Large fleshy fungi with felty light to dark brown caps, sunken towards the centre. The edge of the cap is typically rolled in on itself. The stalk is central and the gills curve down to meet it (decurrent). The gills are quite thickset and generally buff to ochre becoming darker as the spores mature. Spore print orange to rusty brown. Ectomycorrhizal in Nothofagus forests. Three indigenous species of Austropaxillus have been described and are quite common in undisturbed native forest. Genetically distinct from the macroscopically and biologically similar Northern Hemisphere genus Paxillus. Paxillus involutus is an exotic species found in New Zealand under silver birch and other introduced trees. In central Europe Paxillus has a tradition of being collected and pickled so that it can be used in winter stews. It is now known to contain a cumulative poison that attacks the liver and it is possible that our native species are similar.


NZFungi Entry

Paxillus squarrosus
(=Austropaxillus squarrosus)

Distinguishable from other endemic species by the dark brown, coarsely hairy cap, and the yellowish flesh, which stains reddish brown on exposure to air.

Paxillus nothofagi
(=Austropaxillus nothofagi)

Cap finely felted, compared to the coarse hairy cap of A. squarrosus.

Austropaxillus macnabbii

Distinguished from A. squarrosus because the flesh does not change colour when exposed to the air.