FunDiS West Coast Rare Fungi Challenge

Prepared by:  Roo Vandegrift, Else C. Vellinga, & Joanne Schwartz

We know very little about the distribution and the habitat of this species. We assume it is ectomycorrhizal (growing with living trees and receiving food from the tree in exchange for nutrients scavenged from the soil), seemingly with Western hemlock.

Its presumed partner is the Western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla), but can it grow with Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and other conifers? Is it only growing with old trees? All questions we don’t have answers for yet, but we hope that you can help!


The Little Blue Polypore has a cap and a stem, which can be in the center of the cap, eccentric or to the side. The cap is up to 2 inches wide, round, with an inrolled edge, and it is blue: a nice light blue, a bit darker in the centre of the cap.

When the cap ages, orangish stains might develop. The surface of the cap is matte, and a bit felty. The pores, under the cap, are round and small, and also blue, the same colors as the cap surface. The stem is up to 2 inches long, with the same blues as the cap and pores.

What else could it be?

Its bigger brother, Albatrellus flettii, also has blue caps, but has white pores. It can grow up to 10 inches across, and it has been found more inland than the Little Blue Polypore. Just like its smaller brother, it grows on the ground.

CautionNever eat wild mushrooms without a confident identification!
Contact Poison Control if you think you have eaten a poisonous mushroom: 1-800-222-1222.

When & Where?


More Information

Siegel N & Schwarz C. 2016. Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast: A Comprehensive Guide to the Fungi of Coastal Northern California. Ten Speed Press: pg. 460.

Desjardin DE, Wood MG & Stevens FA. 2015. California mushrooms: the comprehensive identification guide. Timber Press: pg. 381 (as Albatrellus caeruleoporous).

Vellinga EC. 2017. Neoalbatrellus subcaeruleoporus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T95385798A95385801.

iNaturalist (16 obs.): 

Mushroom Observer (21 obs.):

What to do if you find it:

Make an observation

The first thing to do is to record your observation. We prefer to use the iNaturalist app for that (visit www.iNaturalist.org to learn more), but you could also upload your observation to Mushroom Observer (visit www.MushroomObserver.org). The QR code to the right will take you to the Fungal Diversity Survey (FunDiS for short) website to explain how to contribute to the project.

The best thing you can do is take lots of photographs and notes. Typically, smartphones will automatically georeference any photos taken, but it is good practice to note your exact location, preferably with GPS coordinates, and what trees or other habitat features are nearby. For example, was the mushroom growing from duff and humus, or from bare soil? Did it have a particular smell? 

Collect a specimen

If you are in an area where it is allowed and have any necessary permits, we strongly urge you to create a vouchered collection. This means a dried specimen for deposit in a herbarium, where researchers can access it for things like DNA sequencing. If you don’t know how to do this, please see: 


In California, collecting mushrooms is usually allowed in National Forests with a permit. Permits can be obtained at the headquarters of the National Forest you're visiting, and are usually inexpensive or free. However, restrictions vary among the individual National Forests, so make sure to find out the specifics when picking up your permit. State and County Parks generally do not allow mushroom picking, but regulations vary, so make sure to check your destination before you go out. In Oregon, most State and Federal lands allow collecting up to a gallon without a permit, but again, regulations vary, so check ahead of time. 

Don’t forget to look for other mushrooms and fungi while you’re there! Like other Rare Fungi, part of why this mushroom is rare is because it grows in a place that mushroom pickers don’t generally go: Coastal Redwood Forests. Since you’ve already got iNaturalist open, why not record your other finds?

Most mushrooms are like fruit: picking an apple from an apple tree doesn’t hurt the tree. In the same way, harvesting mushrooms does not generally hurt the mycelium of the fungus. We do still recommend leaving some mushrooms behind, and not picking perennial mushrooms, like brackets and conks.

Who to contact

If you think you’ve found this mushroom, and you’re not sure about any of the above, such as how to report the find, whether you can collect it, or what to do with it once you have collected it, please contact us! 


About Fungal Diversity Survey

FunDiS is dedicated to a world in which the fungal kingdom is fully documented, understood, appreciated and protected.

Fungal Diversity Survey
10385 Green Meadow Rd
Sebastopol, CA 95472