Epithet = crimson (flesh-colored). Genus = byssus + merulius.
Annual merulioid or stereoid fungus. Caps pinkish, up to 7 cm wide. Underside wrinkled, whitish. Spore print white.
It has a well developed cap that is coral pink unlike Merulius tremellosus (Phlebia), which is whitish above and pinkish below.
Saprobe on dead hardwoods, causing a white rot. Has some kind of association with Stereum.
Found in April, August, and September for the known Chicago Region records. Elsewhere it is mostly found in summer and fall, and into the winter to the south.
Eastern U.S.A., Texas, Arizona, Mexico. There are records for central and southern Illinois. Chicago seems to be at the north-western edge of the range for this species.
Chicago Region status
Previously rare, observations about 5 years apart, to now uncommon, found three years in a row with four locations in 2018. The closest historic collection online MycoPortal is from 1919 in Central Indiana. There are no historic records by Harper or Moffatt near Chicago.
This characteristic species has several collections from oak woodlands of Cook County, one from DuPage County, Illinois, and two from NW Indiana (Porter and Lake Counties).
Taxon Details and Links
Fungi that Decay Ponderosa Pine: 45 (1974)
Seems unsettled in its taxonomic placement. Recent works treat it as Phlebia incarnata but I noticed in July 2014 that it went back in Byssomerulius. I don't know why its transfer to Phlebia with the other Merulius species did not stick. I have not seen it in a molecular phylogeny. There should be an obvious difference between these genera since Phlebia is in the family Meruliaceae, while Byssomerulius is in the Irpicaceae (no longer in Phanerochaetaceae). Update 2019: the species phylogeny is being investigated.