Donkia pulcherrima

Donkia pulcherrima (Berk. & M.A. Curtis) Pilát

[Climacodon pulcherrimus]

Epithet = very beautiful. Genus = named for Dutch mycologist Marinus Anton Donk (1908 - 1972).
Annual. Brackets single or imbricate (overlapping). Upper surface matted hairy, somewhat resembling a Trametes. Underside with teeth. Kuo reports pink to red reaction of the flesh to KOH. A helpful microscopic feature is the double or triple clamp connections on the hyphae; each septum (cross wall) can have no clamps or as many as four.
Similar species
Similar toothed brackets lack the multiple clamps on hyphae. Hericium cirrhatum is more scaly on cap. Climacodon septentrionalis is typically in large overlapping clusters on maple. Spongipellis pachyodon has flattened teeth and angular pores. Always look underneath for pores versus teeth; this has been confused for Polyporus squamosus.
Saprobe causing white rot of dead hardwoods, rarely conifers.
The few Chicago records are late July to middle September.
Tropical and subtropical. Temperate distribution includes Japan; France, Spain, Russia. Widespread in eastern U.S.A, plus Arizona and at least one record in Canada. The New York Mycological Society has found it in New York City parks.
Chicago Region status
Rare. Five records from two counties.
Specimens examined
Four specimens. Hyphal septa show 0 to 4 clamps.

Taxon Details and Links

  • Donkia pulcherrima (Berk. & M.A. Curtis) Pilát, Bulletin de la Société Mycologique de France 52 (3): 328 (1936)
  • ≡ Basionym: Hydnum pulcherrimum Berk. & M.A. Curtis, Hooker's Journal of Botany and Kew Garden Miscellany 1: 235 (1849)
  • Creolophus pulcherrimus (Berk. & M.A. Curtis) Banker, Mycologia 5 (6): 294 (1913)
  • Climacodon pulcherrimus (Berk. & M.A. Curtis) Nikol., Flora plantarum cryptogamarum URSS. Fungi. Familia Hydnaceae 6(2): 194 (1961)
U.S.A. South Carolina, H.W. Ravenel 1648 (no date) [at Kew].
This species was also transfered to Steccherinum (1906) and Dryodon (1934). Moreno et al. (2007) questioned its placement in Climacodon because of the multiple clamps, apparent absence of cystidia, and preliminary molecular work. The species was not included in the molecular phylogeny of Binder et al. (2013). Moreno et al. (2017) confirmed its placement as Donkia in the Phanerochaetaceae.
Michael Kuo
Moreno, G., M. N. Blanco, I. Olariaga, J. Checa. 2007. Climacodon pulcherrimus, a badly known tropical species, present in Europe. Cryptogamie Mycologie 28(1): 3–11.
Moreno, G., M. N. Blanco, G. Platas, J. Checa, I. Olariaga. 2017. Reappraisal of Climacodon (Basidiomycota, Meruliaceae) and reinstatement of Donkia (Phanerochaetaceae) using multigene data. Phytotaxa 291(3): 171–182. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.291.3.1
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Cite this page as: Leacock, P.R. (2019 Jan 01). Donkia pulcherrima - MycoGuide. Retrieved from

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