Hydnellum Peckii (Devils Tooth): Identification of the “Bleeding Mushroom”

The medicinal mushroom Hydnellum peckii
The bleeding tooth fungus, Hydnellum peckii Banker


Kingdom Fungi
Phylum Basidiomycota
Class Basidiomycetes
Order Thelephorales
Family Bankeraceae
Genus Hydnellum


Cap: up to 15 cm in diameter; convex or plane; surface at first finely tomentose; white, exuding red droplets, when young, becoming brown or gray with age.
Flesh: soft but rather tough; brownish.
Teeth: 1-5 mm long; grayish-white at first, becoming reddish-brown with age.
Stem: up to 8 cm long; central or off-center; surface like felt; whitish-gray to reddish-brown; base terminating in a white myceloid root.
Spores: brown; subglobose; tuberculate; warted; 4.5-5.5  x 3.5-4.5 µ.
Taste: slightly bitter, odor none.
Edibility: inedible.
Habitat: coniferous woods, late summer to autumn.


Calodon diabolus (Banker) Snell
Calodon peckii (Banker) Snell & E.A. Dick
Hydnellum diabolus Banker
Hydnellum rhizopes Coker
Hydnum diabolus (Banker) A.H. Sm.
Hydnum peckii (Banker) Sacc.

Common names

Bleeding tooth fungus
Devil’s tooth
Bile tooth
Strawberries and cream
Red juice tooth

Medicinal effects

Anticoagulant activity

Screening of a 70% ethanolic extract of Hydnellum peckii revealed the presence of an effective anticoagulant, named atromentin, similar in activity to the well-known anticoagulant heparinIn vivo, 1 mg of the ethanol extract was equivalent to 0.58 units of heparin.  In vitro, 1 mg of purified atromentin was equivalent to 5.1 units of heparin and 2.3 mg of 70% ethanol extract (Khanna et al., 1965).

The p-terphenyl mushroom pigment atromentin
The p-terphenyl mushroom pigment atromentin, aka 2,5-dihydroxy-3,6-bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)-1,4-benzoquinone.
Antibacterial activity

Atromentin was shown to inhibit the enoyl-acyl carrier protein (ACP) reductase (FabK) of Streptococcus pneumoniae with an IC50 of 0.24 µM (Zheng et al., 2006).

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Euler KL, Tyler VE, Malone MH, Brady LR.
Isolation and identification of atromentin, anticoagulant principle of Hydnellum diabolus Banker.
Lloydia. 1965 28(3):260-&.

Khanna JM, Malone MH, Euler KL, Brady LR.
Atromentin – anticoagulant from Hydnellum diabolus.
J Pharm Sci. 1965 54(7):1016-&. No abstract available.

Zheng CJ, Sohn MJ, Kim WG.
Atromentin and leucomelone, the first inhibitors specific to enoyl-ACP reductase (FabK) of Streptococcus pneumoniae.
J Antibiotics. 2006 59(12):808-12.

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