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The bracket fungus Globiformes graveolens (Aphyllophorales: Polyporaceae) in northwestern Louisiana.

Known rurally as "sweet-knot," the polypore fungus, Globiformes graveolens (Schw.) Murr., is rarely encountered in northern Louisiana. At certain times during development, basidiocarps of this species emit a noticeably pleasant, sweet aroma. This fungus has been placed in homes to provide a natural aromatic air freshener (Overholts 1953). The geographic distribution cited by Overholts (1953) includes most of the northeastern United States, but did not include Louisiana, Mississippi, or Arkansas. Gilbertson & Ryvarden (1986) noted a Louisiana record on their map but cited no specimens.


On 6 April 1992, while checking salamander traps in a small woodland pond in Walter B. Jacobs Memorial Nature Park (2.5 mi W and 1.0 mi S of Blanchard) in Caddo Parish, Louisiana (see Raymond & Hardy 1990), a distinctive sweet aroma was noticed. The fragrance was suggestive of the scent produced by a large concentration of flowers of the Japanese Honeysuckle, Lonicera japonica. A search for a flowering shrub or tree for the source of the aroma revealed none. The aroma was eventually traced to several basidiocarps of G. graveolens growing from the trunk of a dying oak (Quercus) located about 3-5 m from the edge of the water (adjacent to pond marker number 129). A specimen (LMH 10116) was collected and deposited with the holdings of the Museum of Life Sciences at Louisiana State University in Shreveport.

This species is not yet known from Arkansas or Mississippi (Gilbertson & Ryvarden 1986) and is considered very rare in Louisiana. This is the first record for the northern half of Louisiana and one of the few known from the state. Dr. Robert L. Gilbertson (pers. comm.) confirmed the presence of a specimen (AZ 10015) from Washington Parish of Louisiana and one (AZ 10017) from Nacogdoches County of Texas among the holdings at the University of Arizona.

The same tree, which is now dead, has been checked regularly (through November 1996) since the time of the original discovery and the sweet aroma or additional growth has not been detected again. The gross morphology and growth form of G. graveolens (Fig. 1) was typical of the species (Gilbertson & Ryvarden 1986). Each pileus was brick red, often darker in the center (Fig. 1b), with an outer 5-10 mm margin that was white to creamy white, extending around the entire periphery, including the edge attached to the tree. Basidiocarps appeared white when viewed from the side or from below (Fig. 1a). Aged basidiocarps of G. graveolens were very dark brown, almost black.

There were at least nine basidiocarps of G. graveolens on the bottom of the tree trunk, from 0.5 to 2.0 m above the ground. All of the pilei were on the SE side of the tree which was located 2-3 m west of a small woodland pond (Fig. 1c,d). Moss and lichens were abundant on the tree from the ground to the lowermost basidiocarp. On the south side of the trunk and at the level of all of the basidiocarps, lichens were abundant and moss was sparse. On the east side of the trunk moss was more abundant than lichens.

Another species of bracket fungus (Polyporaceae) was abundant below G. graveolens and on the west side of the trunk (Fig. 1c,d). This species was white with fewer shelves that were thinner than those of the G. graveolens. The lower basidiocarps were dark green, apparently from the presence of algae.

The sweet aroma, when present, and the distinctive morphology makes G. graveolens one of the most recognizable bracket fungi in the southeastern United States. Additional discoveries might clarify the geographic distribution in Arkansas, Mississippi, and northeastern Louisiana.


Overholts, L. O. 1953. The Polyporaceae of the United States, Alaska and Canada. Univ. Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, pp. i-xiv, 1-46.

Gilbertson, R. L. & L. Ryvarden. 1986. North American Polypores, vol. 1, Abortiporus-Lindtneria. Fungiflora, Oslo, Norway, 433 pp.

Raymond, Larry R. & Laurence M. Hardy. 1990. Demography of a population of Ambystoma talpoideum (Caudata: Ambystomatidae) in northwestern Louisiana. Herpetologica 46(4):371-382.

Laurence M. Hardy, Larry R. Raymond and Richard K. Speairs, Jr.

Museum of Life Sciences, Louisiana State University in Shreveport

One University Place, Shreveport, Louisiana 71115-2399;

Walter B. Jacobs Memorial Nature Park, 8012 Blanchard Furrh Road, Shreveport, Louisiana 71107 and Ouachita Mountains Biological Station

281 Polk 615, Mena, Arkansas 71953-9727

LMH at:
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Title Annotation:GENERAL NOTES
Author:Hardy, Laurence M.; Raymond, Larry R.; Speairs, Richard K., Jr.
Publication:The Texas Journal of Science
Geographic Code:1U7LA
Date:May 1, 1997
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