Armillaria (genus)

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Armillaria mellea (click on image to enlarge it)
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Armillaria (Fr.) Staude 1857

This genus includes more than 500 species of wood decaying fungi. While they colonize primarily stumps and dead wood, the hyphae can also enter the roots of living trees, e.g. through wounds. Weakened hosts are attacked more frequently. Several species are important plant pathogens like Armillaria mellea or A. solidipes.

Fruit and forest trees as well as grapevines are common hosts. The symptoms of Armillaria infections include, wilting of leaves or needles, reduced growth or die-back, white mycelium mats under the bark, and the appearance of tan-coloured fruiting bodies at the base of the trees. Infections often lead to death of the tree. The hyphae can persist in the soil on roots for many years and can spread to the roots of neighbouring trees. Dispersal through basidiospores appears be less common.

Type species: Armillaria mellea

Currently, the following species and groups have been entered into the system: