Peniophora quercina (Pers.) Cooke - Oak Crust

Phylum: Basidiomycota - Class: Agaricomycetes - Order: Russulales - Family: Peniophoraceae

Peniophora quercina  - Oak Crust

A lovely pinkish corticioid (crust) fungus, Peniophora quercina is a very common in Britain and Ireland.


Peniophora quercina is abundant and widespread throughout Britain and Ireland. On mainland Europe this wood-rotting crust fungus is found from Scandinavia right down to the Mediterranean region, wherever oak trees occur. This species also occurs in America.

Peniophora quercina  - Oak Crust, Wales

Taxonomic history

This crust fungus was described in 1801 by Christiaan Hendrik Persoon, who gave it the scientific name Thelephora quercina.

In 1879 English mycologist Mordecai Cubitt Cooke transferred this species to the genus Peniophora, and its scientific name, still generally accepted today, became Peniophora quercina.

Synonyms of Peniophora quercina include Thelephora quercina Pers., Auricularia corticalis Bull., and Stereum tuberculosum Velen.


Peniophora, the generic name, means tough, and crust fungi in this genus certainly can be difficult to tear when you want to take a small sample for investigation. The specific epithet quercina refers to the fact oak genus of trees on which this crust species mostly occurs

Identification guide

Fertile surface of Peniophora quercina


Entirely resupinate when young, sometimes becoming slightly detached at the edges when old; 1 to 3.5 mm thick; fertile surface may be either smooth or somewhat uneven; waxy and pale lilac when damp becoming pink and hard when dry. Edges often curl up and peel back in very dry weather.




Allantoid (curved cylindrical, like sausages), smooth, 8-12 x 3-4µm..

Spore print



No noticeable odour; tough, tasteless and inedible.

Habitat & Ecological role

Saprobic, on dead oak wood and occasionally on living oaks.


All through the year, shedding spores in autumn.

Similar species

Bleeding Oak Crust Stereum gausapatum is darker; it also grows mainly on dead trunks and branches of oak trees, Quercus species.

Stereum subtomentosum has an upper surface that is zoned in various shades of greyish-orange or greyish white; it usually forms reflexed crusts or brackets.

Stereum hirsutum is hairy on its upper surface and often forms reflexed crusts or brackets.

Culinary Notes

Tough and leathery, these tasteless fungi are inedible and of no culinary value.

Reference Sources

Pat O'Reilly (2016). Fascinated by Fungi, First Nature Publishing.

BMS List of English Names for Fungi.

Paul M. Kirk, Paul F. Cannon, David W. Minter and J. A. Stalpers. (2008). Dictionary of the Fungi; CABI.

Taxonomic history and synonym information on these pages is drawn from many sources but in particular from the British Mycological Society's GB Checklist of Fungi.

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