Red heart rot

Red heart rot - <em>Stereum sanguinolentum</em>, the bleeding stereum, fruiting on a dead balsam fir.
  • Latin name: Stereum sanguinolentum (Albertini & Schwein.:Fr.) Fr.
  • French name: Carie rouge du sapin
  • Division: Basidiomycota
  • Class: Aphyllophorales





Damage, symptoms and biology

The fruiting body forms a crust-like layer that turns cinnamon brown with a wavy edge. It turns blood red when rubbed.

Red heart rot is responsible for extensive heart rot in mature pine, spruce, and true firs. Although it is a white rot, capable of degrading both cellulose and lignin, it resembles a brown rot, due to the reddish secretions of the fungus.

In other hosts it is largely a slash-destroyer, although it may occasionally be responsible for heartwood stain and terminal die-back.

Other information

Stereum sanguinolentum is commonly associated with running wounds, logging scars, and lesions formed as a result of climatic injury. It has also been reported to gain entry through root injuries. Fruiting bodies of S. sanguinolentum can be distinguished from those of Chondrostereum purpureum, a fungus that appears somewhat similar, by the deep red colour of the bruised lower surface of the former. In addition, S. sanguinolentum is usually found on conifers, C. purpureum on hardwoods.

Canadian Forest Service Publications

Red heart rot

Information on host(s)

Main host(s)

Amabilis fir, balsam fir, black spruce, Douglas-fir, eastern white pine, Engelmann spruce, grand fir, hemlocks, jack pine, mountain hemlock, ponderosa pine, red pine, red spruce, shore pine, Sitka spruce, subalpine fir, western hemlock, western white pine, white spruce

Secondary host(s)

Alders, American beech, balsam poplar, eastern hemlock, serviceberries, tamarack, western larch, western redcedar

  • Red heart rot
    André Carpentier
  • Red heart rot Fruiting bodies of Stereum sanguinolentum
  • Red heart rot Fruiting bodies of Stereum sanguinolentum
    R.B. Dickens
  • Red heart rot Stereum sanguinolentum, the bleeding stereum, fruiting on a dead balsam fir.
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