.
In Slovakia the species usually occurs in hilly areas with more or less natural broadleaved habitats, mostly thermophilic ones. Based on data from Poland, Slovakia and Hungary, the most frequent substrate in this part of Europe is Quercus cerris (5 localities), followed by Fagus sylvatica (2). Basidiomata were observed on fallen trunks (including their branches), both thin and medium thick (10-55 cm diam.), and branches separated from old living trees and lying on soil (about 20 cm diam.). The basidiomata grew either from decorticated wood or cracks in the bark, often at sites covered by mosses.
Pluteus fenzlii in general occurs in hilly regions (altitude 230–425 m in Slovakia and France, with exceptional site at 740 m in France) mostly adjacent to higher mountain ranges (Pyrenees, the Carpathians, Caucasus). Exceptions are the hilly country of the Zhigulevsky State Nature Reserve in Middle Volga region (no mountain range in the vicinity) and the Białowieza National Park (lowland forest on glacial deposits, about 150 m a.s.l.).
Detailed vegetation data from Poland and Slovakia show that some of the localities are more or less influenced by man (clearing, cutting, grazing from unnaturally high populations of wild game) but the substrate of P. fenzlii is always represented by trees which are native and natural part of vegetation in the area. Therefore, it can be considered P. fenzlii a species of ancient broadleaved forests.
The species is endangered by intensive forest management when no woody debris (nor branches) is left in a forest, especially if in general localities in dominant hilly landscape are easily accessible.
Protect localities with occurrence of the species. At localities which can not be protected and forest management practices will continue, the only action is to leave some woody debris of broadleaves, at least branches.
Further studies are necessary to evaluate the taxonomic status of the Australian subpopulation. And further studies are necessary to evaluate the variability of microcharacters and its possible relation to the population structure of this species.
No use of fruitbodies of the fungus is known, edibility was never studied.
Corriol G., Moreau P.-A. 2007. Agaricus (Annularia) fenzlii redécouvert dans les Pyrénées. Notes sur le genre Chamaeota en Europe. Persoonia 19: 233–250.
Holec J., Kunca V., Ševčíková H., Dima B., Kříž M., Kučera T. 2018. Pluteus fenzlii (Agaricales, Pluteaceae) – taxonomy, ecology and distribution of a rare and iconic species. Sydowia 70: 11–26.
Justo A., Vizzini A., Minnis A.M., Menolli N.Jr., Capelari M., Rodríguez O., Malysheva E., Contu M., Ghignone S., Hibbett D.S. 2011. Phylogeny of the Pluteaceae (Agaricales, Basidiomycota): taxonomy and character evolution. Fungal Biology 115: 1–20.
Malysheva E. F., Malysheva V. F., Justo A. 2016. Observations on Pluteus (Pluteaceae) diversity in South Siberia, Russia: morphological and molecular data. Mycological Progress 15: 861–882.
Minnis A.M., Sundberg W.J., Methven A.S., Sipes S.D., Nickrent D.L. 2006. Annulate Pluteus species, a study of the genus Chamaeota in the United States. Mycotaxon 96: 31–39.
Vizzini A., Ercole E. 2011. A new annulate Pluteus variety from Italy. Mycologia 103: 904–911.