Tyromyces chioneus: The White Cheese Polypore

The white cheese polypore, Tyromyces chioneus.


Bjerkandera chionea (Fr.) P. Karst.
Boletus candidus Pers.
Leptoporus albellus (Peck) Bourdot & L. Maire
Leptoporus albellus subsp. chioneus (Fr.) Bourdot & Galzin
Leptoporus chioneus (Fr.) Quél.
Leptoporus lacteus f. albellus (Peck) Pilát
Polyporus albellus Peck
Polyporus chioneus Fr.
Polystictus chioneus (Fr.) Gillot & Lucand
Tyromyces albellus (Peck) Bondartsev & Singer
Ungularia chionea (Fr.) Lázaro Ibiza

Common name

White cheese polypore


Cap: 2-7 x 1-12 x 0.5-3.0 cm, convex or plane, semicircular, surface white, finely tomentose to glabrous, drying yellowish or grayish.
Context: 2-15 mm thick, white, soft and watery when fresh, drying friable.
Tubes: 1.5-5 mm deep.
Pore surface: white to cream; pores 4-5 per mm, round to angular.
Spores: 3-5 x 1-2 μm, allantoid.
Spore print: white.

This fragrant polypore grows on decaying hardwoods or sometimes on decaying conifers, and causes a lignifying decay of the sapwood. Fruiting bodies are usually found between July-November.

Medicinal properties

Antiviral effects

Cadinane sesquiterpenes are a group of molecules with the cadalane carbon skeleton (shown below) chemically named 4-isopropyl-1,6-dimethyldecahydronaphthalene.


A novel cadinane sesquiterpene (named 4β,14-dihydroxy-6a,7β H-1(10)-cadinene) was isolated from cultures of Tyromyces chioneus. This molecule was shown to have significant anti-HIV-1 activity with EC50 =3.0 µg/mL (SI=25.4) (Liu et al., 2007).

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  • Google preview of Arora’s Mushroom’s Demystified has a description of the white cheese polypore.


Arora D.
Mushrooms Demystified. 2nd edition.  1986.
Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, California.

Gilbertson  RL, Ryvarden L. 1986-1988.
North American Polypores.
Fungiflora, Oslo.

Lincoff G. 1994.
National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms
. 9th printing.
A.A. Knopf, New York.

Liu DZ, Wang F, Yang LM, Zheng YT, Liu JK.
A new cadinane sesquiterpene with significant anti-HIV-1 activity from the cultures of the basidiomycete Tyromyces chioneus.
J Antibiot. 2007 60(5):332-4.

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