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Pileus: convex, tough, scaly or fibrillose on the common L.lepideus
Annulus: present (on young specimens) or absent
Stipe: eccentric to centric
Stature: Tricholomatoid
Ecology: on wood, although sometimes on ground on decaying stumps

Micro characters

Basidiospores: smooth, ellipsoid to cylindrical, inamyloid
Hyphae: thick walled, with clamp connections
Cystidia: none,or overly small and fine in my specimens (see photograph). According to Singer..."cystidia absent, or present, with moderately thick walls,with obtuse apices,not always characteristically metuloid..."
Spore Print: white to cream
Lamellae: subdistant, adnate to decurrent without serrations on younger specimens, or with serrations on older specimens (see photographs)
Lamellar Trama: regular, becoming irregular in some specimens


In general the differentiation of Panus, Lentinus and Lentinellus have created some discussion. Singer (1986) didn't recognize Lentinellus, but does discuss the difficulties in separating Panus from Lentinus. Roody (2003) recognizes the combination of the two genera. For practical consideration, I like Largent and Baroni (1988) who see the separation from Lentinellus based primarily on the amyloid spores on the former. They also discuss the taxonomic debate separating the three genera.

The species illustrated is commonly called the "train wrecker" because it grows on railroad ties and its decomposition of the ties presumably causes derailments.