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Gymnopilus punctifolius (Peck) Singer

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Scientific name
Gymnopilus punctifolius
(Peck) Singer
Common names
IUCN Specialist Group
Mushroom, Bracket and Puffball
Assessment status
Assessment date
IUCN Red List Category
Siegel, N.
Dahlberg, A.

Assessment Notes

The content on this page is fetched from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/198482194/198486832


Gymnopilus punctifolius is a widespread species in western North America, growing from large woody debris. It is currently known from over 200 localities, with a preference for mature and old growth-forests. Based on the number of records over a wide area, it is assessed as Least Concern (LC).

Taxonomic notes

Gymnopilus punctifolius was described as Cortinarius punctifolius (Peck 1903) from a type collection made in Idaho, USA. It was transferred into the genus Gymnopilus (Singer 1949) where is resides today. Flammula punctifolius (Peck) A.H. Sm. is a synonym. Eastern North American reports (Bessette et al. 1995, MyCoPortal 2021) appear to result from confusion with the similar named Gymnopilus pulchrifolius.

Geographic range

It is known from Santa Cruz County California north coastally into south-east Alaska. It also occurs in the Siskiyou Range in northern California, becoming widespread through the Pacific Northwest, east into the Rocky Mountains, south to Arizona and New Mexico. There is a single report from Mexico (iNaturalist 2021) which looks very similar macroscopically. Until more taxonomic work is done on this collection, it is not considered in this assessment. Also, eastern North American reports (Bessette et al. 1995, MyCoPortal 2021) appear to result from confusion with the similar named Gymnopilus pulchrifolius.

Population and Trends

The population is very widespread across western North America from coastal to montane forests. It appears to be a generalist decomposer of large conifer woody debris. It appears to be more common in mature and old-growth forests, but is not limited to these areas. It is currently known from around 200 localities (MyCoPortal 2021). It has a cryptic growth habit (often along the underside of logs, or in stump cavities) and drab colours; these factors have probably limited the number of records. Data to fully assess trends are lacking, but based on the number of recent records it appears stable.

Population Trend: stable

Habitat and Ecology

It is a saprophyte typically on large woody debris, and often fruiting along the underside of logs, or in stump cavities. It appears to be more common in mature and old growth forests, but is not limited to these areas.


This species appears to need large woody debris, and is far more common in undisturbed ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest. Repeated clear-cutting or logging, removal of debris, and stand-replacing fires and the subsequent removal of snags are detrimental 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 forest dependent fungi, and has been actively surveyed for since the late 1990’s. (Castellano et al. 1999). Logging of old growth forests should be stopped and clear cutting practices should be limited; while long term viability of this species in 2nd and 3rd growth forests should be investigated. Modern taxonomic work on Gymnopilus should be conducted, especially with outlying collections.

Use and Trade

No use/trade is known.

Source and Citation

Siegel, N. 2021. Gymnopilus punctifolius. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2021: e.T198482194A198486832. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2021-2.RLTS.T198482194A198486832.en .Accessed on 30 September 2023

Country occurrence