Lentinellus cochleatus

Lentinellus cochleatus (Pers.) P. Karst.


Agaricus cochleatus Pers.
Agaricus cochleatus Secr.
Agaricus confluens Sowerby
Clavicorona dryophila Maas Geest.
Lentinellus marcelianus P.-A. Moreau & P. Roux
Lentinus cochleatus (Pers.) Fr.
Lentinus friabilis Fr.
Lentinus umbellatus sensu Rea (1922)
Omphalia cochleata (Pers.) Gray
Pocillaria cochleata (Pers.) Kuntze
Pocillaria friabilis (Fr.) Kuntze

Common names

Aniseed Cockleshell
Anis-Zähling (German)
Lentine en colimaçon (French)


Cap: 2–8 cm across, irregularly funnel-shaped, flesh-colored to reddish-brown.
Stem: 30–70 x 8–15 mm, central or lateral, often rooting, reddish-brown darkening towards the base.
Flesh: pinkish, tough.
Taste: mild, smells of aniseed.
Gills: decurrent, pale flesh-colored.
Spore print: white.
Spores: subglobose, amyloid, 4.5–5 x 3.5–4 µm.
Habitat: grows on stumps of deciduous trees, often densely clustered.
Season: late summer to late autumn; uncommon.
Edibility: edible.
Distribution: America and Europe.

Flavor compounds

As might be deduced from its common name, L. cochleatus has an anise-like odor, a sweet smell similar to licorice. A couple of studies have investigated the identity of the compounds responsible for this fragrance. In one study, the fruiting bodies of L. cochleatus were investigated for volatile compounds using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis. The compounds p-anisaldehyde, methyl p-anisate, methyl (Z)-p-methoxycinnamate and methyl (E)-p-methoxy-cinnamate were responsible for the aniseed smell of L. cochleatus (Rapior et al., 2002).

In another study, the major volatile constituents were identified in L. cochleatus grown on a liquid culture medium containing glucose, the amino acid asparagine and mineral salts. The main constituents of L. cochleatus distillate were trans-nerolidol, fokienol and 6-formyl-2,2-dimethyl chromene (Hanssen and Abraham, 1987).

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Bioactive compounds

Three previously identified sesquiterpenoids of the lactarane and secolactarane type, deoxylactarorufin A, blennin A and blennin C, were obtained from cultures of Lentinellus cochleatus. These compounds are known to be potent inhibitors of leukotriene biosynthesis in rat basophilic leukemia (RBL-1) cells and human peripheral blood leukocytes. Additionally, the new metabolites (Z)-2-chloro-3-(4-methoxyphenyl)-2-propen-1-ol and lentinellone (a protoilludane derivative) were identified (Wunder et al., 1996).

Medicinal properties

Antibacterial/fungicidal/molluscicidal activity

Dichloromethane extracts of this fungus were shown to be antibacterial to Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli, fungicidal towards Candida albicans and Cladosporium cucumerinum, and molluscicidal towards Biomphalaria glabrata. The methanol extract was antibacterial towards both Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli (Keller et al., 2002).


The Italian Wikipedia, from which the image was taken, has an entry (in Italian, unfortunately).
See http://www.svims.ca/council/Lentin.htm for a trial field key to Lentinellus and Neolentinus in the Pacific Northwest.


Hanssen HP, Abraham WR.
Volatiles from liquid cultures of Lentinellus cochleatus (Basidiomycotina).
Z. Naturfors C:Biosci. 1986 41(11-12):959-62.

Hanssen HP, Abraham WR.
Odoriferous compounds from liquid cultures of Gloeophyllum odoratum and Lentinellus cochleatus (Basidiomycotina).
Flavor Fragrance J. 1987 2(4):171-4.

Keller C, Maillard, M Keller J, Hostettmann K.
Screening of European fungi for antibacterial, antifungal, larvicidal, molluscicidal, antioxidant and free-radical scavenging activities and subsequent isolation of bioactive compounds.
Pharm Biol. 2002 40(7):518-25.

Rapior S, Breheret S, Talou T, Pelissier Y, Bessiere JM.
The anise-like odor of Clitocybe odora, Lentinellus cochleatus and Agaricus essettei.
Mycologia. 2002 94(3):373-6.

Wunder A, Anke T, Klostermeyer D, Steglich W.
Lactarane type sesquiterpenoids as inhibitors of leukotriene biosynthesis and other, new metabolites from submerged cultures of Lentinellus cochleatus (Pers ex Fr) Karst.
Z. Naturfors C:Biosci. 1996 51(7-8):493-9.

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