Fungalpedia – Note 205, Phellorinia 


Phellorinia Berk.    

Citation if using this entry: Bera et al. 2024 (in prep) – Fungalpedia, Basidiomycota 1. 

Index FungorumMycoBank, Facesoffungi, GenBank, Fig. 1

Classification: Phelloriniaceae, Agaricales, Agaricomycetes, Basidiomycota, Fungi

Phellorinia, considered to be monotypic for many decadeswas first described by Berkeley (1843) from P. inquinans Berk as the type species, which is currently known as P. herculeana (Pers.) Kreisel. Phellorinia herculeana is widely distributed across the globe and has been recognized by various names that reflect its 16 synonyms (Sharma et al. 2015Species Fungorum 2023). The habitat of Phellorinia is generally the dry and warm temperate regions in plains, meadows, and coniferous forests (Yousaf et al. 2012). Phellorinia herculeana is often mistaken for another desert mushroom, Podaxis pistillaris (L.) Fr. , in some Asian countries due to their similar appearances (Sharma et al. 2015). However, they can be distinguished by their phylogeny. The type of species is a medium-sized puffball mushroom,, often found in groups or sandy places (Sharma et al. 2015). The peridium is whitish and covered with imbricate scales with a thin and dehiscing endoperidium ( The dehiscence of the endoperidium exposes the gleba inside ( 

The stipe of this taxa is fleshy and bulbous at the base. The basidiospores are globose with ornamentation, either verrucose or fine echinulate ( Phellorinia herculeana is primarily documented in the deserts of Rajasthan in India (Bohra et al. 2001, Chouhan & Panwar 2021) and has also been reported in Australia (Williams & Woinarski 1997Fuhrer 2005), Pakistan (Ahmad 1952), Spain, and Yemen (Kreisel & Fatimi 2004). Often known as “Khumbhi” or false shaggy mane, Phellorinia herculeana is quite popular as an arid gasteroid edible mushroom and is sold in local markets (Doshi & Sharma 1997, Sharma et al. 2015). To date, besides the type species, two additional species (Phellorinia erinacea (Speg.) Speg., P. longistriatica R.L. Zhao, M.Q. He & J.X. Li) have been discovered. The recent addition, P. longistriatica, is characterized by its longer, deeply striate-sulcate stipe with a thick covering of large appressed scales, which distinguish it from P. herculeana (Hyde et al. 2021). 

Phellorinia longistriatica have similar basidiospores to P. herculeana. However, its exoperidium is composed of hyphae tapering toward the apex and rarely ramify, which contradicts the exoperidium of P. herculean with branched hyphae and inflated globose elements at the apex (Fan 2005, Hyde et al. 2021)Phylogenetic studies of this genus based on nrITS sequence data have been undertaken by Martín et al. (2000) and Sharma et al. (2015). However, limited literature and sparse documentation have resulted in a lack of comprehensive knowledge about Phellorinia. Because of its economic value, Phellorinia needs more emphasis on its documentation, phylogenetic study, and assessment of bioactive compounds. 

Synonyms: Areolaria Kalchbr., Cyphellomyces Speg., Xylopodium  Mont.

Type species: Phellorinia herculeana (Pers.) Kreisel

Other accepted species: (Species Fungorum – search  Phellorinia)

Figure 1 – Phellorinia longistriatica (holotype, HMAS 255795). a−c Gasterocarps. d & e Basidiospores under SEM. f Verrucose basidiospores. g Groups of globular elements. h Exoperidial hyphae. i Endoperidial hyphae. Scale bars: a–c = 2 cm, d–e = 2 μm, f = 5 μm. g = 10 μm, h = 3 μm, i = 2 μm. Taken from Hyde et al. (2021).



Ahmad S. 1952 – Gasteromycetes of West Pakistan. Punjab University Press. Lahore. 

Berkeley MJ. 1843 – Enumeration of fungi, collected by Herr Zeyher in Uitenhage. London Journal of Botany, 2507–27

Bohra B, Doshi A, Sharma SS. 2001 – Ecological and geographical distribution of Phellorinia inquinans in Rajasthan and Gujrat. Journal of Mycology and Plant Pathology, 31, 373–376.

Chouhan R, Panwar C. 2021 – Diversity of Gasteromycetes in Rajasthan, India-I. Studies in Fungi, 6(1), 175–187. 

Doshi A, Sharma. SS 1997 – Wild mushrooms of Rajasthan. In: Rai RD, Dhar BL, Verm RN (eds). Advances in Mushroom Biology and Production. Mushroom Society of India, National Research Centre for Mushroom, Solan, Chambaghat (HP), India, 105–127.

Fan L. 2005 − Phellorinia Berk. In: Symposium on mycology on both sides of the Straits.

Fuhrer B. 2005 – A field guide to Australian fungi. Blooming Books Pvt. Ltd. Science. 360 pp. 

Hyde KD, Suwannarach N, Jayawardena RS, Manawasinghe IS. et al. 2021 – Novel species and records of fungal taxa from around the world. Mycosphere notes, 325–344. 

Kreisel H, Al‐Fatimi M. 2004 – Basidiomycetes and larger Ascomycetes from Yemen. Feddes Repertorium: Zeitschrift für botanische Taxonomie und Geobotanik, 115(7–8), 547–561. 

Martín M, Hidalgo E, Altés A, Moreno G. 2000 − Phylogenetic relationships in Phelloriniaceae (Basidiomycotina) based on ITS rDNA sequence analysis. Cryptogamie Mycologie, 21, 3−12. 

Sharma VP, Singh M, Kumar S, Kamal S, Singh R. 2015 – Phylogeny and physiology of Phellorinia spp.: a delicacy of Indian Desert. International Research Journal of Natural and Applied Sciences, 2(4), 1–17. 

Williams JE, Woinarski J. 1997 – Eucalypt ecology: individuals to ecosystems. Cambridge University Press. United Kingdom

Yousaf N, Niazi AR, Khalid AN. 2012 – New records of noteworthy gasteroid fungi from Pakistan. Mycotaxon, 119(1), 261–267


Entry by

Ishika Bera, Center of Excellence in Fungal Research, Mae Fah Luang University, Chiang Rai 57100, Thailand


(Edited by Kevin D Hyde, Samaneh Chaharmiri-Dokhaharani, & Achala R. Rathnayaka)